Think about it…how many times have you heard someone say something along these lines: “My faith is my faith, it’s private, it’s personal.” While I can certainly agree with the sentiment behind the idea that “one’s faith is private and personal.” (After all, walking with Jesus is a very personal experience.), I cannot ignore the clear teaching of Scripture that we were never meant to walk with Jesus alone. For all you introverts out there (I am one as well), this may sting. The truth is that “Your walk with God is a Community Project.” Let me show you.
Here’s what Colossians 3:15-17 says:
“15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 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. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Here’s how we sometimes want verse 16 to read:
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, and let it teach and admonish you in all wisdom, you sing songs to and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
But regardless of what we want it to say, it says what it says and it means what it means. It says, “teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom.” The New testament is filled with “one another” statements. “Love one another”, “bear with one another”, “honor one another”,”instruct one another,” and on and on it goes. Why? Because your walk with God is a community project.
So why has God given us this mandate? Because our sin can blind us to what will ultimately destroy us. The truth is that the people whom God has placed in your life who want to walk with you and help you grow in your faith are not enemies to be avoided. Rather they are a gift of God’s grace to be embraced. I know what you’re thinking, “Every time I let someone get close and truly start to know the real me, I get hurt by them, they let me down.”
And here is where the beauty of the cross should captivate your heart. Through the gospel, through Jesus in your place and mine…you can walk with God and with others with complete confidence that His grace is sufficient for every weakness in your life. None of us are perfect, we all need grace. And that takes the tension out of discipleship relationships.
Maybe you’re reading this now and thinking to yourself, “I don’t have anyone in my life who is willing to walk with me and help me grow in my relationship with Jesus.” If that’s you, I would encourage you to sign up for Starter Groups at Mercy Hill. Starter Groups are a great way to get involved in Biblical Community and get to work on the “community project” that is your walk with Jesus! You can find out more info and sign up by clicking the link below.
-Randy Titus (Campus Pastor)