Those who lived in Africa might have seen this scene once at least: a hen always walks with the chicks around. My brother, my sister, let’s learn from the nature God created for us! Today, many believers deliberately decide to walk their Christian life alone. Only an unconverted believer would do such a thing. Why? Because the Bible says this of early followers of Christ: “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts” (Acts 2:46).
Now, let’s get into the Word to understand how important it is for us to fellowship with the others: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” (Romans 8:35). My friend, do your personal problems stop you from fellowshipping with the others? Then be careful and read on. You see, many believers who decide not to attend church services do it ONLY on selfish grounds and selfishness is what made Lucifer to be cast out of heaven. You may say you are tired physically (but if you had to go to work, you would have found the strength to do so, wouldn’t you?); you may feel spiritually dry (what is the real state of your relationship with the Lord, then?). And now if we look into things deeply, it may be because you still love yourself too much and have not loved the others enough that you would prefer to walk alone with the Lord Jesus. Let’s clarify here that walking alone was never taught by Christ Jesus: Jesus taught us to be together, and being together is where part of our character will be developed by God: how would you know you love your neighbour if you avoid that neighbour? Being together is where we learn to love like God wants us to love… And, God went further by showing us that the prayer we do with others are stronger than the one we do alone: “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:19). Why? Because God wants us to be united, and unity is the expression of His love.
Now let’s look at the consequences of choosing oneness over togetherness in our walk with the Lord. God does not move out of His Word: Peter’s power and maturity was manifested after he spent time with his brothers in prayer as Jesus asked them “stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high” (Luke24:49). Didn’t the apostle have their own families, their own lives to return to? Yet, Jesus asked them to remain TOGETHER! And “When they had entered the city, they went up to the upper room where they were staying… These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers” (Acts 1:13-14). And they experienced the Pentecost! Now, you who think you can walk alone and learn from the Lord in a selfish manner, you have not yet understood the love of God then. Besides, can the Lord trust you to be able to use the gifts He wants to give you when you still don’t understand the importance of His fellowship with the others, while that is where His loved is greatly manifested? Also, the gifts or talents that God specially gives to believers are given for the local church. Nowhere does the Bible teach that believers are free representatives of Christ, working outside the local church (1 Corinthians 12:4-6). Today’s verse tells us how important it is for us to be part of the body of Christ, but you can’t be part of the body by believing in Christ only, it is by being part of a member of the body, in other words by belonging to a local church (1 Corinthians 12:12). Can you imagine a married person telling his/her spouse, “I need a break from you” because he/she is not happy, or no matter what. There is no perfect local church, because the Lord allowed sinful man to take care of His church on His behalf. Yet, that should not be a reason for you to stay away from a local church, because if you checked yourself first you might find out things that are worse than whatever makes you stay away from fellowshipping with the others. My friend, staying away from church services without a valid reason is telling Jesus “I need a break from you” for you are His bride, because attending church services comes as a package for your Christian walk.
My friend, God has already set principles that none of us can change: to grow spiritually and mature in a way that God can use you, you need the others: you can read all the books and watch all preachings you find on the Internet about Spiritual growth, you still need to gather together with fellow believers to pray with them, be exhorted, be corrected, be encouraged, etc. Look at this: when you read a book, you are alone and you are reading what you chose to read and the book will teach you what you have chosen to be taught! When you are watching TV in your house, you are alone and you are watching that programme you think suits your need today. Who told you that what you think you need right now is what is God’s priority for you? It just shows how in control you are and want to be of your own spiritual life! Sorry, that has nothing to do with God, it is the devil alone who can encourage someone to stay away from fellowshipping with fellow brothers by bringing forth your own needs, whether spiritual or not. And let me add this: as Satan isolates you, he is preparing to jump on you like an hawk would jump on a chick that has wandered far from the hen. Even when God created Adam, the next thing He did was creating a companion for Him, so that Adam would not be alone. Only the devil can lie to you that you need to be alone instead of being around fellow brothers to pray together in unity, only Satan can tell you that you can learn much better when you are alone. My friend, when you are alone is the time to reflect and see how you can apply what you have learn in community to better yourself, to behave a bit more like Christ.
Yes, there is a time for everything under the sun (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8): a time to be tired, and a time to be strong; a time to do your own stuff and a time to do God’s stuff. A time for your relationship with God and a time for fellowshipping with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus Himself never isolated Himself when it was time for Him to fellowship with people, and He took time late at night to pray God and be alone with Him, so that when the time to be with others came, He would be present and minister to people. Never mix up things or find yourself excuses, for your excuses go against God who said we should not “not forsake our own assembling together, as is the habit of some” (Hebrews 10:19-25). Don’t be among that “some”, be among the others, trusting that the Lord knows why He is saying that. Stay blessed in Jesus’ name.