A couple of weeks ago there was an event on TV that I get very excited about every year. It’s called Shark Week and it is an event that’s loved by pretty much everyone, male and female alike. In fact, during Shark Week the Discovery Channel was the most watched network on TV. America obviously loves sharks. The only group of people I know that don’t like Shark Week are people who love seals, the most popular victim of sharks on Shark Week. If you’ve ever seen Shark Week you know that when you see a seal on your TV screen it ultimately ends up getting viciously attacked by a monstrous great white.
I’ve noticed something else though. When you see a group of seals sticking together, they’re usually pretty safe. The seal that always seems to die is the idiot that has wandered away from the group. When a seal goes 1 on 1 vs. a shark, the shark will win that battle 100 percent of the time. The seals are better off when they have others around.
My challenge for new college students is this: don’t be the seal on Shark Week that wandered away from the group.
1 Peter 5:8 says this, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
Satan is looking for Christians to devour just like a roaring lion or a shark on Shark Week. One of our best defenses is to be apart of a community of other believers. This community is called the church.
As Christians we are meant to be a part of this Christian community. How important is it to be a part of a church? David Platt puts it this way in his book Follow Me, “It’s biblically impossible to follow Christ apart from joining his church. In fact, anyone who claims to be a Christian yet is not an active member of a church may not actually be a follower of Christ at all.” The church is meant to be a group of people who love one another and help each other grow in Christ daily.
As Platt puts it, “The Bible portrays the church as a community of Christians who care for one another, love one another, host one another, receive one another, honor one another, serve one another, instruct one another, forgive one another, motivate one another, build up one another, forgive one another, motivate one another, build up one another, encourage one another, comfort one another, pray for one another, confess sin to one another, esteem one another, edify one another, teach one another, show kindness to one another, give to one another, rejoice with one another, weep with one another, hurt with one another, and restore one another.”
If you’ve been a Christian for more than 10 minutes, then you know that it’s not easy, so why would we try and do it alone? We need each other to help us accomplish our goal to grow in Christ daily and not give in to temptation. We need others to encourage us when we experience difficulties in life and we need each other to accomplish the mission Jesus has given us to make disciples and be his witness. We need others to make sure we don’t get devoured like the seal on Shark Week.
If you’re not a committed member of a church body I hope that you will make this commitment to join a church and grow with other believers. If you’re a college student in a new town, I hope you will seek out a local church body in which to get plugged in. If you’re the seal away from the group,I hope you’ll come back to the community where you belong.