Our sinful nature does not desire for us to live in community with others. Instead, it encourages us to live in isolation, away from anyone who might disrupt our lives.
Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Reflect on your own relationships … your family, your marriage, your friendships. Are these close relationships sometimes difficult? Do they ever force you to recognize some of your own sins and weaknesses?
It’s at such times that the sinful nature whispers in your ear, “Why should you have to change to accommodate them? What about you and your needs? Besides, you were doing just fine on your own before they came along.”
Community is difficult for everyone, but it is tremendously good for you. After all, the sinful nature that makes community difficult is the very thing God saved you from through Jesus Christ. Now God desires to shape you into a person after His heart, and it is within the community of the family of God that this process takes place.
Ephesians 2:19-22 teaches that as a follower of Christ, you are a member of the family of God, and that along with other Christians you are “being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”
The community of the church is where God wants you to learn to live by His Spirit. So don’t listen to the sinful nature and live in isolation. Seek out a local church and commit to live in deep and meaningful community with other Christians.
Prayer for the day:
Today, pray that God will lead you into deeper fellowship with other Christians. If you are not a part of a local body of Christians in a church, ask God to lead you to the place where He wants you to serve and grow. Finally, ask God to use your relationships with other Christians to teach you to live by His Spirit.