I believe that one of the greatest dangers to living a joyful, victorious Christian life is isolation.
We need the encouragement, the fellowship, and, yes, the accountability of other Christ-followers. By design. Sometimes I hear critics say that The Church is too social. To which I heartily applaud - I hope so! Let's be social!! We need it! God instructs us that iron sharpens iron; He urges us to bear one another's burdens; He encourages us to rejoice with those who rejoice. He fashioned us in such a way so as to need each other -- we need to lean on others and we need to be leaned on.
The temptation is to pull away, to isolate ourselves. Now I'm not referring to staying home when your child is in the midst of the stomach flu (PLEASE DO!) or infrequent vacation plans that place you out of town on Sunday. But I do think The Church benefits when attendance is a priority of her members. My husband says that faithful attendance is a ministry! Amen and amen. When we teach, it matters to us if folks come. We notice. And it encourages us. Pretty sure pastors feel the same way.
We all experience that nudge to skip Church. To give in to the weariness from the week or the demands of the to-do list. Or the feeling that it just doesn't matter. Or even that desire to withdraw from the possibility of being hurt or disappointed. But don't. Please don't. There's a reason Scripture exhorts us : " not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. " Hebrews 10:25. And the clear reason is given in verse 24: "let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds". Crystal clear. If we don't all get together, chances are slim that we will successfully live a life of love and good deeds. Which are the keys to joy and victorious living.
Guess that explains why Christians in other countries risk their lives to not only believe in Christ but also to assemble with other believers. Read some books like The Insanity of God and get inspired. And grateful for how easy we have it. Let's don't waste our opportunities.
Hope you'll be in church this Sunday.