Endless Wilderness

Posted: March 23, 2015 in christian living, ecclesia, Jesus

Proverbs 18:1 A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.

The Lord calls many into the wilderness.  Yet everyone in the wilderness should be confident they are there on His calling and not their own.  Those who live in populated areas but can’t find even a single other saint or family to fellowship with after many years should consider this.  I am not referring to those who have extenuating circumstances that prevent them from fellowshipping in person, but those who are well able.

Some of the traits of those stuck in the endless wilderness:

  • Critical – see the smallest faults in others and isolate themselves to stay ‘pure’
  • Prideful – have no need of the body of Christ under the pretense of only being taught by God
  • Contentious – take every situation and blow it up into fleshy drama or continually act and speak in a graceless manner
  • Apathetic – laziness in seeking other believers to meet with
  • Afraid – past hurts by professing Christians make it easier to remain isolated than risk a repeat
  • Secretive – sinful lifestyle that can’t be hidden from others in true fellowship

There is a real cost to be paid to form real relationships with real saints in real life.  It may cost us our pride, time, energy, or take us out of our comfort zones.  It may cost us the ability to grant greater leniency to our own infirmities than we do to others.  Yet there is great blessing in having other believers to break bread with, pray with, feed the poor with, do street ministry with, sit and dig through the word over coffee late into the night on Friday with, etc in Jesus name.

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,  not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

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Comments
  1. Right to the point as usual Jim. I like your six reasons for being stuck as well and I know or have met people who fit into each one of those categories as I’m sure you have too.

    I think the only one that applies to me personally is “AFRAID,” not really because I’m personally afraid, but because past relationships generally cannot simply be started over by pushing the RESET button. There are reasons why certain things transpire and until those reasons are discussed a rekindling of relationships will be superficial at best. Furthermore, when a similar difficulty or new situation arises, who’s to say the same manner of problem solving won’t be utilized again. If our manner of interacting is flawed, that issue will arise sooner or later and have to be dealt with all over again.

    I hope you view me as someone who has always been open to criticism and willing to discuss whatever a friend or a brother deems to be a necessity with me or about me. That isn’t to say that I will always agree with the criticism, I may not, but I won’t hide from brothers who desire to share a concern with me and as I am able and led, to offer a Scriptural answer for my words and or actions.

    I sometimes still think I’m in the wilderness and to a degree may always be. But I also believe that provided we as individuals are not being purposefully disobedient to what God has called us to do (fellowship with those to whom He leads us or serve those He brings our way) or not to do (reject true Christians for some minor difference or superficial or trivial matter) than we are walking as we ought.

    I still don’t have weekly fellowship and I’ve been ridiculed over that. Despite this, every week I have both some fellowship and various divine appointments with a believing and unbelieving world. Not what I would prefer per say, but my Father knows both my needs and desires and also has taught me to be content and not extend myself where He has not led me. This last part was no doubt the hardest of all but also likely the most important for me personally.

    There is a purpose for the wilderness, and we are not meant to stay there forever. That said, may we be sure when our time is up, the reasons why and the direction we are heading as we exit. The promised land is waiting, but only after we’ve learned the lessons that only solitude with Him can teach us.

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