Hebrews 10:24 “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works”
Who hasn’t come upon a stagnant body of water and considered their health before stepping in? I live in the Pacific Northwest, an area of the United States that has very few snakes, bugs, or critters that want to hurt you or let alone eat you. Go down to the southern U.S. or visit my friends in Africa and you’ll find so many varieties of snakes, you’ll have to be an expert to identify them all. Even so, the algae, scum, frogs, mosquitos, and every other thing that lives in stagnant water is usually a deterrent to one’s health.
People can become stagnant and lifeless, in particular people who have fractured their walk with God. Lifelessness is the expectation for those who have rejected the source of all life in Christ Jesus, but there are those who have partaken of Christ and have allowed what was meant to be a spring of life to be turned into a reservoir that has no flow.
God’s people are often associated with the Water of Life. Jesus made it very clear that His people get to partake of His water and even become a source for this life when they are filled with the Spirit.
John 4:13-14 “Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
What causes these springs of life to slow or even stop in a believers life? What can we do to release the dam and allow these waters to flow once again?
The Spiritual Dam
First off, the stirring up of stagnant believers is accomplished by fellow believers in love.
Hebrews 10:25 “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
So many people look for excuses for not going to church because of one reason or another. Covid has become the greatest excuse for the introverts who struggle with connecting with others, the excuses serve only as a detriment to your spiritual health.
As a fellow believer, I want to stir you up so that your walk becomes vibrant once again and I guarantee you, there are many other loving people who feel the same way.
Hebrews 3:13 “But exhort one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
The path of stagnation is often a very subtle luring by the enemy in an attempt to render useless the people of God.
Clear blatant sin is often easier to avoid, especially if your walk with God is daily and vibrant. It’s the very indescrite lapses in judgement that leads many into thinking they can justify the “minor” sins, the ones that lead people further and further away until the small slips become big falls.
Some of these small slips may be…
- A small selfish decision that can lead to internalizing hatred toward others.
- A feeling of pride that causes a growing anger towards those who you think are disrespecting you.
- A furtive look that leads to more boldness in acting upon lust.
The subtleties of leading people into sin are methods that Satan has perfected over thousands of years through deceit. The more we let our guard down, the more we fall prey and the greater the obstruction to our walk with Christ.
If we don’t consider one another, others will think they are alone in the fight. Stirring up one another is to encourage each other toward toward holiness and growing in wisdom against the schemes of the enemy.
If we don’t learn to stir up one another toward good works, we may stir up trouble we didn’t want.
Stirring Up Trouble
Proverbs 15:18 “A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.”
When sin continues to creep in, it leads those entrapped into patterns that lead only to trouble. You can either be stirred up to good works, or be stirred up to the consequences of destruction.
Proverbs 10:12 “Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses.”
Do you ever question where your at in life?
You can tell by the fruit of your actions, whether you’ve begun this descent into in the mediocrity of fruitless living or if your wise to the schemes and found faithful.
2 Peter 1:13 “I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder,”
The reminder of Paul was giving this reminder of all that pertains to life and godliness.
2 Peter 1:5-7 “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.”
The path of godliness begins with faith in the life of the believer and ends in love. This process of returning to your first love in Christ is a process of rebuilding that which has been broken down. It’s important to first pray, get your heart right before the Lord so that you are ready to receive all that He is giving. The Lord leads according to His Word but if your walking in a state of brokenness, it can be very difficult to hear and receive the truth you need.
With the encouragement of others we find strength in unity, we discover life when the world tries to cover the light, we are reminded of all that is good and true which allows us to lead one another further along in this path. Sometimes providing a listening ear is all that is necessary, other times a warm embrace, the manner in which we encourage one another is not dependent on any one thing—as long as love is expressed, it penetrates the heart and builds up.
Have you been stirred up to encourage others?
The strength of a body of believers begins and ends with Christ, but the manner in which they practice the love of Christ is the foundation for how a vibrant people brings glory back to God.
Consider others and you’ll find yourself encouraged.