All my life up to this point, I thought it was my job as an individual to grow as close to God as I can, and that the Church’s job (my fellow believers) was to help me do that. To help me succeed in “my” individual discipleship journey. But we are so much more intertwined than that. You are not just an assistant in my journey, and I in yours. We are co-journeyers – traveling companions. We pace together. We slow down and speed up together.
If you twist your ankle on the hike, my progress slows down as well as I help you limp forward. If you catch a second wind and increase your speed, my pace quickens as I feed off of your new-found energy!
God is doing a new thing in my heart that is really an old thing, rekindled. In fact, it is the original thing.
Before creation, God Himself dwelt in a perfectly cohesive, cooperative, intimate, communal union. The Three Persons of the Trinity living together in perfect holy-love and for each other’s mutual benefit.
It was out of the overflow of this perfect union that creation flowed – with humanity as the chief object, recipient, and image-bearer of the divine, united, Triune community. We best fulfill God’s original intent for mankind when we dwell, abide, live – continuously – in perfect, cohesive, cooperative, intimate, mutually-beneficial union with each other – under, before, and with God.
Discipleship is not primarily an individual pursuit. Spiritual formation is something we do together. And if we believe the language of the Bible and God’s intent in it, it’s all of us – the whole body of believers – across time and space. My spiritual formation is not only intertwined in yours and the rest of our contemporaries, but also with every other believer throughout history!