S175P3 – Filling the empty space: 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.

When I was a child, I developed a certain pattern of behavior whenever I was upset about anything.  I never wanted to talk about my feelings.  I never wanted to engage others in my distress.  I simply wanted to be alone to think about what I was feeling and sort it out myself.  Of course, that was not the healthy route to take.  What I ended up doing was brooding for hours or even days about a matter and never resolving it.  In the process, I would alienate those who cared about me and wanted to help.  That pattern of behavior continued into adulthood, and I suffered many broken relationships as a result.  What I did not know then but surely know now is that we were not meant to go it alone.

When we feel spiritually empty, we might be tempted to keep that to ourselves whether out of shame or out of pride.  Perhaps we think that we are not worthy of being around those who are spiritually full and animated in their faith.  This is a great deception of the enemy that convinces us that our solitude is valuable or preferable in some way.  He does not want us to realize the great benefit we have in fellowshipping with the saints.  If we view the matter reasonably and objectively, it seems obvious that it is better for an empty vessel to associate with full vessels who can pour into it out of themselves.  That is what we do for one another as we fellowship even if we do not realize it.  In fact, it is our duty to the body. 

This passage tells us that exhortation is a key to fellowship.  That is why it is so important for us to keep this up instead of thinking that it is not necessary for our individual faith.  We speak so much about being the face of Jesus to the world, about being his hands and feet to the lost, but we cannot forget that we are to be Jesus to the saints as well.  The same way He encourages us, we must encourage one another when that emptiness sets in.  God gives us tools and resources to help us work out our salvation, and we are that for one another.  Let us use the resource wisely. Father, give us the humility and wisdom to seek out our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to help refill us when we feel empty.