The concept of community was something that the 12 disciples of Jesus did not need to be taught. In choosing to follow Christ they literally lived with Him for about 3 and a half years. They did everything together for about 1277 days.
Now there were times, frequent times when Jesus would get up early in the morning before sunrise to go off to a place to pray and commune with the Father. And every now and again someone had to go do something like when Thomas was away when the Lord appeared to the other 11 men but those were exceptions to the rule.
They lived in a tight community even up to and after His death and resurrection. Sure, I can imagine one might have been tempted to duck into the nearest cave to perhaps find some erotic cave paintings. Now you might think I am either trying to be funny or just making an outrageous idea. However, read Ezekiel 8:8-12;
“Son of man, dig in the wall.” So, I dug in the wall, and behold, there was an entrance. And he said to me, “Go in, and see the vile abominations that they are committing here.” So, I went in and saw. And there, engraved on the wall all around, was every form of creeping things and loathsome beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel. And before them stood seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, with Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan standing among them. Each had his censer in his hand, and the smoke of the cloud of incense went up. Then he said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in his room of pictures? For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us …’”
Now I do not want to make too much of this although the idea of each of the 70 leaders of Israel having their “censer” in his hand, alone, in the dark, and in their own room of pictures. One conclusion I can clearly draw was that these 70 men who were the political and religious leaders of Israel were in isolation, in the dark and looking at pictures, and what they were doing was an abomination to the Lord.
God calls us to live in community and to walk in the light. Evil calls us to isolation and to walk in the darkness. John mentions this in his first epistle – 1 John 1:5-7;
“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”
Walking in the light means living a life that has nothing to hide. It means having no secrets, no hidden sin, and not wearing a mask. So, here is a litmus test…if you are about to do something that you would not do if your mother, wife, or kids were with you, it is probably a bad idea and will have harmful consequences to you and your loved ones.
If you are married, then look at that ring on your finger. It is to serve as a reminder of the promises you have made to the one you have loved and to whom you have committed your life. If you are single, divorced, or a widower you have a symbol of love as well. It is the cross where Jesus proved His love for you once and for all time.
There are people all over the world who know the destruction that can come from isolation. They have either lived it or are working with someone who is ensnared by some form of addictive behavior. And you know it too because you are reading this email or listening to this podcast.
So, what happens if we do not want to walk in darkness, broken by sin, and unable to find the freedom we so desperately desire? What if we walk in the light…as He is in the light? What if we give up our secret life in the darkness and choose to expose our sinful deeds?
When we reach the place where we can tell the truth about ourselves to the right people and in the right way suddenly the lights go on and the darkness vanishes. Some try to do this in bits and pieces which does not work and only causes more damage. Compare walking in the light to walking in a room of darkness or with a strobe light.
That is what some people try. They tell little bits of the truth but only flashes of it appear.
My friends, God invites us to walk in the light and trust Him with the fallout. Living a lie is not better than walking in the light. It is destructive to your relationships because nobody knows the part of you that you keep hidden while it condemns you over and over again.
I know you are getting tired of me saying this…but that is exactly why I started Online Support Teams. I wanted to give men a place where they could meet with other Christian men, all struggling with sexual brokenness, where we can tell the truth about ourselves without any condemnation. Plus, have the daily support of a Team of other men helping one another. A place where nobody has to be alone because there is a team of brothers texting one another whenever they are being tempted, to get the support they need in the moment of temptation.
So far, we have been or are currently working with over 200 men going through the 180 Recovery Ministry OSTs. These men are experiencing growing freedom from their sexual addiction. They are learning how to walk in the light, are having fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus is washing them clean from any and all sins.
We have 14 teams going right now and the newest one has 6 men in it from America, England, Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, and Mozambique. No matter where you live in the world, we can help you end your isolation and grow into a more Christ-like man. We can walk you through a process that is biblical, Christ-centered, and proven to work for those who work the program.
So…again…if you have any interest in sitting in as my guest contact me.