There Are No Solo Flights (In the Kingdom of God)
By: Al and Lisa Robertson
It has been many years since God hit us between the eyes with a 2×4 in order to get our attention. Up to that point, we had been more concerned with the things about God than we were about God himself. Looking back, we were probably more interested in building a ministry in the same way one would build a business. It wasn’t all bad because we know that we helped a lot of folks deepen their walk with God.
The problem is that somewhere along the way, we stopped paying as much attention to our own walk with God as we once did. Unfortunately, this opened the door for Satan to become a part of our marriage (and our relationships with others). What Satan apparently failed to notice, however, is that once his plan came to fruition and everything hit the fan (excuse the metaphor), God’s army had already been mobilized on our behalf. They had been on standby for years. The kingdom of God, our community of believers, our massive support system, immediately sprang into action and helped point us back to our very personal and benevolent Savior, Jesus Christ.
We bring this up because our goal is to encourage people who find themselves in desperate situations to not cave into the inner voice (which comes from the Evil One) to give in to that despair. Satan tells us that we are in a hopeless situation. He convinces us that our shame and guilt are so great that secrecy is our only option. “Don’t tell anyone! Don’t breathe a word of this? No one will understand! They will find you disgusting!”
We understand that there are church members who delight in the misery of others. There were probably people in our church who sat in judgment of us. But we were also swarmed by people who understood that no one is above sin and that the devil is the great deceiver. Every member of our community had also experienced moral failures of one kind or another. They had believed the lies too. When they rallied around us, it overwhelmed our despair. It gave us hope.
Two things separated our little community from the religious Pharisees. One, they knew God. They knew his tendency to pour out mercy instead of judgment on those who are humble before him. So, they reminded us of that – constantly. They never let us forget that merciful people reflect the true nature of God. They put flesh on Jesus’ words – “Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)
In ministering to us, they never did so in a way that would suggest they were morally superior to us. In fact, their ministry was a ministry of weakness that took into account their own propensity to sin. They showed the same compassion for us that Paul had for the people to whom he ministered:
Our community burned for us. They felt the pain of our weakness in their own hearts. They labored with us as we mapped out our path away from brokenness and into healing and wholeness. They reminded us that admitting our weakness is only admitting reality because the only way to be strong is to rely on the only one who is really strong – Almighty God! They pointed out the cold hard fact that what we thought was strength was a deadly illusion. We had never been strong and never would be. Once we internalized that truth, we were liberated.
The truth is, we couldn’t have done it without them. It would have been impossible.
We don’t know your situation. Perhaps your church’s culture does not lend itself to dispensing grace instead of judgment. But we would encourage you, whether you are in the midst of a moral crisis right now or not, to find a group of true believers who will walk with you. Just as we do, you always need accountability, support, and Christ-centered fellowship. We will always need somewhere to belong where we are reminded that the only path to fulfillment goes right up to the cross of Christ. Be relentless in your pursuit of this kind of community. Pray for God to give you the desire for it. You won’t regret it.
Finally, even though you may be in the throes of hopelessness, you still have no idea how God will use your current pain to bring hope to others. As painful as our situation was (and it felt like death), as soon as God demonstrated his power in our marriage by restoring us to sanity, he also began to use us to help lead others out of despondency. Because of what God did in us, he used us in our local church first, then nationally and internationally, to let others know that where a person (or a couple) is right now is not where they have to stay. God is in the moving business! He will not disappoint those who seek him.