(11)The Lord utters His voice before His army; Surely His camp is very great, For strong is he who carries out His word. The day of the Lord is indeed great and very awesome, And who can endure it?
Joel 2:11 (NASB)
Have you ever wondered how an army could walk together and be in unity when they don’t really know each other? Ouch! The vast majority of Christianity goes to church on Sunday, maybe to some conferences, maybe a dinner or two, but we don’t really know one another. We know ABOUT each other, much like people know ABOUT Jesus, but don’t know Him intimately. We are busy you know. And our pastors are the speakers so they are busy, too. Spending time with each other is more important than we will ever realize. Being loving and vulnerable, making an effort staying humble with each other is a/ healing fountain of life.
I have a dear friend who was single for many years and went to a large church. She was sort of an “outcast” because she was single with children. For some reason, few members of the church would spend time with her. This also may have been because she was not of the same race as they were. But she felt lonely and isolated from the people in the pew. She and I spent lots of time together, and her faith helped me through some lonely times of my own. When I wanted to tell the Christian church to drop dead, she actually dragging me kicking and screaming to the same church . . . and it turned out kto be a giant blessing and a place of healing for me. She kept her heart from bitterness against the very people who had left her feeling alone . . . and it saved me from a big root of bitterness too. But the fact remains that they should have made an effort at friendship.
One day a special friend came over to the house and we made cookies and candy together. God bless her – she helped me so much and out of it she received a few plates of gifts to give away. She told me that no one had ever invited her to do that before. Help us, Lord! I’m so thankful she is my heart friend!
The Body of Christ was created by the Lord as a place of heart friends. It is to be ONE as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one (John 17). We can’t live as one if we don’t forma loving relationships, meant to last through eternity. If we are looking for perfect people to love, the only one perfect is Jesus. If we find fault with everyone and push they away because we are too busy or don’t really want to get too close, we miss the point. If we don’t have relationships, we can’t be His Army. If we don’t love, we can’t be His Army. We’re not as “army of one.” We are the Army of The One who died for us. And if we love one another as He loves us, we really will conquer all that comes our way and it will keep us from the heart conditions that kill us.
May you have many heart friends – people you can trust, people you can pray with and for, people who will stand at your side and fight for you when the going gets rough. And may you find the love of Jesus in relationship to Him AND the oneness of the true Bride of Christ!
(This excerpt is used by permission from “Whispers of Heart” written by Rosalie Storment and Faye Higbee, copyrighted in 2011.)
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