Tuesday Re-mix –
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:1-2a
Step 2: We come to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
[I am using these Tuesday Re-mixes for a few weeks to think (again) about our addiction to self-reliance and how that addiction is one of the biggest challenges to genuine community which we face in the American church culture.]
For pretty much anyone following this blog, step 2 in our recovery from addiction to self-reliance seems like a no-brainer. I know that all of you believe in a power greater than yourself and that you would call that power God. You don’t need me to point that out to you here, nor to find some creative way of showing you that truth.
Instead, I want to challenge you to consider another higher power.
There is a higher power in our lives which co-exists with God, in fact, it exists by His hand and is ordained by Him and empowered by Him…even indwelled by Him. It is a higher power which He has determined to use as a Spiritual authority in our lives and, without it, we simply cannot overcome our addiction to self-reliance. It is a higher power which is absolutely critical to our growth, our ministry, and our very purpose in this world. That higher power is…Christian community. Without it, we are rudderless in the chaotic seas of this dark world.
The simplest and most convincing evidence of this truth is this: you cannot think of a single hero of our faith who has been used by God in the age of the church and who lived and grew Spiritually outside of the church. None. I believe that fact is significant, don’t you?
Since the Day of Pentecost described in Acts 2, God has made a choice which He is both content and resolved to make: that all of his church will be grown and nurtured and will find meaning and ministry within the context of Spirit-filled community. All of us. Period. You can search the scripture through and through and you will not find any evidence to the contrary. Simply put, the community of believers is to be a “higher power” in all of our lives.
And to bring application to our specific support group, I suppose it goes without saying that we are powerless to overcome our addiction to self-reliance without learning to lean into community with other believers. It has, after all, been God’s plan all along.
So, who are the heroes of your faith? George Mueller? Corrie Ten Boom? C.S. Lewis? Dietrich Bonhoeffer? Brother Lawrence? Oswald Chambers? Mother Theresa? The entire cloud of witnesses who have come before us…all of them…every last one of them…testify to this truth. They would never have found significance in their world outside of the influence and accountability of Christian community in their lives. It served as a critical “higher power” through which God would mold them and shape them. And that same God Who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow insists on those same terms with you and with me. We need only buck up and deal with it. There is no plan B.