Lately I have been reading some of Paul's Letters, and studying the life of Jesus. After reading the crucifixion of Jesus, and all the trials that Paul had been through, I realized that neither of them had friends to console them. Jesus was abandoned by his closest friends the moment trouble was stirred up. Paul appears to have the same trouble when he got into jail.
Nonetheless, these men persevered to the end, without help or support from piers. Jesus went through the worst of all trials in utter, unimaginable loneliness. Paul felt betrayed, but kept writing letters, and did not let his joy escape him. Jesus was left by God, but finished His task.
As I read the testimony of these two men, I asked myself "What if you didn't have any friends in church? Would you serve in the same ministries? Would you serve with the same passion? Would you worship with the same disposition?"
I feel like sometimes my relationship with God directly reflects my relationship with my friends. If I had a disagreement, or misunderstanding with a friend, then God becomes second priority. Or if I just had a great talk with a friend, God is awesome! Dependency on earthly relations is wrong.
What would my walk with Christ look like without my piers?
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
When running the race, our eyes should not be on the runners beside us, for they will always fail. We should keep our eye on the prize. On Christ Jesus, for He is our prize.
It is SO easy to be caught up in the "social church" atmosphere, and forget that our relationship with Christ is intimate, not social. Forget everyone, and focus on Jesus.
But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load
Constantly examining my motives is a huge necessity for me. I need God to show me why I am serving, praying, leading, loving, reading, working, encouraging, seeking or discerning. The line is so thin, and nothing can take the place of my purpose, except to know Christ, and to make Him known.
Being left lonely is just another part of being a Christian. When times are good, and many people are running the race, it is easy to stay motivated. But when people start leaving, it becomes increasingly hard to continue running with the same ferocity. Our fervor and zeal should be dependent on Christ, and not the ever-changing world.
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