Can't Go it Alone
by David Brenneman
Oftentimes we don't consider the ramifications of our decisions. We see a situation or a problem and in a moment of time make a choice that had we thought it through we wouldn't have done. Was reading in Galatians this morning and of Paul confronting Peter about essentially living a double life.
Do we live two lives? Maybe more? Do we show up at Church being one way and after we leave turn into someone else? When we go to work are we yet still someone else? When in the privacy of our homes are we someone else? When we are out eating or shopping are we yet someone else?
Peter was trying to please people he was with and got caught because it was leading to hypocrisy. He was leading others astray with his behavior.
We who are in Christ have but one life to live in Christ Jesus. It's something to keep in mind is the being dead to self and alive in Christ. It's something to put one another above ourselves. To take up our own cross and to follow Christ. To take His yoke upon us for His burden is load is easy and His burden is light. Don't we often see that last part as being backwards? We think that the load is heavy and the burden of living for Christ being difficult?
For more than a decade or so I fought with my own 'demons'. Seeing my faults, seeing my things that I needed to overcome in my life. Seeing my own hypocrisy in me. Being reminded daily by Christ's enemy of this or that where I was failing at life.
The enemy wanted me to refer to myself as a failure in Christ.
The enemy wanted me to refer to myself as one who would never overcome my sins.
Nobody in this world should be identifying as what they once were before coming to Christ.
"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." Galatians 2:20 NASB95
What we often do is try to go after unrealistic expectations. We try to do as the world does and seek approval from the world and not from God as to our identity.
We often try to create Heaven here on Earth. We spend millions in a lifetime trying to seek our will to be done, to seek our way to do things, to live life.
"Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you also were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all." Galatians 4:1-6 NASB
"So I say this, and affirm in the Lord, that you are to no longer walk just as the Gentiles (Aka: those in the World) also walk, in the futility of their minds, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves up to indecent behavior for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former way of life, you are to rid yourselves of the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you are to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth." Galatians 4:17-24
"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, this person is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." 2 Corinthians 5:17 NASB
When we are on our own, by ourselves, we are vulnerable. We are in need of being with others in the body of Christ to lift each other up. Scriptures tells us to bear one another's burdens and thus fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2.
The wonderous thing about prayer is that distance means nothing to God. Where two or more are gathered there He is in the midst. Matthew 18:19-20. If I'm praying here when you are praying where you are. Jesus still shows up! Prayer is all the sweeter when it's a physically in person group meeting but honest fervent prayer has no bounds.
Going it alone tends to lead to many embarrassing moments and to losing to temptation. Proverbs says that with an abundance of counselor's there is victory. We read that in Luke 14:31 "Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to face the one coming against him with twenty thousand?".
He sits down and considers it with the wise men he surrounds himself with. History is replete with leaders of countries who were foolish enough to go to war without considering the cost or consequences.
What does your life look like? Are you going it alone? Are you at all living a double life?
What does that person you see in the mirror show? We can find ourselves quickly in the valley of indecision. Not knowing what way to turn when we are on our own. The enemy of God loves it when we're separated from 'the herd'.
The idea of the 'pack' mentality was created by God. The children of Israel for 80 years were in the wilderness. God kept them together all that time to protect themselves from those they would run into.
In the wild, animals often go about in packs to protect the oldest to the youngest because even they know if one gets separated they are vulnerable.
We need good deep appropriate relationships with the others in the body of Christ. We need to stick together in the body of Christ for our sanctification in Christ Jesus. We need each other to do those deeds that He has prepared beforehand that we might walk in them.
Look at your life...are you trying to go it alone? Are you intentionally keeping people at a distance for all the wrong reasons? Are you living a life that is identified as being in Christ as your identity? Satan wants people to believe they are defined as their past failures. He wants people to believe they still divorced, still an alcoholic, they are still this or still that. He wanted me to believe that I was defined by what I was forgiven of!
As shown the other day what it says in Ecclesiastes ""And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart." 4:12 NASB.
Pray about your situation. Pray about who's lives you can be a part of. Pray about whom God would have in your life to help you grow, and for you to help them grow in Christ.