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Isolation Can Evolve into Iniquity

 

Everyone needs their alone time at times, hopefully they are going to the Lord in their time of peace and solitude and not just compromising with their sorrows or feeding selfish desires. Alone time can be time to study the Bible, pray, and meditate.

 

There are a multitude of activities that could bring Glory to God such as practicing a song of praise or exercising our bodies to stay healthy and fit; after all our bodies are “temples” and not our own. However, there is a counterfeit “love” out there that encourages self-righteousness over being clothed in God’s righteousness and this leads to sins such as vanity and pride. The concept has been talked about since before Christ came to earth born to the virgin Mary.

 

It got its’ start in Ancient Greece and was named “philautia.” There were two sides of the coin to this idea of love: narcissism or self-compassion/acceptance. The Holy Bible supports the positive, balanced side of this in Ephesians 5:29– “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.” Everything we do should be done with humility and in moderation, lest it become an addiction. Proverbs 25:16 warns us– “Have you found honey? Eat only as much as you need, Lest you be filled with it and vomit.” There are dire consequences for anything done in excess even a vitamin that benefits your health can become harmful to you if not moderated. That means there can really be TOO much of a good thing.

 

The other form of isolation is a separation from the church, meaning a believer may have taken offense to something they heard while present or claim to feel led by the Holy Spirit to go elsewhere during Sunday service. This is not so. This behavior is contrary to Hebrews 10:24-25– “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” That is not to say that they will not be led elsewhere other days of the week, but actual church service should never be avoided, if at all possible, if someone claims, “God told them to,” they would be guilty of contradicting His holy Word.

 

You can say that you want to do it on your own with God, but God says in Matthew 18:20–  “For where two or three are gathered in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” This is why many say they can feel the presence of the Lord in a sanctuary at certain places of worship. It confuses me when I see someone post online saying they “wish that God would just sit beside them in bed and tell them what they need to do,” yet claim they are not at church because they are working out a problem on their own with God. This sounds counterproductive to me personally.

 

Father God created humans to be social creatures, and this is shown from the time of infancy and beyond throughout our lives. We naturally seek out love, compassion, acceptance, and community. If we do not have these needs met, we become depressed. If babies do not feel loved and cared for there have been incidents of “failure to thrive,” which means the child would give up. It is the same for all ages.

 

Fellowship is vital for the Body of Christ to thrive and brings unity. We should do as Acts 2:46-47 instructs– “So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” This verse is fellowship defined! In the time of a pandemic, abortion clinics were kept open during the lockdown, but “religious institutions” were forbidden to hold services and pastors were being arrested for defying the law. This idea of social distancing and isolation led to weakened immune systems and depression for many, I wonder why. People were kept from having a sense of community face to face and were urged to rely on virtual communication.

 

How can isolation become a sin? Proverbs 18:1 is one of many verses that can answer that–  “A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.” Sound familiar? I know many and I have been guilty of being defensive when avoiding fellowship for my own personal reasons and they are not Godly. I have heard “You don’t know my life,” “Only God can judge me,” or “Mind the business that pays.” I am not saying if you are feeling unwell or sickly you are wrong for not going, although I and others do believe that church is a place of healing. But if you are going just because you do not feel like it or you do not want to be held accountable or have been offended, that is wrong.

 

If you are not going because you think it is boring, that is wrong. There are many reasons even Christians today have refused to go to church or even fellowship other days of the week that are the wrong reasons. In Matthew 4:1-4 Jesus was tempted (tested) by Satan–  “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, after He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.’ But He answered and said, ‘It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

 

Satan wants you alone because it is easier for you to succumb to worldly influences and lusts of the flesh when you lack admonishment and edification from your brothers and sisters in Christ because the church is not a building but a congregation of believers.

 

If temptation and trials come knocking look to Ecclesiastes 4:9-12–  “Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” This means that you are less likely to give in to temptation and sin if you have your Christian companions lifting you up and holding you accountable in love.

 

It is not about going to a brick-and-mortar institution it is about the communion. Remember to keep God first in all relationships and surround yourself with Christ-centered people. This is one of the “escapes” God has given you to stand against temptation.

 

 

 

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