Gladiator has to be one of the best all-time ‘guy’ movies. I love it, not only for the awesome fight scenes, but it’s also full of little nuggets of truth; and all truth is God’s truth. When Russel Crowe enters the coliseum with all the other gladiators, in his knowledge and experience of battle, he takes charge and says to the rest of them: “We have a better chance of survival if we work together. Do you understand? If we stay together, we survive.” When the enemy comes out looking to destroy them, a few decide to go off on their own and are immediately cut down. They obviously didn’t understand. But those who stick together win the battle and emerge victorious.
The same is true in life. That’s one of the reasons God created the church. Commitment to a local church is one of the greatest things you could ever do for your spiritual life. And when I say ‘commitment’ I don’t mean just Sunday morning attendance. But you have to get into a circle, a small group of some sort. I’ve known too many people who have sat in a pew their entire lives but are no closer to God than the day they walked in. Rows are good, circles are better!
I used to fight against this. I was an introvert who just wanted to be left alone. Drop me in the middle of the woods or mountains with a gun and maybe a DeWalt tool of some kind and I’d be fine. But I realized that if I was going to follow Jesus, if I was going to point others to Jesus, then I needed to get out of my shell and I needed others; I needed their encouragement, their support, their wisdom, and yes, even their accountability. The New Testament is filled with ‘one another’ commands. Love one another, serve one another, help one another, encourage one another. But how can we ‘one another’ if we’re not around one another?
I’ve got a group of guys I meet with every week. I challenge and encourage them and they challenge and encourage me, and I love it! When the church gets this ‘one another’ thing right, it’s an absolutely beautiful thing to watch and it’ll change your life. Do you want to emerge victorious? Then I can’t encourage you enough… put GOD first, in every area of your life. Then, put people second, get around some other followers of Jesus, get out of rows and into circles, stay together and you’ll survive anything that life throws your way. “If we stay together, we survive!”
“Carry each others burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” ~Galatians 6:2