Jesus said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” John 21:22
In the end, it’s just me and Jesus.
He calls us in the secret place of who we are. We are hidden with Christ. He’s given us a name which no one knows except Himself. Yes, He gives us community to dwell within, to grow from, to build into – but in the final analysis, it’s just me and Jesus.
Sometimes I think that we are afraid of solitude with God. We fill up our lives with Facebook and video games, sometimes even with bible study and ministry. We are more comfortable talking to multitudes about nothing or even about God than we are talking TO God. Michael Kelly Blanchard says this in one of his songs:
Somewhere on the journey we need to get quite and turn off the comfort of noise. (I Love You, I Do, You Bet)
I’ve heard people’s shocked intake of breath when I mentioned the daily hour long quiet times I miss from my single days. “What could you do in a quiet time for that long?” I’m asked. My only response: talk to God.
Developing that intimate love relationship.
Please know I am not bragging on myself. I don’t often get that 1-2 hours with the Lord these days – and my life is the lesser for it. But I’ve known what it means to seek God in those private places. I’ve heard His voice whisper to my heart and say, “Follow Me.” Sometimes it’s been exciting. Sometimes it’s been scary. Always it’s been a blessing!
None of us want to live our lives apart from the comfort of the community around us. We were created for community, for companionship. We are given fellowship as a blessing from God. He put us within the church to build one another up, to strengthen each other and to be the living hands and feet of Jesus to the lost world around us. Of course community is a good thing. The reality is that community is only a part of God’s plan for us. But God’s plans can be thwarted – sometimes His good blessings can be twisted and used to separate us from Him. We can use community as a shield to keep ourselves hidden and protected. He calls us for more than that!
God calls us to be that one who is willing to declare: Though none go with me, still I will follow!
Are we willing to stand alone for Him? Are we willing to be mocked and laughed at when we face those who tell us we are foolish to follow when following looks foolish? When other believers around us seem to have things going great in their lives and our life is riddled with suffering, are we willing to not worry over it and simply follow Him?
That’s what it all comes down to, isn’t it?