While catching up on my weekly blog-reading, I happened upon a post from a lovely blogger, Susan Stillwell, discussing the importance of intentionally strengthening your faith life. She points her readers to three necessary steps.
First Step: "Corporate Worship." (As a worship pastor's wife, I approve!) Hebrews 10:25 reminds us not to get in the habit of skipping out on meeting together with the believers.
The old language says, "do not neglect meeting together." I would venture to guess for us, it means, "go to church, go to small group, meet with other people that encourage you to live out your faith, have accountability."
Second Step: We need Christ followers that will challenge us, encourage us, convict us, and walk alongside us in the middle of messy life.
Stillwell recognizes there is more to faith than Corporate Worship and small groups. Jesus didn't show up to the temple, eat lunch at the Chinese Buffet with the disciples afterward, and then check out for the rest of the week. He sought his Father in private. He longed to be with Him.
Following Christ means we are actively cultivating our relationship with the Lord. We're seeking him, we're enjoying him, we're resting in him.
Church is great. Small groups are great. Both are necessary. But, we can't get everything from the herd, people. We have to do some of the work for ourselves. This is the beauty of the relationship with Christ. In the bounds of personal relationship, we have the power to live by faith, to stand tall, preserving our souls till the end. (Heb. 10:38-39)
I love this quote from 19th Century preacher, Charles Spurgeon:
Today, as we meet together in the body of Christ, drink in fellowship. Enjoy and encourage. Listen and meet needs. Then, go home and grind your own wheat, gather your corn, pick your fruit, and stoop to drink.
This week, meet Jesus for yourself.