Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

January 5, 2021: Pushing Back Against Spiritual Distancing

“I pray for them. ... that You should keep them from the evil one. ... that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. ... And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them (John 17:9–26, NKJV).

Jesus came that we may have life and have it more abundantly. It is the enemy that comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).

From the beginning, one of the enemy’s most effective strategies has been to divide and separate—to distance us from God and each other. Since our first wandering apart in the Garden of Eden, keeping us in the age-old conflict between good and evil has depended on our remaining separate. From each other and from God.

Often, the lure is to get us to choose between polar opposites—be it politics, ideologies, religion, race. The deceiver doesn’t care which end of the pole we run to, as long as it keeps us at odds with one another. He knows we can’t be in conflict and peace at the same time.

As candles next to each other cast a brighter light, the Spirit quickens believers who come together. We receive power when we draw near to God. If we understood how very life-threatening separation is to us spiritually, we would push back. Our togetherness with God and each other is so vital to our recovery and victory that it was the single most important thing on Jesus’ mind the night before He died on the cross.

Heavenly Father, may Jesus’ plea for us be our reality! Amen.

Rick Aldridge is a chaplain at Fort Hamilton Hospital for Kettering Adventist HealthCare in Ohio.


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