Gathered or Scattered?
Updated: Jan 19, 2020
Over the past few weeks I have been reading through the book of Ezekiel as part of my annual Bible reading plan. As I have been reading I have noticed a recurring theme. When God punishes the nation of Israel for their disobedience He often scatters them and when He talks of blessing them in the future He speaks of gathering them back together.
It shouldn’t surprise us that God likes for us to be together. After all, His first command to mankind was to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). It doesn’t end there either. Throughout scripture we are encouraged to be with one another to serve, encourage, and hold each other accountable, among many other benefits!
But as I walk around campus and drive down north main street I don’t see a lot of “togetherness.” I see six people waiting for the bus to campus and all six looking at their phones. I see a group of students sharing a table in the student center, but all have their headphones in. It’s not just with strangers…we even gather around tables with our friends and family members and we are all immersed in our phones scrolling instagram or replying to a text.
Last year, I was reading through the book of Acts and as I was reading I asked myself “why don’t we see the Holy Spirit move in America today the way we see it in the book of Acts?” This question can be answered in several ways, but one thing I noticed in the book of Acts that is missing in our world today is “togetherness.”
In Acts 2:42-44 (NLT) we read,
“And all the believers devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous sings and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had.”
God shows up and moves in powerful ways when we are together! It’s the way He designed it to be! It’s no wonder that our individual spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12 are discussed in the context of how they relate to the body of believers (not the individual).
Still not convinced? Consider the book of Ephesians. A book heavily devoted to talking about unity among believers closes by warning us against Satan’s schemes to divide and tear us apart.
Think about it…if we weren’t a threat to Satan by being together then why are his efforts always aimed at causing division and separation?
So as you go forward into the semester and year ask God to show you areas where you are prone to separate yourself from other believers. Is there a sin that is keeping you from surrounding yourself around Godly friends? Or maybe it’s just plain busyness. Whatever the reason is for you, I pray that you will choose gather rather than scatter, and that through doing so God will manifest Himself in mighty ways this semester.
Kyle and Maggie Hooper live in Blacksburg, Virginia where they serve with The Navigators U.S. Military Ministry at Virginia Tech. In addition to their ministry to the Corps of Cadets, Kyle serves as an F-22 Aircraft Maintenance Officer in the Virginia Air National Guard. Kyle & Maggie have two children, Jack (2) and Luke (1) and are passionate about raising up Godly leaders across our nation’s military and helping followers of Jesus to know God more intimately and walk in the fullness of His Spirit.