"Not Going Alone"
By Pastor Dan Lord
November 11, 2018
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are —yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” - Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)
God doesn't want us to do life on our own, to be isolated or independent. Not only does God want a personal relationship with us, but he wants it to be an interpersonal relationship-- that it’s God and my friends, God and my family--that I’m not getting into heaven alone. God wants us to live interdependently, not independently. The independent spirit is actually not from God. Have you ever met anybody who’s had any measure of success that’s done it all on their own?
Church is just a bunch of people that haven’t figured it out, and we’re trying to figure it out together--this is the “Haven’t Figured It Out” club. The independent spirit is actually from the devil-- it’s a spirit that says, “I want to be on my own, and for everyone to see how great I am.” We have to decide that we’re not going to do this Christian life alone; we’re going to live interdependent as the church body.
So many of us struggle with the question “What is my purpose,” or “what am I here for?” But the question is not just, “What am I here for,” but, “Who am I here for?” There is a whole group of people around us that God wants us to encourage and influence. There are people God has intentionally placed around us who can make a difference in our lives, and we can make a difference in theirs.
In Hebrews 4, there’s no mention of “I,” just “we.” The message is “don’t try to go to God by yourself; get some people who are just as messed up as you, and go to the throne of grace together.”
Traditionally, the throne room is a place that people come to in reverence. This is how a lot of people’s picture of church and religion is: you have to be really important, you have to dress a certain way… but your and my job as Christians is to demystify how people think about that and let them know that it’s not that complicated to go to God.
2 Corinthians 5:20 (NIV) tells us that we are Christ’s ambassadors to tell people that it’s not as complicated as they think, and that they do actually qualify to approach God. God wants us to help people figure out that coming to the throne of grace isn’t actually a scary thing. It’s not a throne of judgment; it’s a place where he’s already aware of our problems, he knows what we have need of--it’s a throne of grace.
The only rule is -- you don’t come by yourself. Don’t try to do the Christian life by yourself. We are the body of Christ. If we say about our Christian walk that “it’s just me and Jesus,” we miss out on the fact that Jesus is sitting right here in front of you in the church; he just might look a little different than you do.
Many times in life, we’ve done everything we can to push forward, but we’re not going to get over the obstacle unless we allow a “we” spirit to come in. We’re not going to be able to get over it on our own. We have to let our brothers and sisters help us.
There’s a world out there that’s dealing with the mud of life, thinking they don’t know if they can make it anymore. God is calling us to be a “we” church and extend connection outside of these four walls.
Think of a time when you tried to do a task on your own and struggled, and then someone came to help you, and you were able to do it together.
Is there any obstacle in your life that you have been trying and struggling to get over on your own?
What is holding you back from asking for help with this obstacle? What do you think would happen if you asked for help?
Identify some people around you in your life that you believe God has called you to influence and encourage. Identify some people who have influenced and encouraged you.
Look for an opportunity this week to reach out and extend a hand to someone else.