24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. - Hebrews 10:24-25
Faith grows in community - that's the way God designed us and that's the way it works. The enemy will fill our heads with a thousand reasons to stay home because even he knows this is the truth. He knows it's harder to challenge us where two or more are gathered in His name because he knows that God's manifest presence is there. We have to stand firm against the lies of the enemy that keep us from the very community that God designed for us - to grow us and challenge us, to love us and encourage us. We stand firm against his lies by preparing for them and recognizing them when they come.
I didn't always recognize them, and I've fallen victim many times. I've listened to the lie of busyness, believing I can't slack on my responsibilities for work or family; I've listened to the lies of trials, believing I am just overwhelmed with circumstances that are draining all my emotional resources and I don't have anything to pour into small group; I've listened to the lies that nobody wants to hear what I have to say anyway; I've listened to the lies of comfort, that it would just be easier to lay on my couch tonight; I've listened to the lies of judgment, believing that I can't share my heart or my situation; I've listened to the lies of isolation, feeling like I just don't want to be around people; I've listened to the lies of family, especially my children, believing that my children's or my family's needs outweigh my spiritual needs.
The reality is if you look deep enough, you can see my idols within each of those reasons - self, family, comfort. God created community so that our faith may flourish. But our faith flourishes in community when we put Him before all else. Committing to a community will bubble up to the surface all those idols we have in our lives in place of God if we're paying attention. For faith to truly flourish in community, we need to get on our knees and confess all those idols we've placed before Him, and we need to commit our hearts to placing Him above all the lies. Community with fellow believers - time spent with Him, growing and being encouraged, must be our priority. Above all else.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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