Growing up as the youngest of three children, my permanent place for travel was in the middle seat. On long trips as the arguing escalated with “she touched me and she’s in my space”, my parents would allow me to climb over the seat and sit in the middle of them. I know some younger readers are in shock but this was allowed when I was a child. Yes, I was still stuck in the middle, but at least they let me touch them and even lean on their shoulder. In the front middle seat, I was allowed to lay my head on my mom’s lap and stretch my legs into Daddy’s space. Now that is real love!
As a child I didn’t like being stuck in the middle, but now I am finding it to be a place of strength and comfort. With one on my right and one on my left, I am stronger. As I live in close community with others, I am challenged to rise up and be a woman of stronger faith.
We are wonderfully placed within the family of God. We don’t always love our seats and positions in this family, but we are strategically placed by God’s hand. Sometimes we are placed beside a complaining sibling, but it’s often in these places that God teaches us how to live in unity. We often don’t have much grace for the younger in the faith and can secretly be relieved when they climb over into another seat.
Not only does scripture tell us we are family, but also an army. We live in a spiritual battle that is raging louder and louder and we are in desperate need of unity. If we could just learn to stand firm, arm in arm and shoulder to shoulder as if in combat form, together we could advance the Kingdom of God. Your strengths will build up my weaknesses. When you fall down, I can help you up. When the lies seem louder than the truth, you can shout out the truth for me to hear. When one is tired, the other can run ahead blazing a path of success.
Why travel alone when you have a family and an army to do life with?
The enemy will trick you into believing it is easier to do it alone, instead of learning to live in unity. We gather in our local churches, Bible study groups, accountability groups and mission teams and together we seek to live for His glory.
Paul instructs the Philippians and us how to live this way.
“Only [be sure to] lead your lives in a manner [that will be] worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I do come and see you or remain absent, I will hear about you that you are standing firm in one spirit [and one purpose], with one mind striving side by side [as if in combat] for the faith of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27-28 AMP
Touching Hearts is intentionally focusing on this in 2019. As we practice living in unity, shoulder to shoulder, we are encouraging others to form “Shoulder to Shoulder” groups. Within these small groups we do life together and prod one another along in the faith.
Please hop over to our website and check it out. Everything that you need to get started can be found here.
We are better together.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12