I woke up this morning with a picture on my mind. It was of a small piece of wood separated from a fire. The thought came to me to pray that believers in the body of Christ would not grow cold.
As I spent time before the Lord in prayer I became deeply burdened about this.
When wood is separated from fire it eventually loses its heat and dies out.
The same can be true for Christians.
Gathering together has never been an option for the body of Christ. It’s essential to the spiritual life of the believer. “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25)
Meeting with other believers helps to keep our spiritual passion burning.
Acts 2:42-43, 46-47 describes how the New Testament church grew. “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. Everyday they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
The truth is, we need each other. Just like that piece of wood needs to be joined to the other burning ambers, in order to stay lit, so it is with Christians. We need to be joined with other Christian believers.
Here are some of the many reasons why this is true.
We need to pray for and with one another. We need to lay hands on each other and call out to God for his all-powerful healing and miraculous touch.
We need to take communion together so as to remind each other that just as our Lord Jesus left this earth so will he one day return for his church.
As well, we need to give and receive personal testimonies of how God is working. It’s important to share our celebrations and burdens, to rejoice with those who rejoice, and to mourn with those who mourn.
We’re also called to minister to one another, to use whatever supernatural gifts God has given each of us to pour into others’ lives. Paul exhorted Timothy to “fan into flame the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” (2 Tim. 1:6)
Accountability is another important reason and must be added this list. When we are not seen, we should be missed. Our presence is important and we should not be able to just slip through the cracks.
And lastly, we need to worship together. Corporate worship builds up the church.
“What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.” (I Cor. 14:26)
There’s something spiritually powerful about the people of God gathering together. It’s a bond that God has ordained for his church and for the good of his people.
Remember what your purpose is. Along with knowing and loving God, it’s to be a light that radiates the powerful life-changing message of Christ to a lost and very dark world.
Do whatever you need to do; take whatever steps you must take in order to maintain a burning passion for that purpose. Keep the flame burning.
I do understand that during this time of Covid-19 we need to care for ourselves and for those at risk.
But in our effort to stay safe we need to be careful not to fall into a trap of allowing ourselves to grow cold. It can happen. I see it happening to many Christians today.
Not gathering together can become a habit. And habits form quickly and are hard to break.
I’m not writing to tell you what you or your family should or should not do. That guidance must come from God. But what I am doing is encouraging you to ask God for direction. This should be our first step in any decision we make. Don’t assume anything and do not base any decision on either your own understanding, or on what the world is telling you to do.
Come before God in prayer and lay this situation out before him. He knows what you face. He understands your personal life situation even better than you do.
Ask him to personally lead you in the steps you and your family should take.
As you lay this before the Lord, trust him to lead you and then step out confidently in whatever God shows you to do. He wants the best for you. He will make things clear if you ask and trust him to.
Do not allow your life in Christ to grow cold.
Ask God for wisdom and direction in this time.
Fan the flame.
What if you prayed?