Safety in Numbers

Do you like scary or suspenseful movies? I do… but my wife just can’t watch them. I always try to convince her to watch them by telling her why they aren’t scary and how you can predict everything that is going to happen from the start. How predictable are they? A group of young adults venture off into the woods… maybe they find a cabin? They begin to do their own things… breaking off in groups, making poor decisions, etc. Then like clockwork one ventures off alone because they have to go to the restroom or they heard a mysterious noise and BLAM they are got.

Like in a scary movie there are times when being alone is dangerous. We as human beings are the most vulnerable physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually when we are isolated and alone. Statistics back this up! Most people who are victims of a violent attack or encounter were singled out because they were vulnerable and alone.

You are most vulnerable when you are alone.

I chuckle every time I think back to a story a friend of mine told me about when he first moved out of his parents house and into his own home. He was excited to be out on his own and to begin to set up the place where he would start his family. Shortly after moving in by himself he had a scary moment where he began to choke on a piece of food that he had scarfed down. The panic truly began to set in when he started struggling to breathe and then realized where he was… in his own house… all alone! What a way to go! He ran around the home desperately trying to cough up the food and finally had to resort to hurling himself down on a kitchen chair in a makeshift Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the food from his throat.

As funny as that situation is now, it definitely wasn’t then and it could’ve been even more serious if he had lost consciousness.

How much easier would that whole situation have been if there had been someone else there to help my friend? A person he could trust to take care of him in times of weakness or distress. Not only were we as humans, and Christians, created to be in community but we also need community. There is safety in numbers.

This week we continue our discussion on the importance of developing and maintaining a faith community to be part of and invested in.

I like to hike, and a few of the places I enjoy hiking have the potential of putting you in the same area of a bear or two. I never worry about it too much because I have a partner, my wife, that I typically hike with. When we are together we make more noise and allow more time for a bear to avoid being startled by us… therefore making us safer together.

Though there aren’t bears out there in everyday life, there are other things that pull at us and seek to destroy us physically, spiritually, and emotionally. False theology abounds at every turn. Satan and his legions try to distract us with temptations. Our own sin leads us astray. We need Godly brothers and sisters to watch our back. Like a “band of brothers” that collide in a war zone and are tasked with completing a mission and keeping each other alive, we too need to be connected in community where we can all be on alert together for the dangers that are all around us. Now we know we are never entirely “safe” form sin… but safety does come with accountability to another. Safety is greater in numbers.

The truth is, we need each other. We need to trust, rely on, and depend upon other believers. God gave us each other to walk alongside, encourage, and spur one another one in the faith. The writer to the Hebrews says in Hebrews 10:24-25,

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

James 5:16 says,

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

So… despite the fact that running into a bear could be a possibility I hike anyways. I am safer with my wife by my side… watching my back while I watch hers. The same can be said about Christians as well, we are safer together in the community of the Body of Christ than we are out there trying to “hike” on our own. Though society might tell us that we can do life on our own, God’s word tells us that we simply can’t function without each other (just read 1 Corinthians 12). We need each other and we need community!

Don’t allow yourself to be the soldier lost behind enemy lines all alone!

Instead live out Galatians 6:2 where it says,

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Join a community that fights for each other, protects each other, and takes care of each other. Romans 12:13 says,

Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

Hebrews 13:16 says,

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Like a battle buddy or hiking partner your community can warn you of dangers ahead… or even better, of dangers within. 1 Thessalonians 5:14 says,

And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.

Are you safe? Could you be safer? If you aren’t currently in community with other Believers then you definitely aren’t as safe as you could be. Don’t open yourself up to attacks from the evil one; instead surround yourself with soldiers fighting for the same army as you!

There is safety in numbers.

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