One of the beautiful aspects of living life with others, through all our highs and lows, is the depth of relationships that are developed in the process. It is one thing to spend a few years with someone and then move on, but it is another thing entirely to endure life with someone over an extended period of years and observe and participate in the work of the Lord together.
In 2 Samuel 23, we have this beautiful scene of men gathered around a dying King David as he utters his last words to them. What makes this scene so significant is the fact that these men had endured years of extreme highs and lows together. They had endured living on the run and in caves, and they had also enjoyed reigning over a great and glorious kingdom. Here were men who had literally gone to war for one another, and the chapter is a re-living of some of their times together.
It is a wonderful reminder to me of the fellowship that Christians enjoy as we live life together in the Lord. As we soar on the heights of life's accomplishments together and wade through the depths of life's tragedies together, there is a beautiful and almost unexplainable interweaving of life which cannot be undone.
One word sits beneath all of these circumstances: together. It is the unique aspect of living life together with others that brings about a deep, abiding level to the Christian life that is not possible for us if we try to go at it ourselves. What happens when Christian brothers and sisters cling to the Lord together and "bear one another's burdens", as Galatians says? Not only do all parties involved grow closer together, but, even more glorious, the Lord receives wonderful honor as His Spirit works in the lives of everyone involved.
Multiple times in this chapter, as Samuel recounts some of the incredible feats of David's mighty men, he concludes with the phrase, "and the Lord brought about a great victory."
Time and time again, both in the record of Scripture as well as in our own lives, we see this truth at work: the Lord weaves together our stories and testimonies with those he has put in our life to bring about great victories for us, for others, and ultimately for Himself. We see this through the struggles of the Israelites throughout the Old Testament, through the lives of the disciples in the New Testament, and through the lives of those we know and love each day.
One of the greatest temptations of the flesh is to hide ourselves away from the struggles of those around us. In one sense, it is safer to live life this way because we have a natural tendency to protect ourselves from things that cause us pain. And yet, in a much greater sense, we are missing out on the beauty of "life-on-life" discipleship and the glorious fruit that the Lord brings about in our lives when we do this. We discover that not only does the Lord use this beautiful fellowship to use us to minister to others, but He also uses others to minister to us. And, in doing so, in each case, He brings about a great victory for us and for Himself.
Take time to reflect on those people in your life that the Lord has used to bring about great victories. It is a wonderful thing to remind each other of the victories that the Lord has brought about in your life. Oftentimes it seems that others remember your victories in greater detail than you do, and that you remember their victories more vividly than they. Let us encourage one another with the victories the Lord has brought about in our lives as we do life together.
Each week this blog will be updated with a word for the week from my current studies.