Devotion

Don’t Be the Straggler

by Greg Laurie on Apr 23, 2020
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
—1 Peter 5:8
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Have you ever watched one of those wildlife shows where predators such as lions or alligators lie in wait for an unsuspecting animal? They just sit there waiting for the prey that separates from the pack, the slow one.

There go all the gazelles, but the one in the back is lagging behind. The lion thinks, “That looks like lunch to me” and grabs the lone victim and pulls it down.

That is what can happen to us as followers of Christ. When we’re fellowshipping with God’s people, we move in harmony. Social distancing doesn’t mean social isolating. We still need to pray for one another and encourage one another, even if that means a text message or a phone call.

But when you’re the straggler, when you neglect contact with other believers, you’re “following at a distance.” And that’s where you can get into trouble.

Peter was walking close to the Lord, but he ultimately denied Him and began to self-destruct. The Bible tells us that after Jesus’ arrest, “Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest” (John 18:15 NKJV).

Peter kept his distance from Jesus—not just physically, but spiritually. He was close enough to see what was going on, but he was far enough away to get into trouble.

When you get involved with your church family, you develop friendships with Christian brothers and sisters. What’s more, you have accountability and people to pray for you and help you through life.

So, engage. Be a part of what God is doing. Don’t be the person who isolates, the one that has too much of the world to be happy in the Lord but too much of the Lord to be happy in the world. That’s a miserable no-man’s-land. Don’t be the straggler.

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