Dear Heavenly Father,
I want to take advantage of this breath I have by saying thank You. I cannot thank You enough for Your loving kindness, Your grace, and Your mercy. In this post I would like for the people to hear a word from You that encourages them to be more loving, more communicative, more transparent, and more willing to fellowship with one another. I ask that Marcus decrease, and You would increase Father. Let the people reading this post hear from You. I am trusting that someone will be blessed by this Father. I am thankful for this blessing in advance.
In Jesus’ Mighty name I pray,
At First Baptist Church of Glenarden (FBCG) our theme this year has been Doing Life Together. There are numerous events that take place regularly for individuals and couples to join in receiving the word, in the presence of other believers. My wife and I regularly attend couples ministry on the second Saturday of every month, we tune in for the prayer call every Wednesday at 10 pm, and I am a member of Men Connected w/ Christ (MCC) which meets every Monday night. Those are just a few of the opportunities we take advantage of that our church offers. I encourage you to be involved with your church community, join our church if you’re in the DMV area (it is a great church), or to find a church community if you’re not a part of one. The results of consistently seeking Godly fellowship has produced fruitful, peaceful, and positive results in my spiritual lifestyle (Matthew 6:33).
MCC has been life changing for me. The group meets once a week to engage in a biblical based study on how we as men can be stronger men of God, husbands for those who are married, and leaders that carry out the plan that God has for our lives. In this community I have had the opportunity to speak freely, without judgement, and receive Godly counsel. The enemy hates this! The reality is he is trying to take God’s people down every day, especially men of God because he knows how much of a threat we are to him. Whether the means to our destruction are through social media distractions, being triggered to act on immoral desires, or when life comes at us hard by constantly sending triggers for our vices.
A vice is defined as an immoral or wicked behavior; an immoral or wicked personal characteristic. In Greek a vice is defined as a bad habit or weakness. Family, let me be the first to tell you that the enemy wants to find us in our weakest spots (1 Peter 5:8). Please believe he is plotting on the moments when we feel our weakest and hopes that we isolate our thoughts enough that we fall into doubt, discouragement, depression, anxiety, fear, guilt and resentment. That is why it is imperative that we get control of our vices so they do not impede upon our spiritual progression or connectedness.
We have to develop strategies to submit to God and denounce the enemy when faced with temptation to engage in our vices. Often times it is very difficult to conquer a vice on our own. The Bible has various scriptures that suggest that we should “Do Life Together”. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up” (NKJV). This passage stresses the importance of having someone to help you up when we fall. As a believer, we should embrace the opportunity of being a part of our Christian community and fellowship with other believers who can help us before we fall.
My first helpmate is my wife. I communicate openly with her about life’s many stressors for me. Through transparency it allows her to pray for me in those areas, to help me up when I have fallen, and to hold me accountable. Through the fellowship of my church community, specifically in MCC, I have developed a greater appreciation for accountability. James 5:16 says “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (NIV). My accountability brothers are there as helpmates when I feel tempted to fall. I can share the details of my vices or potential transgression with them in a text instead of acting impulsively, and know that they will pray for me, encourage me, and continue to hold me accountable.
The first step to battling with our vices is to understand what our personal vices are. Do you spend way too many hours a week on social media, 5 out of the 16-18 hours in the day (assuming you sleep for 6-8 hours) drinking or doing drugs, are you so busy that you do not engage in daily devotion spending time with God, does pleasuring yourself come before doing the will of God. If the enemy could have it his way he would submerge us in the pleasures of this world. I urge you to become more aware of areas that need to be submitted. Avoid feelings of discouragement, doubt, guilt, shame, and suffering alone. Embrace Doing Life with believers around you that you can be transparent with. Folks that will hold you accountable and will also encourage you.
We have to be in a posture for God to use us to help someone else struggling to break through the strongholds of worldly pleasures.
To God be all the glory and the honor! Wishing you peace and many blessings!