God has designed us to live in relationship with one another in the body of Christ. The community of believers that we build into our lives serves an important role not only in our discipleship but also in protection from the attacks of the enemy. There’s great power in the support of fellow believers, both for encouragement and healing, as well as the confrontation of our sinfulness and feedback that challenges our self-deception.
The Scriptures exhort us to be wise to the schemes of the enemy, who roams about like a lion looking for those he can consume. Have you ever watched a television special about lions on Discovery channel or PBS? If you have, you know lions don’t go for the zebra in the middle of the pack. They’ll get trampled to death. They go for the zebra over by itself with its head in the grass. They surround it and…well, let’s just say it doesn’t go well for the zebra.
The same goes for the believer who isolates themselves from the body of Christ. The body is God’s primary conduit of grace into the life of the believer. If we isolate, we are weak and vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy.
This is why isolating us from the body is often the first step in the enemy’s playbook against us. He uses shame and condemnation to cause us to hide. We may continue to be around the body, but we hide our true self, along with our struggles, for fear of rejection. In this isolated state, the enemy has us exactly where he wants us.
Often the first step towards healing and freedom is bringing some safe people “in the circle” with us. This means getting real with safe individuals about the struggles we are facing so they can come alongside us and bear that burden with us. They can pray for us and in grace speak truth to us. They can also stand with us against the attacks and lies of the enemy, in whatever form or from whoever’s mouth they may be coming from.