S172P8 – Lost opportunities: valuable fellowship

Heb. 10:23‭-‬25

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.  And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

They were church shopping as they had left their old congregation in search of something more suitable for them.  They had the kind of Christian community in which many of their brothers and sisters went to other churches, so they had a lot of options.  Each Sunday, they would try a new service, and each Sunday, they would decide the fit was not quite right.  At the heart of the matter were not issues of doctrinal difference or preaching style.  It really came down to intimacy.  They had left their old church as a result of offense, and they simply could not see themselves getting that close to people again.  They could go it alone, but they would lose out on that necessary fellowship of the saints.

I took some time myself away from the standard western organized church structure for a season.  A few of us decided to try having our own house church, and it lasted for a short while.  I can speak for myself in saying that I wanted a closer bond with only a few people because I thought that it would help me avoid things like gossip and division and doctrinal disagreement.  What I found was that those issues can exist even between just two brothers.  I was trying to run away from problems that are certain to exist, but the only way to avoid them is to be alone.  However, scripture calls us to be part of a body, which means that our fellowship is required for our success.  Those who try this walk on their own will lose out.

The closer we get to that Day, the more pressure will be on the Church to bend and break.  We may get on one another’s nerves or drive one another crazy from time to time, but we need the saints.  If we forsake assembling together, then we rob ourselves of our power.  We render the Church not just ineffective but powerless to complete the work God has for her to finish.  If we want to speed the coming of the Lord, we must be united in our work.  When we try to do this alone, we miss the valuable opportunity of walking with our brothers and sisters in power.  Father, remind us daily that we cannot fulfill your will without unity in the body through your Spirit.