Most of us have heard the example of a campfire. As the fire burns a bed of coals begins to glow. If one of these bright coals are removed it slowly loses its hot glow. If drawn away from the fire it becomes cold and goes out.
I remember a time I withdrew from the Body of Christ. I didn’t leave all of a sudden, it was a series of events that caused me to withdraw. I had been on fire for the Lord and hardly missed a church service. I think the first thing that happened was pride. Pride does go before a fall, and it became true in my case. I thought I was so holy and righteous because I always went to church. You can live in a garage, but it doesn’t make you a car.
Next, the pastor had asked me to start a couple’s class. We started with eight people and in two years the class had grown to eighty.The Lord had really blessed our gathering. Pride was telling me I knew the Bible and the people were enjoying me teaching. After teaching two years the pastor asked me to resign. This couple who paid the most tithes had came to him. They said I shouldn’t be teaching because I smoked, and it was against the church rules. I told the pastor, you came to me and asked me to start this class. I reminded him he had said the Lord had told him to do it. I wasn’t trying to justify that I smoked. The Lord knew I did when you came to me.
It really hurt me deeply. I thought I can serve the Lord at home. I know the Word, and I don’t need people. Religious people only hurt you. I grew critical and bitter. Unforgiveness had taken root, and I was miserable. One day the pastor called me and apologized. The couple who came against me had left because they lost control. We prayed together and the Lord healed my heart. The Lord showed me my faults, where I had been looking at others instead of keeping my eyes on Him.
I learned some valuable lessons. We all need each other to lean on for strength and support. Everybody has faults.We are all a work in progress. We need to guard our hearts against pride and self righteousness. Satan is our enemy not other members of the Body of Christ. The enemy is very devious and will use ANYTHING to cause us to fall. We need to focus on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. He will never forsake or hurt us.
Image Credit © Tammy Sanders