Hebrews 10:24-25 - And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
For weeks I have had this go through my head. I have been part of a new church for six months now. While I am accepted and I'm very glad to be where no nonsense preaching is done...love amidst the hard words of Christ...no glossing over the hards words of truth...I am struggling a bit with fitting in. I know this is where I am to be. God directed me there. He laid the foundation two years, maybe more, before I even realized I would leave one church for another.
But there are established friendships which I seem to be having a difficult time entering into. Maybe six months isn't enough time. Maybe, on the other hand, this is God's will for me...to not be so wrapped up in friends and growing closer to Him. He did, after all, remind me after I worried about leaving all my friends, that it's not about the friends I would be leaving, but about following where He was leading me. Matthew 12:48-50 - But He answered... “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”
So, okay, I am seeing two thing here. It's about following Him...and His friends are His followers. I know these people in this church are His followers too, and they are friends. So where's the problem? I can only believe that God will be continuing to direct my path and help me to see what all is going on. I'm sure it has to do with me and a change that needs to take place in me. I'm seeing this outside of church too. Directions I need to take. Words I need to speak. Fears I have to get over. Oh, praise God for the excitement in that!
It's so all about Him. Though I'm not certain where He is leading, I can do nothing but trust Him. There may be a major breakthrough for me along the way, one I cannot possibly fathom! Hah, I have been waiting for a major breakthrough for years...perhaps it won't be major but little by little, without my even recognizing it! Just like Him to do that.
I just know that while I question this feeling of aloneness in the midst of a congregation, I am also reminded that we are not to forsake the assembling together...God has appointed us to do so and it is where He is glorified in the midst of it. It is where we are instructed/instruct, encouraged/encourage...and perfected in Him (certainly what I need...don't we all). We are all needed with whatever we have to offer.
The part of that scripture that caused me to dig deeper was as is the manner of some. I found this explanation. It mainly deals with the Christians in Jesus' day, those who were turning radically from one religion to follow a man who turned religion upside down. It ends with a thought on today's thinking:
(1) some may have been deterred by the fear of persecution, as those who were thus assembled would be more exposed to danger than others. (Jews turning to Christianity...which even happens today.)
(2) some may have neglected the duty because they felt no interest in it - as professing Christians now sometimes do. (Today some have no interest in Christianity or any religion or blatant rejection of it.)
(3) it is possible that some may have had doubts about the necessity and propriety of this duty, and on that account may have neglected it. ("Christians" like I was who believed in Christ but didn't feel a need for a church.)
(4) or it may perhaps have been, though we can hardly suppose that this reason existed (back then), that some may have neglected it from a cause which now sometimes operates - from dissatisfaction with a preacher, or with some member or members of the church, or with some measure in the church. (Needs no explanation.) (Barnes Commentary)
I'm seeing that in the days ahead we cannot go on on our own without the assembly, rooted and grounded in at least the same beliefs. We need to know there are those around we can turn to in a time of need...or be there in the time of someone else's need. Who am I to say I can do this on my own? I know I cannot. I know I need the assembly. I learn from Christ but am strengthened by others here on earth as well...if I open my mouth to speak of the weaknesses I have, the doubts, the sin areas in my life. It's called corporate worship.
Colossians 3:16 - Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.