One of the clearest evidences of a person’s love for God is a magnetic pull toward people, specifically the people of God. The believer in Christ, more than anyone else, experientially knows the true meaning of such Scriptures as Psalm 133:1, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” and 1 John 4:21, “And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” However, there is another significant aspect of this relational demonstration of true faith that we consider today: the therapeutic power of working through times of temptation not alone, which is our fleshly tendency, but together—with the people of God.
The Apostle Paul understood the power of fighting against sin alongside other Christians, “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart” (2 Tim 2:22). This is another lesson Asaph, the man who penned the ever-helpful Psalm 73, also came to understand as he battled the perplexity of indiscernible trials that tormented his soul and threatened to sabotage his faith. As Martyn Lloyd-Jones preached through Psalm 73 he noted how the psalmist saw the immense need to remain closely connected to the people of God. When our faith is on trial, one of the worst responses we can step into is the isolation that our pride thrives on. Lloyd-Jones wrote,
[W]e must never forget our relationship to one another. The think that held this man [Asaph] at first was not anything that he discovered about God’s way with respect to himself but his recollection of his relationship to other people. That is marvelous, I think. That is the thing that held this man. [Lloyd-Jones then proceeds to stress the importance of the Christian remembering, not merely mentally, but experientially that] we are all bound up together, and if you cannot check yourself for your own sake, you must check yourself because of your weaker brother. When you are next tempted, when the devil makes you forget that you are not an isolated case, when he suggests that this something that concerns you alone, think of the consequences, remember the other people, remember Christ, remember God. If you and I fall, it is not an isolated fall, the whole Church falls with us. This man realized that he was bound in the bundle of life with these other people. Say then to yourself, ‘I see that all these others are going to be involved. We are children of a heavenly kingdom, we are individual members, in particular, of the one Body of Christ. We cannot act in isolation.’ So if nothing else checks you when you are about to do something wrong, remember that fact, remember your family, remember the people to whom you belong, remember the Name that is on your forehead and if nothing else will hold you, let that hold you. It held this man.
Remember. Remember Christ. And in times when your faith is tested by the soul-tormenting trial of perplexity, remember you do not live alone.