Lock Arms

by Dottie Ryan

 “O God, you are my God; earnestly I see you” (Psalm 63:1).

Again I was confronted with my own obstacles (sometimes self-inflicted) and weaknesses: the lies I have believed, the sin I continue to walk in, ignore, or discount, my idols I have not either identified or decided to lay down, my excuses, my demands, my — my — my.  And my spirit cries out for someone — anyone — to speak truth into my soul at this very moment. Because truth is the only thing that promises to penetrate the deception of the lies.  My soul screams from a very dry and weary place for the Spirit of God through a sister in Christ to please remind me what the Lord showed me last week, ask me if I’ve followed through, and hold me accountable.  I need that!

So after first going to the Lord to confess that I don’t really earnestly seek Him (not like I did my lost flash drive this past week) — that maybe I don’t know how or am just too caught up in laziness, unbelief, succumbing to confusion, or [you fill in your own blank] — I know I can pick up the phone and call my Abigail, my prayer-sister, someone in my small group, and they would know what I’m talking about because the dynamics of a small group allow us to get to know each other very personally.  There is a sweetness in that.  There can be pain in being face-to-face transparent.  Yes there is indeed a sweetness to having that kind of access to someone who is walking the journey with you and knows where you are.  And to speak truth in love into each others’ lives (leading me back to the truth of the Word) because we have committed to be accountable to each other.

We need to journey together.  We want to want these things concerning falling in love with our Lord.  And if we don’t desire these things or they seem so far out of our reach, we can’t withdrawal.  We lock arms and join forces to fight the good fight of faith — together.

The following is an excerpt by A. W. Pink the battle that a walk of faith can be:

There is that in each of us which wants to play the coward, run away from the battlefield, our “circumstances.” This is what Abraham did (Genesis 12:10), but he gained nothing by it. This is what Elijah did (1 Kings 19:3), and the Lord rebuked him for it.* And these instances are recorded “for our learning” (Romans 15:4), as warnings for us to take to heart. They tell us that we must steadfastly resist this evil inclination, and call to mind that exhortation, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you (act) like men, be strong” (1 Cor. 16:13). . . . There is a very real twofoldness to the Christian life and every aspect of Divine truth is balanced by its counterpart. Practical godliness is a mysterious paradox, which is incomprehensible to the natural man. The Christian is strongest when he is weakest, wealthiest when he is poorest, happiest when most wretched. Though unknown (1 John 3:1); yet he is well known (Gal. 4:9). Though dying daily (1 Cor. 15:31), yea, dead; yet, behold, he lives (Col. 3:3-4). Though having nothing, yet he possesses all things (2 Cor. 6:10). Though persecuted, he is not forsaken; cast down, he is not destroyed. He is called upon to “rejoice with trembling” (Psalm 2:11) and is assured: “Happy are ye that weep now” (Luke 6:21). Though the Lord makes him to lie down in green pastures and leads him beside still waters, he is yet in the wilderness, and “in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is ” (Psalm 63:1). Though followers of the Prince of Peace, Christians are to endure “hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3); and though “more than conquerors,” they are often defeated. (A. W. Pink, The Fight of Faith, available at http://teachingresources1.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/the-fight-of-faith-by-a-w-pink.pdf)

The Lord Jesus sent out his disciples two-by-two (Mark 6:7, Luke 10:1).  You and I were not meant to go this journey alone.



*It is probably better to see gentle encouragement of Elijah from the Lord in this passage than rebuke.


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