ECCLESIASTES 4:9-12 – Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
THEME OF THE DAY. A MATTER OF SPIRITUAL SURVIVAL. We live in a scary, fear-producing, and dangerous world. It is simply a fact, a Biblical fact, and it isn’t going to get better. The consequences of this, along with our remaining sin, are many, but two prevalent attitudes in this world are the privatization of our lives and individualism. And with the explosion of the internet and social media, privatization and individualism are rampant. It is seen in such clarity in the shift of relationships from “face to face” to “face time” via technology. We are spending more time texting, messaging, posting, and living out relationships through screens and phones instead of eye-to-eye togetherness. Now I am not advocating going “wire-less” by abandoning the internet or jettisoning our phones. But there are relationship consequences of living in a privatized and individualized culture. And those consequences have negatively impacted the church and Christian life. Don’t lose sight that God’s original creation of human beings was that of no privatization or individualized living. God did not create us to be individually isolated from Him and other people. Nor did He create the church, the Bride of His Son, the Lord Jesus, to be lived out privately and individually apart from other Christians.
As a pastor, an alarming trend I see among professing Christians in my church is the ease of being satisfied with an hour or two of “Christianity” on a Sunday morning, but no involvement in the body life of our church apart from this limited, on the fringe participation. And for those of you getting our daily nugget, I am sure this is occurring in your churches too. It is the consequence of the world influencing the church. I have often wondered of those Christians who don’t get involved in church life around prayer, the Word, and service if they are reading their Bibles? Oh, I don’t say that in judgment. Actually in bewilderment. A person who reads the Bible with honesty and objectivity will immediately see that Christianity and our walks with the Lord are never private or isolated from spiritual life investments with other Christians. Yes, we are saved individually but we do not or cannot live out our Christianity privately.
So, let me get really upfront and personal with all of us . . . Christian, you must pray with other Christians; be in the Word of God with other Christians; serve in your church with other Christians; faithfully worship with other Christians; and practice life-on-life fellowship with other Christians. It is a matter of spiritual survival. Christians who don’t live this Biblical description of the Christian life are not only disobedient but self-deceived opening the door to spiritual disaster. Attempt to go alone in the Christian life and an indifferent spiritual condition of worldliness occurs. And what soon follows is the blinding of one’s understanding of their true spiritual condition. Such individuals may actually believe they are living the Christian life when just the opposite is occurring. They are living religiously moral lives, not Bible-defined Christian lives.
When it comes to the forms of deception by the world and devil, they pale in comparison with self-deception – the worst of all forms. The Apostle James warns us . . . But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves (James 1:22). And it happens, self-deception, when we don’t do what the Bible tells us. Think about this when it comes to defining the Christian life and how God directs it to be lived out – not privately or individually but in body life with His people, then ask of yourself, “Is my Christianity Biblical or private and individual?”
PRAYER: “Father, help me not to deceive myself by trying to live an isolated Christian life.”
QUOTE: “Neglect being with other Christians in prayer, the Word, service, and fellowship and spiritual disaster looms.”