Strength Through Togetherness
But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus. (2 Corinthians 7:6)
One of the devil’s greatest tactics is to try to isolate God’s people. Right at the beginning, he tried to isolate Eve from Adam, and both of them from God. Thrilled with his success, he has tried to do the same with God’s people ever since: he tempted David when he was alone and his friends were away at battle; he tempted Elijah to think he was on his own in confronting Ahab and the prophets of Baal; he tempted Jeremiah to feel utterly deserted to the point of black despair. Truly, isolation is one of his greatest weapons.
This is why it is so important for God’s people to meet together; for when we are alone, we are so much more vulnerable to his accusations and attacks. Yet here is the strange thing: when we feel spiritually ‘down’, the very last thing we want to do is to meet with God or with other Christians! And, of course, the devil confirms such thoughts. ‘You’re better off by yourself.’ ‘No one cares about you anyway.’ ‘No one understands you.’ ‘You’ve got to get through this on your own.’ Ever felt those sort of things?
Perhaps it was these sort of thoughts that the writer to the discouraged Hebrew Christians had in mind when he reminded them of the importance of gathering together to share in God’s presence and to encourage one another. Even as great a figure as the apostle Paul felt the need of God’s people. He wrote to the Corinthians of his struggles in Macedonia, and of how gracious God was in sending his dear friend Titus to him to encourage him in his time of need.
To admit we need our brothers and sisters in Christ is not a mark of weakness, but of strength; weakness is to feel that we do not need them! Today, don’t let the devil isolate you; rather enjoy God’s promised provision through his people.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont