I have to admit that I haven't been doing that. It's not that I'm after the glory, but I don't trust people. I guess I've been let down enough that I just do things by myself and if others want to join me, I'll let them. It reminds me of the argument that Paul and Barnabas had about John Mark. Paul wanted to leave him behind because the work would get done better and Barnabas wanted to bring him along. Paul and Barnabas ended up splitting up over it.
In this case, I don't want to be like Paul. The work, although it is good, is not as important as people. Having a friend may slow me down, but it could be that God wants me to minister to that friend as much as minister in the work that I am doing. Let's not discount our friends. They are valuable, not only for the work we are doing, but also for us. Doesn't the Bible say, "As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend." in Psalm 27:17? We need each other. God says so. Check out Ecclesiastes 4:12 or the account in Genesis where Adam names the animals and no helper could be found. I have a dog. I named her. She's a good dog, but she doesn't help me in the way that I need help.
A lot of people say that they don't need help. They just need God and that's enough. That's simply not true. God can still use us if we are by ourselves, but He prefers to use a group. He uses an individual when people don't stand up. He uses one person to shame the rest. The army of Israel could have defeated the Philistines, but they were scared, so God used the boy David to slay the giant to show that He is strong. By admitting our weakness and asking for help, we are admitting God's strength through our brothers and sisters. If we declare our strength, then we really about to show our weakness... we just don't know it. Think of Elijah when he was complaining to God that he was the only one left on God's side, yet God said He had hundreds hidden who did not bow down to Baal.
We think we're the only one who will stand for God, but that is a lie that the enemy tells us. We are not alone, we are never alone. Not only do we have God, but God always sends others. They may not be who we think they are or even who we want them to be. But God sends them, and they are obedient. So the next time you think you're all alone, look around. Pick up your phone and call someone. If you have no one, call me. I'll be your friend.
It might be the culture that makes us want to do it on our own. We feel the need to prove that we can. Take moving out, for instance. 18 year olds always want to move out. I don't think they should. My advise to anyone who is still in school is this: Stay at home as long as you are in school. You will make your life easier in the long run. Especially if you're a girl. Dorm life is a detriment to healthy growth. Only the strong escape unscathed. Now you'll noticed that I specified girls. I've noticed that, in this culture, women are pressured to become independent. They don't need a man. they don't want a man. They can do it on their own. They can have careers and houses and cars and all the stuff that men have. I see this as a great charade played on Americans by the devil. Women do not have to prove anything. The more they try to act like men, the more they cease to act like women. I do not wish to say that women don't have the ability or that they can't achieve this stuff. Obviously, they have. However, I do not believe that the strong independent woman is a product of following the Lord. Women should be cared for and looked after, not because they need it, but because the men need someone to look after and care for and protect. Women need to be women so the men can be men. If women act like men, then the men start acting like women. Just look at fashion... actually... you may not want to look.
If I can encourage the young women who read this to stay at home as long as possible. The goal is to stay with your parents until your wedding day. Learn how to keep a family home from your mom and get as much practice in as possible. Guys need that. I need that. Men may be physically stronger than women, but we are really weak insecure people inside. We try to show a tough face to the world. We try to appear solid, but the ones who really are are the ones who have that special helper that God made for them. The rest of us try, but end up with mold growing in our refrigerators and dust bunnies on our shelves.
A woman of God must submit to her husband, and her husband must love and serve his wife. He can't serve properly unless he feels that He is in control like he should be. How can he lead if he is being told what to do. Instead, he needs to serve her because he loves her. She needs to submit to him and trust him. If she can't trust him, she can't trust God because God said to trust him. Is the goodness of our God not greater than the mistakes of your husband? Marriages fail because the men don't serve their wives and the wives don't submit to their husbands. I haven't done a lot of marital counseling, but I've gotten my feet wet with it, and every couple I've listened to about marital problems stem from that. If one is doing it, then the marriage is rocky, but it survives. If one is blaming the other, then neither of them are doing it, and if that doesn't get fixed, the marriage fails. Not all failed marriages end in legal divorce. Some just stay rotten and fester.
Now back to the ministry is not a solo, but a chorus. One Bible reading single man isn't going to make a difference this way. It takes you married couples to show people how to do it right. People come to me because they don't have strongly married couples to go to. Their friends are all divorced or having problems like they are. If you are a married couple following and being blessed by the Lord, take a single person under your wing and model what it is like to have a Godly marriage. If you have kids, take a single parent and his or her child under your wing and show them what a family looks like. Be the surrogate father or mother until God brings one in or the child grows up. You are supposed to tend to your family first, but if you are so concerned with your family that you can't help anyone else, you are missing out. Do what is right, and trust that God will work things out, and open up your home and your heart to someone who needs it. One man on a Mission in Chico is not enough. Ministry is not a solo, but a chorus. So as I continue to sing worship to my Father with my actions, sing along.