Today's Word of Encouragement

Increasing While Isolated


Tuesday, May 26, 2020

. . . let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near (Hebrews 10:24-25 NASB).

     We may rightly infer from this passage that there is no substitute for the personal assembling of ourselves together in public worship.  It obviously does not mean, however, that we must decline spiritually when we are restrained from meeting. There are a number of recorded cases in the Bible where God's people flourished spiritually in isolation.

     The first example that we may think of is the Apostle Paul writing his inspired and inspiring ‘prison epistles’.  Paul was down, but not out!

     Another example of growing in isolation is Paul's going alone into the desert for 3½ years to reorder his theology to accommodate the coming of the Messiah into his personal life and ministry.

     And of course, the example of Jesus isolating and fasting for 40 days before his face-to-face encounter with Satan.

     Some of the ancient prophets had their most profound experiences in isolation; some self-chosen, and some forced upon them.

     But our situation today is markedly different than those. While our personal contacts are limited, we are adrift in a sea of electronic waves of negativity, argumentation, and combativeness. So we occupy ourselves with worldly issues rather than concentrating on God's Word and Holy Spirit guidance through this current time of spiritual famine.

     Jesus cautioned us concerning being overcome by the cares of this world (Matt. 13:22, Mark 4:19), and certainly they are serious enough to overcome us if we set our sights on world affairs rather than keeping them on God's leadership in our lives.

     This writer has used ‘we’ many times here, and perhaps should have said ‘I’ instead, but other fellow believers have shared that they wrestle with the same issues daily. May we be able to draw upon the wisdom of the apostle: "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" (1 John 5:4-5 NASB)

Pastor Joe Powell

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