“For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.” 1 Cor. 12:12-14………….
“I have a confession to make,” I told a beloved friend who is my sister in the Lord, my friend, and co-laborer in this little ministry with which the Lord has entrusted me. “I thought about calling you yesterday, but I was ashamed.”
“I was ashamed of how much I’ve been struggling,” I essentially said.
Then came the rest of my confession.
“And I didn’t want to burden you,” I effectively said. More than I already had. Whether I said that, I don’t know. But it was undoubtedly in my heart.
And there it was. My confession. Just a little over a month after arriving in New York City to do streets ministry and press on in writing tracts, devotionals, and books that go anywhere and everywhere around the world the Lord desires, with my little crew of special needs and senior rescued dogs in tow, the biggest step of faith I’ve ever taken as a Christ follower, imagine, there I was facing ugly awful yucky really, really hard spiritual warfare as Satan came at me to try to shut me down and stop me from moving ahead in my ministry work for Christ, not to mention dealing with the Lord continuing His ever work in me as He day by day conforms me to Himself and grows me in His image.
My friend had stuck by me, day after day, day after day, loving me, encouraging me, listening to me, praying for me, asking others to pray for me, sending me an amazing care package put together by her and other dear friends, challenging me when she saw me falling and pushing me to get up and keep walking forward by faith. But I had reached a point in which I couldn’t imagine reaching out to her once more and asking for more love, help, prayer, and support. I was ashamed. I figured I should be “farther along than this.” “I should know better than this, and be doing better than this.” “I’ve been following Christ for a good long while now, so I shouldn’t be struggling.” Oh, those awful thoughts. How ashamed I was! And afraid she would be upset with me.
The Lord set me straight. He reminded me of something that comes with a warning I would like to issue here.
God created all of humanity as one whole. We are to love Him with all our hearts and to love each other in Christ’s name. And for those who turn away from a lifestyle of sin and believe Jesus Christ died on the cross for us and was raised from the dead and genuinely devote their lives to Christ, we are forgiven and welcomed into God’s adopted forever family. We become Christ followers, and all who follow Christ are part of the Body of Christ. As one friend says, “we’re all in this together.”
Friend, we were not created to live alone. We were created to love and worship God through Christ forever, and to be in His presence for eternity, which is why He sent Jesus Christ to the cross. To die in our place for our sins so we could turn to God and His ways forever and have everlasting fellowship with God. AND to join all the other Christ followers in God’s adopted everlasting family. On earth, and in heaven. Not alone. Together. With God. With others.
So here’s the WARNING. We should NOT be ashamed to reach out for love, encouragement, prayer, support, help, etc. We should not worry about burdening others. We SHOULD reach out first and foremost to the Lord Jesus Christ, and we SHOULD reach out to our fellow Christ followers. For love and help when we need it, and to give love and help when others need it. And to co-labor in loving and serving God forever!
The devil wants to isolate us, to separate us, to keep us away from God, and from God’s followers. And our flesh, listening to the devil, can fall into fear, shame, self-pity, pride, and a whole host of other sins which when our hearts and mouths and actions become riddled with such sin, we can find ourselves as I did that day. This is wrong, and it’s dangerous, and it needs to be stopped.
Praise the Lord, He moved in my heart and orchestrated that my friend and I would have a conversation during which time she felt compelled to pray for me, and I unloaded my heart, and the Lord used our time together in His presence to help me.
Please reach out continually to God almighty, and please reach out to others as He leads you. Please don’t let shame and fear and pride etc. stop you from reaching out to others both to give – and to receive. We were created to walk with the Lord, and to walk with others in His love. All for His glory, amen!