This morning's post is the third in a series from summer intern, Anna Wilke.
Do you ever find it easier to have faith that God will answer the prayers of your friends and family than to believe that He will answer your own? I certainly do. I think it is a lot easier for us to have faith for others than it is for us to have faith for ourselves, and that is why it is so important for us to have deep, Christ-centered community.
Community is not just surface level friendships, community is knowing others and being known by them, community is encouraging and uplifting friends in times of need, community is a place to belong and be strengthened, and community ultimately pushes us closer to Jesus. God has designed us to be in community with one another and we are better off as a result. We see examples of this community throughout Scripture from the Israelites, God’s chosen people, living and worshiping together, to the 12 disciples who not only lived in community with Jesus but were also surrounded and spurred on by each other. The Bible calls us to live in this same kind of community with other believers.
Community is life-giving and necessary for Christ-followers because we are better together than we are on our own. We are all smaller parts of one better whole: The Body of Christ. Romans 12:4-5 says, “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” One of the main duties of the Body of Christ is to each other because we can not function on our own. We are to love, encourage, and spur on our brothers and sisters and often times this means lifting each other up in faith and prayer and reminding them that our Father is good even when they are hurting. We are called to “be devoted to one another in brotherly love” (1 Cor. 12:9).
Often times society tells us that we are better off on our own, that being completely independent is more admirable than relying on each other, but God has designed us to lean on each other as we experience the highs and lows of life. As we lean on God, He often answers our big and expectant prayers with other people. When we open ourselves up to these people our own faith can be strengthened. They are our people to lean on. So let’s be the people that can sacrifice our pride and independence, the people who are there for each other, the people who lift each other up and encourage one another to be expectant. Let’s lean on each other.