This will likely echo on my post about community from the other day, but we talked about drifting away from he faith in Adult Ed this morning at church and it just started me thinking.
The walking away from faith is a gradual thing. It’s not like we wake up one day and decide, “you know what? I don’t believe in Jesus anymore. ”
Often it starts when we find ourself out of Christian community. For me even sometimes between Sundays I feel like I have no desire to go to church and don’t care if I learn anything. Bt then, come Sunday, I go to church and find myself renewed and energized by having experienced the spirit and the encouragement of other believers.
That’s why meeting together with other believers is so important!
13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partners of Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end.
Hebrews 3:13-14 says it well. It is out duty as a community to encourage each other and to hold each other accountable. Through these things we will hopefully find tut selves renewed and able to hold fast our confidence in The Lord.
This is why belonging to a church body is important. It is within the church context that we find this type of encouraging community. Sure, the are churches that are discouraging and not life giving. But that is where discernment comes in when choosing where we will be plugged in. And plugging in is key. We can’t just attend a church and expect to get everything out of it. In order to be able to experience the full exhortation and moving of the Spirit, we have to be involved and willing! We must have open hearts to not only accept what the Spirit might have for us through others but also be open to hear and share what the Spirit gives us for the sake of others.
Truly life giving and life changing faith cannot happen outside of some type of body of believing community. It makes sense then that those who find themselves outside of such communities will tend to drift away.
23 Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. [Heb. 10:23-25]