MONDAYS WITH KERRI
Last week we talked about the importance of choosing God as our spiritual covering. This week we will focus on the importance of community with God and the Body of Christ.
Our enemy is the king of counterfeits. He specializes in crafting a slightly twisted version of what we should be claiming as our identity and inheritance, selling it to us as a jeweler would sell a cubic zirconium in the place of a diamond. We end up buying his death wares instead of remembering we are the gorgeous Signet Ring on the hand of God. And once again we are the “easy prey” of 1 Peter 5:8 that warns we have an enemy that constantly seeks to destroy us. Whenever I read this verse I am reminded of the animals I saw roaming the deserts of east Africa on safari. If a lion is on the hunt, who will he attack? The strong animal in the middle of the pack? No. He zeros in on the weak gazelles that are limping along behind the rest of the herd. Their only chance for survival is if the predator spots another animal in the vicinity that is more wounded and defenseless than they are. But, sooner or later, the weak animals will all be taken down when the lions move in on the herd.
When we are wounded and choose to isolate, we are “easy prey” for our enemy too. He works diligently to get us alone–either mentally or physically–because he knows we were created for true community. He also knows we will always thrive in the covering and protection it provides. That is why community with God and with others is one of his primary targets. He twists and manipulates it in such a way that it has become one of our greatest sources of fear. In the midst of this deception we begin to hide, and ultimately isolation becomes such a normal part of our existence that we are no longer aware of it.
Often when we live in spiritual seclusion, we will desperately attempt to keep up the facade that we are okay. Therefore, we don’t allow the Body of Christ to encourage, protect, or cover us. The biggest mistake we can make is to believe we are capable of escaping The Betrayer’s plans for destruction on our own. We need to learn true reliance on the power of the Holy Spirit inside of us. We need to be aware of His presence in us and call on Him to help us. Yes, we desperately need Him, but we desperately need each other too. Alone we are incapable of making choices that will bring us life. We must remember that we have spiritual blind spots. Even if we see clearly into the lives of others, there are always things we simply cannot see in our own lives. In order to claim victory when the relentless storms of life hit, we must be covered by an authentic community that provides true accountability.
Regardless of our ring finger status, we need intimacy; we were created for it! Intimacy is found in post-solitude community where our strengths, weaknesses, gifts and sins will all be on display. It is through living in community that we receive spiritual healing through accountability. James 5:16, says, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.” In community we can realize the full application of this passage. If we don’t have relationships in which we are free to confess our sin, we will be stuck in the traps laid for us by our enemy.
We must first address the lie that we need to be “okay” in order to enter into true community. The Word of God makes it clear that we are not (Matthew 11:28-30, Mark 2:17, Romans 3:23). We all have a serious sin problem and yet we choose to bow to the pressure to perform for others. When we feel we must present ourselves as someone we aren’t, we live in futility and exhaustion. We can’t keep up a facade, so we isolate ourselves instead.
How often is true community and accountability taking place in your life? How many people do you know that are ready and willing to hold you accountable? How many people allow you to hold them accountable? How many people in your life seem aware of their sin and, if they are, would dare to confess it?
Most often we fear we will be ostracized for living this verse out. Therefore, the challenge we face is real. We were created for deep accountability in our relationships. We were created to know and be known. But so often we settle for knowing about each other instead. Many of us are living skin deep. We live in the social media age where we attempt to placate ourselves through superficial relationships on Facebook and Twitter. Who really knows you? Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give you a person in your life that is safe to open your heart up to.
To read more on this topic order Kerri's book