Dear Phil, isn't it wonderful when God stops us in our tracks and points us to the completed work that He does Himself? I am SOOOO thankful for that!!!
Dearest Candy, I understand your frustration, I think that there are those all around the world that struggle with it. Yet, there are so many things we can learn in the desert; as a matter of fact things we HAVE to learn now while we have the opportunity to.
I know that we are meant to have fellowship and AMEN to the brother that held onto the hope of that verse! (Brother, it works!) Yet, do we realize that there are those around this world who [b]must[/b] learn how to stand all alone?!
Here we are, we have ample supply of wonderful messages compiled just here on this site (I wonder how many library tapes around there are?) that stretches from several generations- men of God like AW Tozer, and Art Katz, and Kieth Daniel (too many more to mention them all!) There are so many sermons that if I listened to one or two a day I don't think I could hear them all in my lifetime.
There are books in publication that have blessed and changed people's lives for 100's of years! And we have access to them!
We have the freedom in this country (at this point)to gather together in a church, a home, a park, a street, a school, a flea market...and have the opportunity to worship and meet without threatening or violence.
We can teach our children the gospel, we can even teach them schooling at home! We can have a backyard childrens group and teach the neighborhoods children about the great hero's of faith and the gift of the Son of God!!!
We can go to any senior citizen's center and visit lonely, dying, sick folks who [b]love[/b] to see a smiling face and talk to them or even just read to them or help them write a letter or whatever!
I can speak to the unsaved young girl who is struggling with sin and bondage in her life and tell her I know One who loves her more than anything else in this life, and that I could pray for her, even right now that God would intervene and open her eyes to who He is.
You know most unsaved (not all, but most) are so appreciative of you praying for them! Sure they have a lot to hear, a lot to repent of, a lot to pray through themselves- but we're here as [b]salt, light, the representatives of Christ on this earth![/b] We don't harass them into the kingdom of heaven, we reveal the gospel which is this "that God loved sinful, fallen humanity so much that He sent His only Son to die that they could have the opportunity to live forever with Him in eternity!"
There are so many countries around the world that do not have that! We have been given much in these western world areas; but to whom much is given, much will be required...
YES, we NEED fellowship, but when we pray and turn it over to God, just as Diane mentioned, we can find it in the most unusual places, in the most unsuspecting people, at the most God ordained moments.
Because, "where two or more of you gather together in My name, there I am in the midst of you."
(For years I went to a church that was anything but uplifting- oh, there were moments...- but I did not go there to [b]be[/b] blessed; rather I brought what God had blessed me with, with me. And God worked, even in that simple way.)
I'm SOOO thankful that I have a husband that I can fellowship with, God has revealed so much of Himself to me in that beautiful fellowhip!!!
But remember this, dear sister:
"We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification.
For even Christ pleased not Himself.........
For whatsoever things were written before, were written for our learning,
that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
Now the God of patience and consolation....."
Romans 15:1-7 (Read the rest, it's absolutely powerful!!!!!)
Sister, God has richly blessed us!! And no hypocrite, no pharisee, no sinner, no carnally minded believer, no backslider can EVER take that away from us. FIX your eyes on Christ, when you walk into your church PRAY that God would open up doors that you can't see!
And BE a blessing,
And pray with all your heart, ALWAYS, in ALL situations,
give praise to God wherever you are because He is [b]worthy of all praise, all honor and all glory[/b]!
Be open to the moving of God, He may bring another person across your path that you would never have recognized on your own!
Cling to HIM, run to HIM, honor HIM,
and YOU will be amazed at what God will do!!!
"Now unto HIM,
who is able to do
above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that worketh IN US!"
Please forgive my long post!
Love and prayers in Christ to you all,