Left to our own devices, what hope of eternity with God do we have? Left by ourselves, what is the likelihood that we may slip? Left by ourselves, what could possibly go wrong? In Romans we read that "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. In Psalms we read that we were brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me. In Mark, we read Jesus telling us that from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, fornication, thefts, murders and adulteries. In Jeremiah, we read that the heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick. Who can understand it? 2 Timothy 3:2-4 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God."
In all that we do, we have to acknowledge that we were built and made for community. The Holy Trinity is the perfect and flawless example of this: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. They are the perfect community. They gave us an example of what perfect community is like.
So many men go the opposite ways of what God intended for us:
- Samson - he was one of the judges that God set forth for Israel. The only community that he had been those that opposed God's will around him He did not listen to his parents on who he should marry. He hung out with the wrong crowds who wanted to use him and others in his life to find the very essence of his strength. He never reasoned to common sense or to God's will for our life. Instead he reasoned with himself and what he wanted in that of immediate gratification. It was not until he was stripped of everything, eyes dug out from his head and chained to the enemy's pillars, did he realize how much he needed God for his strength. Imagine if Samson was surrounded by friends who were truly in community with him Telling him the way that it really is and being able to have permission to speak truth into his life when he veered to places he had no business going. Imagine if his parents rebuked and corrected his waywardness. What more do you think God would have done in this man's life.
- King David: We read early of a shepherd boy who has the heart of God. We read of a boy challenging a giant of the enemy who profaned the name of the Lord. We read about a boy (who would be anointed King) that began a friendship with the existing king's son (named Jonathon who was the rightful heir to the throne, but he was a prince that honored God's will instead of man). Jonathon was more than a fried to David, he was a brother. He kept him safe and alive when David wandered from the truth. He saved David from his own father, King Saul, and hid him from this danger. He gave David whatever needed. When this friend died with his dad in battle, David never found this accountability with other men (Yes, he did have the 400 might men of valor and they kept him somewhat accountable, but not in the way of biblical community and accountability that we need). We read at one point when Kings should be off to war, that David wasn't and because of that, he wondered from God and lusted for a woman on the rooftop and his life changed forever more. There was a great sin that kept getting worse and worse until God sent Nathan to call him out. Can you imagine being Nathan? Whoa, that would not be my first choice. All this to be said, what if Jonathon were still there or a brother (in Christ) that was there? Do you think David would be left behind or would he be in community with this trusted friend(s) and off to battle with them to where God wanted him to be?
- Job- was a man who God told Satan that there was no other man like this man of faith in all the earth. Job was a mighty man who prayed for his kids diligently and did all that was right in the eyes of the Lord. When he was tested and tried by the Devil we find that he lacked true community. His friends were not there for him in the way that God intends us to be with our brothers in Christ. They did the first thing right with him in that they sat quietly beside them. But then, like many of us, they tried to find all the "specks in Job's eyes" that had to be there for all these terrible things that happened to Job. Instead of treating him like he needed to be treated: To comfort, encourage and urge him to life a life worthy of God. Can you imagine with me if he had friends that sat beside him, allowed him to mourn the loss and didn't judge him. Can you imagine if he was surrounded by men of faith that truly cared for him and could not explain God to him, but instead trusted that God would see him through this and that they would be there through thick and thin because they loved him without condition? I mean, his own wife said to him, "why don't you curse God and die!" Really? Just imagine if they all said, "we are not sure why this is happening to you and I but come let us pray to God and seek his answers and know that we got your back?"
We all need to take a hard look at our lives and pray for God to reveal the logs in our own eyes before we try to point to the speck in our brothers eye. We need to seek purity and righteousness and try to be the men that God calls us to be.
We need to take an honest inventory of our life and write down the fruit of the Spirit that is evident in our life and if not that fruit, then we need to confess the sinful nature stuff in our life and ask God to remove that from us.
We need to put a brotherhood of community in our lives:
- Pray with others
- Be honest with others (that we can trust)
- If we don't have that or are not sure where to look (then we need to pray to God for him to bring them into our lives)
- We need to find a bible study of men where this is going on.
- We need to trust God by being in community with others.
We need to realize that the unholy trinity in our lives (me, myself and I) is not what God has intended for us, but what the enemy of our souls intends for us to do- to gratify our desires by the desires of the flesh and to turn away from God's Truth - HIS WORD!
Repent, confess and go the other way - for there is no other way but to trust and obey!