James A. McMenis
Connected: No Room for Lone Rangers
When Chrissy and I are walking across a parking lot with our four kids, I often say, “Ya’ll stick together, sheep are safer in flocks!” In the Bible we are compared more to sheep than anything else. I believe this comparison is made so often in Scripture because God created us to fellowship, assemble and live in need of each other.
Have you ever wondered why Jesus illustrated leaving the ninety-nine to find the one lost sheep? I believe it’s because the ninety-nine are safe together while the one is in danger being left alone (See Matthew 18:11-14). Wolves (the enemy) prey on lone sheep. There are countless rewards that come from being in the flock. For starters, we are safer!
One of the most powerful lessons on being connected is found in the Book of Ecclesiastes:
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat:but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
Not only is it vital for the overall health of our lives to be connected, but it is important that we be connected to the right people. Strive to grow relationships with other believers. Invite someone out to coffee or to lunch. Seek to build community. The word “community” means ‘common unity.’ It’s vital that we walk with those whom we have something in common —ideally our faith, life, convictions, etc. Building friendships with people you trust only adds strength and blessing to your life. I encourage young couples to go out with other Christian couples. Young mothers need to fellowship with those who understand their burden and can offer guidance, counsel or just a heart of understanding. Men need to be able to share their ‘he-motions’ with other men and build friendships that endure and reward. Life is hard when we go at it alone. We are called to bear one-another’s burdens (Galatians 6:1). The Word declares that one will put a thousand to flight, while two will put ten thousand to flight! (See Deuteronomy 32:30). We have ten times the power when we are in fellowship with each other!
Psalms 133:1-3 declares that God commands His blessing upon us when we dwell together in unity. Make a decision to get connected. Join a small group. Hang out after church and visit with other believers. Get involved as a volunteer in the church. Go on a mission trip. Attend a conference. Start a prayer group. Engage others. There is power when you connect with other believers!
In the world we live in, there will always be something that divides us. Seek to focus on the things that unite! Amos 3:3 says, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Find people of like faith and convictions and do life connected! It offers far more benefits that being alone.