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Monday, 26 August 2013

"I can go it alone, I don't need anyone!"

This is one of the biggest lies my mind fed me with over the past few years - that I should go it alone in the world, be fully independent & rely only on myself (masked as relying only on God), not trusting anyone because many people had proven themselves untrustworthy in the past or had fallen short of the high expectations I had had for them.

I put in brackets; 'masked as relying on God' because I would convince myself so often that because the Bible tells us to 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart' (Proverbs 3:5), and that 'My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus' (Phil 4:19); that therefore I needed no one but God - it was God and I against the world. This became my excuse when I needed one, to defend my desire to face life without the complications of other people.
Don't get me wrong; God is all that we need, and He is the only truly trustworthy one who will supply every need, but we must take a step back and look at the bigger picture of God's character and His desires for us.

[If you have never seen the movie 'Into the Wild', I recommend you watch it. It shows the true story life journey of a young American who decides to retreat from society to embark on a journey alone to Alaska, leaving everyone he once knew behind him... on His journey he finally comes to the recognition that man was not meant to be alone]

His Character
God Himself is a God of community. He is a God of three in one. A trinity. A dance of 3 persons - Father, Son & Holy Spirit working in perfect harmony with each other - each fulfilling their role within the one Godhead (Yes, this is complex I know but bare with me).
This is our first clue as to understanding that God never meant for us to travel our journey of life alone. As Genesis 1:27 tells us, we are made in God's image. When we are in community with each other, this is when we best reflect Him. When we work in harmony together, we become more like Him.
If the Spirit said to the other two, "I think I can do my job without you"; not only would the Spirit loose his purpose of bringing people into salvation and relationship with God, as well as the ability to take up residence in the hearts of Christians (because the spirit we are told is sent by Jesus)... but for us as God's people it would mean that we could have no love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, goodness, faith, faithfulness, meekness, nor temperance (Gal 5:22-23) - for the Holy Spirit is how we receive these fruits for Christian living.
Neither could we conquer sin or death, nor could we inherit justification as children of God (Romans 8:9-17). In fact there is an endless list of things which would be cut off for us if any one of the 3 persons of our one God, were not within the dance of the trinity.
So too, when we remove ourselves from each other and become independent from the body of Christ, putting up a wall against the world; do we not only miss out personally on some of the great ways God can use the fruits and gifts He has placed in other people to bless us in many ways, but we also cannot bring into the body of Christ what God has blessed us with - and therefore we selfishly stop our brothers and sisters in Christ from benefiting from what we can bring to their lives (and yes we all have something to bring, even me...even you!) - read 1 Cor 12.
Genesis 12 is the first hint at this "blessed to be a blessing" idea - "I will bless you... you will be a blessing to others…all the families on earth will be blessed through you". 
So basically... don't be selfish... share what you have with others and allow others to be blessed by you. You can't do this if you never let anyone into your world, or if you don't allow yourself to be vulnerable.

                                                      His Desire for us
Jesus says, "I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10). 
I personally don't think that this means; "Protect yourself at all cost and avoid relationships with people because they might not be all they seem. You're better off alone. You can trust only yourself."
NO. I think it means what it says. LIFE TO THE FULL.
Let's look at what the Bible says about how we are relate to each other - the word of God is much more telling than my rambling...

  • 'Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:  If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up' (Ecc 4:9-10)
  • 'My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends' (John 15:12)
  • 'What good fellowship we once enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God' (Psalm 55:14)
  • 'Then the Lord God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him"' (Gen 2:18) !!!

Help each other. Love each other. Walk your journey of faith with others. Be accountable. Allow others to help you and love you in this world. Be in community. Reflect God.

Yes - no one can deny that we as humans fail each other. We upset and hurt each other whether we mean to or not. But if we don't make ourselves vulnerable to this possibility, then we block off the possibility of the beautiful friendships and relationships we could have which would bless us and them so greatly. We hinder ourselves from becoming more and more like Him, and we can easily become bitter and resentful; therefore certainly not living life to its fullest.

Please, stop trying to do everything alone (or 'with only God'). Invite people into your life. Share with people. Live life to the full.
If you struggle with believing you are worth other peoples love because of things people have said to you in the past, know that this is a lie and a tactic from the deceiver to cause you to retreat away from the world - He uses this tactic because it is a position in life for which we were not created to be in. We were created for community and therefore the evil one will do all in his power to keep us out of that fellowship. Recognise his tactics. You deserve love because you were created for it.
What is laughter if we laugh alone? What is a memory with no one to share it with? How can we love with no one to love, or without anyone to show us what love looks or feels like? How can we learn, or fellowship, or grow, or heal, or unburden ourselves, or use our gifts... if we are too scared to take a risk on sharing our lives with the person opposite us who actually might need you to be strong and share something real with them in order for them to feel comfortable enough to then share something with you which you might be able to help them resolve? For me, it came down to this - the Christian life is bigger than me.

If you are in a place in your life were you have been hurt and let down countless times by people you trusted, and have been left wary of letting people in again - then you need to find it within you to talk to someone about it. Remember forgiveness. It releases you from the pain you carry around.
Take a step towards trusting at least one person with a glimpse into your life - and trust God to guide you to someone who will encourage you faithfully and will be a constant person for the time that you need.

Contrary to what you might have thus far experienced - there are many trustworthy people who will love, listen and support you as you deserve to be.

                                               'Happiness is only real when shared' - Into the Wild

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