I must be the most antisocial social person on the face of the earth! I hate the thought of interacting with people, especially people I have never met before. However, once I am comfortable, I can be the life of the party. Sort of crazy, right? I know. I recently joked about how I just introduced myself to my neighbors across the street. They’ve lived here at least two years. I see them daily. I speak. Then, I go in the house. I had never actually walked over and welcomed them to the neighborhood (which is practically a sin in Texas), but we were all outside because a bad storm had swept through our neighborhood and damaged our trees. They were working in their yard while my husband and I were in ours. While my husband was busy speaking to someone else, I walked over and FINALLY introduced myself (but only after apologizing for not doing so a long time ago). They were very gracious and welcoming, as well as understanding (they are actually the same way, so they understood). However, I still felt bad because, after all, I am a Christian. It is my responsibility to show God’s love to people. If I only show love to the people I know and those I am comfortable around, then how do I perform my Christian duty to help win the world for Christ. I cannot! That is why I am so grateful to have a friend who covers me in prayer, challenges me to step outside of my comfort zone, and be the person God has called me to be. If it had it not been for her, I may not have yielded to the Holy Spirit’s direction and walked across the street to introduce myself.
I have always had a hard time initiating conversations and relationships. When I pledged THE Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated in Grambling, Louisiana 20 years ago, I understood that I was number 35 of 82 (yes 82 & no that is not a record). The person in front of me was my front door and the person behind, my back door. What did that really mean? I mean, I understood that these were my line sisters and we were supposed to be there for each other. However, we were young and life got in the way. That’s a good enough excuse, right? Well, 20 years later, as we are planning our anniversary trip, relearning each other again, and as I taught the youth in my church about why being in community was so important, I finally had my OWN epiphany! Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (KJV) “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken”. We really do need each other to survive!
Just like plants, we need water, both physically and spiritually, to survive. Our spiritual water represents our community as well as the relationships and bonds we form within it. Relationships with other believers can be refreshing like water. Matthew 18:20 (KJV) states, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”. God is obligated to show up when we commune together! Revelations 12:11 (KJV) states, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of our testimony”. How can we overcome if we don’t share our testimony with others? You are not going through this life for yourself or by yourself. Your testimony is meant to help someone else get through their struggle.
So, what about that front and back door? Doors are meant to keep bad things out or valuable things in. My front door protects me from the enemy’s tricks and schemes… those weapons that he formed against me, often right in front of my face. The ones I don’t recognize because I am too busy focusing on the other attacks simultaneously going on in my life. My back door protects me from the sneak attacks he tries to make (e.g. the lies told behind my back or anything I don’t see coming). They are both strong and provide protection. They both keep my value from being diminished. They keep me from self-destructing. They remind me who and whose I am. And when the three join and stand together, the enemy has a serious battle on his hands!
I get it now! And I hope you do too!!! I am covered – not just by His blood – but by the genuine friendships I have gathered along the way (despite my antisocial, don’t want to be bothered ways)! Get you a front & back door so you can withstand the plans of the enemy and help win the world to Christ! There lies the power of community!