We talked about what the Lord was showing us in the Word, and how it was impacting our lives. We talked about how to maximize the impact of the Word on, in, and through our lives. We shared challenges, frustrations, hopes, and what the Lord was teaching us through these struggles.
It was not all that long. But it did not take long. They were warriors, we are facing many of the same challenges, and definitely the same enemy. It was a much richer exchange with these men than what we usually label fellowship in our communities, spilling coffee over one another as we talk about the latest ailment, challenge with the family, or the prospects of one’s favorite football team. Sure, those things need to be addressed – they are a legitimate and needed communication in our communities, but if that is the sum and substance of our conversations, I might suggest that there is much missing.
In D. A. Carson’s book on Philippians he says:
…in our conversations we ought regularly to be sharing in the gospel; that is, delighting in God, sharing with one another what we have been learning from his Word, joining in prayer for the advance of the gospel (not least in the lives of those to whom we have been bearing witness), encouraging one another in obedience and maturing discipleship, bearing one another’s burdens, and growing in self-sacrificial love for one another for Christ’s sake. (D. A. Carson, Basics for Believers: An Exposition of Philippians (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1996), 19.)I could not agree more. There was a qualitative difference in those three conversations today. While I want people to pray about my cancer, I am more edified when I hear about how they are faring in the battle with the enemy for the souls of people. It is much richer and the time flies. To me that is the essence of Hebrews 3:13 and 10:24 - 25.