Friday, November 14, 2014

Solitary Things Versus Group Things

"So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, 'Get up quickly.' And the chains fell off his hands... When Peter came to himself, he said, 'Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.' When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. Recognizing Peter's voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. They said to her, 'You are out of your mind.' But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, 'It is his angel!' But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed. But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, 'Tell these things to James and to the brothers.' Then he departed and went to another place." - Acts 12:5-7, 11-17 ESV

This picture is an amusing one. The Church knocking on Heaven's door for Peter's release and Peter knocking on the gate for entry. Rhoda had a story to tell her grandchildren.

It brings me back to an idea I have been thinking about lately... solitary activities versus group activities. The group believed, almost as if in a dream, what the individual could not fathom.

There is wisdom in knowing what is a corporate (group) activity and what is a solitary one.

"And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits." Mark 6:7 ESV

"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15 ESV

Time is to short and precious to do the group activities alone or to rely on others for what we alone are accountable for. No one is going to die to self for us or mix finished work faith with God's word in situations. These are things we do behind closed doors with God and God alone. No one is going to study for us and move us from milk to meat.

The battle is a 'we' thing and not a 'me' thing.

It takes humility to be in a group and stay in a group if you are a person more prone to solitary activities. The group dynamic can be sloppy at times. People say silly things like 'Maybe it is Peter's angel at the door!' People have different styles of worship and have varying levels of maturity.

Peter was helpless to free himself from prison but was fully equipped to give clear definition and instruction once the people finally let him in the gate.

Leadership in the group dynamic adds to our individual dynamic and our individual life of faith is vital to the corporate experience.


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