Why am I always so hesitant to gather?
Why do I always see the distance I have to drive?
The screaming kids I have to transport?
The house I have to clean?
The work I have to prepare?
The things I need to remember?
I’m like the anti-Martha, I don’t want to do anything to get ready because I am already tired. I just want to sit around at Jesus’ feet, but I want to do it alone. I am not sure I am much of a Mary either, because I am pretty sure Mary didn’t plan to close the door on the disciples before they arrived.
Can you even imagine that?
How could I want to shut out modern day disciples of Christ?
Disciples who are ready to:
Stir up Good Works and to Encourage:
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Heb. 10:24)
Bring Christ with them:
For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them. (Mt. 18:20)
Light a House on Fire with Wisdom and Joy:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Col. 3:16)
Teach me Humility:
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. (Ro. 12:16)
Build Love, Compassion and Sympathy:
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. (1 Pet. 3:8)
Foster Stronger Faith:
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Ro. 10:17)
The real roots of Christian life are watered when we gather.
They are watered when we look at a brother or sister and say, “I need you…”
Not when we say,
I have figured out the way.
In my home I am going to stay,
so I can stay above the fray.
When we do this, we start to spiritually decay.
Christianity is meant to be an “I need you…” kind of thing. It’s supposed to be an “I-can’t-be-all-God-wants-me-to-be-without-you” kind of thing.
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. (1 Cor. 12:27)
If we all make up his body, is there a use for a head, without a neck? If we don’t have each other, can we, the body, really operate effectively?
Rolling heads really can’t serve God and they surely can’t carry out God’s mission on earth with any power. Rolling heads can’t even speak coherent words because they haven’t been fed by the body.
Faith is really developed as we feed the body and build each part stronger. Then each part can go and accomplish what it was set forth to do.
As the body meets, Christ meets the body.
As the body gathers, Christ equips it.
As the body prays, Christ is present.
As the body moves, Christ prompts it through his word.
Christ equips his body, because his body is him. He comes to strengthen us, the body carriers, who are all at work building up the body of Christ, attaining the unity of faith and the knowledge of the son of God, until we attain the full measure of Jesus Christ (Eph. 4:12-13).
I want a “full measure of Jesus Christ”, don’t you?
Until then, I am starting to think the secret to unity is found in this verse:
“Be humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:2-3)
Perhaps, the biggest reason why I may not want to meet is that I fear I won’t bear up under another or I will get annoyed or I will judge. I am afraid. Perhaps, it’s not even about them, but it is about me and my fears.
But, here is the thing, if we are the body of Christ and Christ lives in us, then in a sense, there is nothing for me to fear. Because “there is no fear in love. But perfect love (the perfect love of Christ) drives out fear…” (1 John 4:18)
Gathering as a body, unites the body in love and, through the power of Jesus Christ, fear is cast out.
Who needs to fear
when Christ has already made me entirely secure in his love
and incredibly significant through his promises?
In this, there is no longer fear when others gather near, but only a deep knowledge that Christ is near.
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Today I am joining #LiveFreeThursday and Five Minute Friday.
32 CommentsLeave a comment
Wowsers. This really hits home: ” I fear I won’t bear up under another or I will get annoyed or I will judge. I am afraid.”
And you’re so right – it’s not about them. It’s about me. And it shouldn’t be.
My passion/mission/calling is to help spread the word of math. This seems to be a mostly faithless endeavor, until I think about all the heartache experienced by kids and grownups alike.
And I think about how Jesus sat among the people to teach. Not above them, but with them. Teaching about embracing. Teaching about being comfortable with the things we fear.
The fear and heartache people feel toward math now is the same yukky feeling people in Jesus’s time had. It’s just a different focus.
So it’s time for me to gather my courage. Push away my own fear. And help others better and faster with theirs.
Thanks so much Kelly! #xoxo
Stay strong. You have been called to teach, embrace and bring comfort. Your work is valuable and powerful. God is using you. Be courageous and go in faith, not fear dear Bon.
Thanks for the encouraging words. The scriptures and message were just what I needed. Thanks for the inspiration to get out of my comfort zone and gather!
You bet Kayla! I am glad that these words spoke to you and encouraged you to move forward. Blessings to you as you grow deeper and deeper in the body of Christ.
Love this. Exactly what I needed to hear this week. Thanks, Kelly. Happy to be visiting again from FMF. Particularly liked this part: “Christianity is meant to be an “I need you…” kind of thing. It’s supposed to be an “I-can’t-be-all-God-wants-me-to-be-without-you” kind of thing.”
Thanks Heather. It is a joy to have you here. Come back again. Let’s be united in Christ with other believers as we follow our Savior right up to heaven!
“I’m like the anti-Martha… and I’m not Mary either.” Interesting that you say this, Kelly. I have felt the same way from time to time, but the great news is there is plenty of room for the Marthas and the Marys in God’s kingdom! 🙂 For whatever reason this post and the #FMFparty topic reminds me of the Matt Maher song that goes “I need you, oh I need you, every hour I need you. My one defense, my righteousness, oh God how I need you.”
Thanks for reading this Nicki. There is room for both, thank you for this Jesus. They kind of calm each other down, don’t they. I hope you have a great weekend. I love seeing your smiling face on the blog, Nicki. Stay warm!
Gosh, Kelly, you have outted me in so many ways with this post. I, too, can push back from gathering. It is too hard, too much work, to much expectation, just too much. What erred thinking. Jesus could easily have decided it was too much to gather, but He didn’t. Thanks, friend, for such a convicting post. #FMFparty
Leah, I know what you mean about the gathering. It’s funny because I so often don’t want to do it, but after feel so good. Jesus was such a gatherer. Much love to you and have a fabulous weekend Leah.
I think for many of us there are many says when we are afraid to gather but you are right…perfect love casts out fear. God does indeed equip the body to gather through him.
Yes, he equips us so much and I find he almost always blesses this time. Thank you Tara for visiting today. It is a joy to have you.
Now I know this took more than five minutes to write – but wow I’m so glad you wrote it all!!! I get it, I really get it. #FMF
You are right! After I finished it – I said dang, I cheated! Whoops. 😉 Thank you so much I am glad you get it!
Thank you, Kelly for this encouragement! I love the words, “I am afraid. Perhaps, it’s not even about them, but it is about me and my fears.” Whenever I feel the tendency to isolate from the body, the truth is, it usually is about me, my fears of not measuring up, of not being enough. We all need to be reminded that we do need each other! I love #livefreethursday!
Absolutely Lisa. It is such a treat to have you visiting today. Let’s go forward with passionate faith-filled love that casts out our every fear. Blessings to you and have a great weekend!
I can so relate to being the anti-Martha! I do get busy and love gatherings, but what I really love is quiet and calm and time with Jesus, time writing. So these days sometimes I have to push myself to gather with others, keep myself in the real world! And God gives plenty of opportunities! And Christ comes near! Blessings, dear friend!
I know what you mean. You encourage me with the idea that Christ always comes near. I need to stretch out a bit I think, Betsy!
Powerful words, Kelly. I admire your honesty here:
“Perhaps, the biggest reason why I may not want to meet is that I fear I won’t bear up under another or I will get annoyed or I will judge. I am afraid. Perhaps, it’s not even about them, but it is about me and my fears.”
I appreciate your willingness to speak openly and honestly when you write. I needed to hear these words today. The Lord is using you to move hearts and draw His people near. I am so very blessed by you! Thank you for sharing.
Thank you Tina. The second part – about it being me didn’t come until I was right there at the end of the post. Don’t you love how the Holy Spirit works?
Kelly, I am the same way. My husband, however, is the outgoing social bug! Sometimes we need a little ‘push’ to bring us to that place where we can embrace community. I know I do! Of course, when I get past my wall and gather with others, I always enjoy it. So glad God is patient with me! Blessings, friend:)
God is so patient Kristine. Thank you for your words. He loves us so and just wants us to enjoy being in Him – in His body.
Oh my Lord!! I had to comment on your post. You have told me I’m not alone with my struggle to not gather. I’m an introvert by nature but know that God’s plan has never been that we be alone. I’ve prayed for revelation and I got it.
Our enemy doesn’t want us to gather and spur each other to love & do good because of the power that will come from it.
I was also convicted that if we complain about the lack of “love and good works” in the body, are we gathering to spur them on?
Yes, I am so glad that God spoke to you. What a gift to hear that He is speaking and moving through my words. I pray that you can walk outside of yourself and be drawn further and further into faith as you trust him.
I am afraid. Perhaps, it’s not even about them, but it is about me and my fears.
…And a deep knowledge that Christ is near. Amen Kelly. Amen.
That made me smile–I can see you writing it. Hugs! Susan
Thanks Susan! XOXO I miss you friend.
I’ve been thinking I need to find a bunch of Christians to hang out with – so I went to church yesterday. I’m going again next week!
This is great Pam! Way to go. This will do wonders for your soul!
I’m an introvert and I love my time alone. Sometimes I have to purposely choose to “go out there” for a lack of a better term. But those times of fellowship are so sweet. I love my fellow sisters in Christ and fellow believers in church. We have so much to give each other.
I get you. Fellowship is something that we hesitate in doing, but when we do, we are so thankful we did. Thank you for sharing this with me Debbie. I am delighted you come to visit today!
Gathering with other believers is kind of like exercise for me. I don’t always want to go and do it, but I’m glad I did afterwards. This was beautifully written.
You are so right Dawn! It is just like that!