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Just God and Me?

By Valori Farrell

My salvation is the result of a personal faith in Jesus Christ, granted to me by my Father in Heaven. It is a private miracle between God, Christ, and I. Their love for me is immeasurable and eternal. They know and accept me both inside and out. I need no other teachers besides them, for they write their law directly on my heart. I do not need someone else to pray in my place, or to take my confession before the Lord, or to worship Him as if they were me.

The Father and I converse freely without the help of others. Through Christ, I have a direct link to God. This perfect relationship is all I need to reside forever in the New Jerusalem. Ever since the first moment of my conversion, these things have been wondrously true.

Therefore, I am left with a puzzle: Why, at times, do I feel utterly alone in my Christian walk? How can this be when the Father, Christ, and I have such an intimate relationship? Many times I have mourned: Has the Father abandoned me? Have I fallen out of Christ’s hand? Why, oh Lord, hasn’t my one-on-one relationship with You given me the “fullness of joy” that your Word promises?

Some may postulate that my loneliness stems from a failure to properly maintain the relationship. Perhaps I am lonely because my prayers are too shallow, too long, or too short. Or maybe I study the Bible with my mind, rather than with my heart. Perhaps my worship style is altogether dull and unenthusiastic. Maybe I just don’t spend enough quiet-time alone with God.

Certainly I could adopt “better” practices, but in the end, I do not believe my loneliness stems from a failure in any of these areas. Loneliness, I believe, stems from walking through the world with “just God and me”.

Do you remember the poem about walking on the beach with the Lord? The man looks back on his life and sees only one set of Footprints in the sand and it was then that Christ carried him. The poem is inspiring, but I would amend it in one small way: The sand would have hundreds, even thousands of footprints. There would be so many footprints that you could not distinguish one from another. It would look like a herd of cattle had stampeded down the beach!

Christ promises to carry us through the hard times, but I do not think it pleases Him when He has to do it alone.  The ideal way for Christ to carry us is by using the willing hands of believers around us. God does not want us to walk through life alone. He has given us the gift of belonging to a Body. In Christ, believers everywhere are eternally and irreversibly bound together. And, while God recognizes our individual needs and contributions to the Body, He does not view us as separate beings from one another.

The Body has many “members” or individual parts, but it is all together ONE body. Collectively, we live in the New Jerusalem as the singular “Bride of Christ”. God chose to build His City using many thousands of souls rather than the elements of the earth. He calls us the “living stones” that make up the city. This has been the Father’s perfect will for His people since the very beginning.

Adam walked exclusively with God, but of that relationship the Creator said, “It is not good.” There was a void that Adam’s relationship with God apparently did not fill. There was no helper suitable for Adam. Have you ever wondered why being alone with the God of the Universe was not good for Adam? Or why God was not a suitable helper for him? Was it that God was not enough to satisfy Adam, or could it be that Adam was not enough to satisfy God’s plan?

I do not think God’s concern for Adam was about meeting the man’s need for human companionship, or merely about procreation. It had much more to do with the Father’s predetermined design for the Universe. From the start, God was intent on building a “nation unto Himself”.

In Genesis, God said, “Let us make man in our image.” They created Adam in their image and thus, Adam was never designed to be alone on the planet. The Gospel of John tells us that Christ was at the creation with God and that nothing was made without Him. As far as we know, God himself has never been alone. It is no wonder that Adam did not experience complete joy when it was just he and God walking in the garden. One might say that Adam suffered from his aloneness.

In the end, it was human fellowship combined with the Father’s fellowship that finally made Adam happy. That arrangement was so pleasing to God that He looked at His creation and said, “It is very good!” And then God commanded, “Be fruitful and multiply.” Or, “Start growing my nation”.

The singular worship of God is beautiful, but it is incomplete. It does not please God when we keep Him all to ourselves. What happens when Christians, either physically or mentally, separate themselves from the Body? Such separation can only result in grief.  It grieves the heart of God as well as grieving the Spirit of Christ within the believer.  Self-isolation from other believers, for any reason, is the same as holding oneself aloof from an intimate part of Christ. How could God be pleased with such an arrangement?

“Fullness of joy” is absent from our lives when our fellowship is exclusively with God. At this point, I can see eyebrows raised in protest: Do you mean to say that I cannot have joy with just God and me?

Joy? Yes. Perfect joy? — a resounding NO! We were never designed to walk alone on this earth. Another protest: Do you mean to say that loving God alone won’t make me happy and content? Do you mean to say that I need other believers in order to walk in God’s perfect will? Yep. The Creator of the Universe was fully capable of making Adam happy, content, and bursting with joy all by himself. But instead, it pleased the Father more to give Adam a helper suitable for him. If God had wanted it so, He could have stopped with Adam, but that was not His plan.

While Adam was indeed given a helper of the opposite gender, I feel a need to emphasize this point: BEING AN INTIMATE PART OF THE BODY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH BEING MARRIED!!! In some Christian circles marriage is held up as a legalistic standard, but it is not God’s standard. Paul knew God well and said that it was even preferable to be single as he was. Paul experienced “fullness of joy” in his unmarried state. He was single, but not alone. He had many, many helpmates, which he fondly referred to as “co-laborers for the Kingdom”.

Paul’s secret to happiness had nothing to do with pleasing his physical body or his emotions. It had everything to do with pleasing his Father in Heaven. Believers can remain single and be filled to the brim with joy. Fullness of joy is NOT about finding a life-mate, it is about sharing ones life with fellow dwellers in the Kingdom. It is a grievous mistake to mentally condemn one’s self based upon the faulty assumption that married couples fit into the Body, while singles do not. In Heaven, there is neither male nor female, but there are plenty of helpmates.

God’s gift to me, and to you, was to provide us with a world-wide Body of believers where His love can be put into action. Everything I do is to be for the building up of Christ’s Body — members present and members yet to come. He has given me helpers suitable for me, both male and female. I, in turn, can add joy to others lives by striving to be a helper suitable for them. It is only natural to feel lonely when I am separated from such a precious part of Christ. Just like Adam and Paul, my joy is made complete when, together, we bask in the incredible presence of God.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Matthew Farrell
    Oct 01, 2012 @ 08:32:33

    Hey Mom! Great thoughts on the need to walk with others!

    Reply

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