Isaac and his servants moved into the land of the Philistines in Gerar. His father, Abraham had moved there years before for the very same reason and Abe had dug some wells there. The Philistines had come along and filled each well with earth and stopped them up. Now Isaac went about the task of digging out each one and opening them back up.
Many times we can let this world, or other influences fill our heart with dirt, or useless material things and it stops up the living water that needs to run freely. Spiritual dryness will occur if we let them go and we can suffer from it if we don’t dig them out. We need to dig in and get those things out that can hurt or hinder us. Those things that fill up our hearts and cause strife and problems in our lives.
Jesus said “He that believeth in Me. out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-39)
If we let Him have His way. If we allow His Spirit to flow in our lives then these stopped up, dirty wells in our hearts will burst open with the Spirit of the Lord and clean and cleanse us from all that dirt and garbage.
The products of lone wolf Christianity
In the first part of this chapter we find out that a famine has come into the land. One like the kind that Isaac’s father Abraham had faced years before. Isaac acted rashly, pulled up his family and moved into Gerar, and followed in his father’s footsteps. He didn’t actually move into Egypt (as type of the world) but he moved as far as he could. Gerar was the closest place you could come to without moving into Egypt, it was at the border. We need to always watch what we do and where we go because our children will follow our examples, no matter good or bad. If we watch that movie, if we go to that bar, if we use that curse word and think “It is ok, I am a grown man. It won’t affect me.” Then we aren’t thinking about the little ones who follow us. Our children learn from us and they will do the things that we do, they will say the things that we say. Next time, before you watch that movie, or listen to that song, remember that our kids are watching and learning from everything that we do. If you don’t want your children to watch something, then you don’t watch it. If you don’t want them to do something, then you don’t do it. The “I’m an adult” thing can only go so far, and kids know fake when they see it. Live for God today and see what your children learn from that.
Isaac moved to Gerar, just like Abraham did, he moved as close to the world as he could without actually being there. We can find ourselves doing the same from time to time. We are in the blessings of God, everything is going all right and then, out of the blue, something happens. For Isaac it was a famine but for us it could be any number of things: Spiritual famine, discord at home, at church. Soon we find ourselves either thinking about or actually leaving the area where the famine has occurred. The first thing we almost always end up doing is leaving church, either because we don’t want to face anyone and actually admit we have a problem, we are embarrassed, or we just don’t know what to do. God told Isaac not to go into Egypt and he had listened up to a point. God doesn’t want us to leave where we are with Him. Many times when we move away from fellowship in church, we eventually move out of fellowship with God.
This is how a lone wolf Christian starts.
I had attended a church for many, many years because of family and because it was what everyone I knew did. They all went to this church. Later, after I married my wife, and started having children, I really began to read the Bible for myself and I soon began to realize that the particular church’s view of Jesus was not the same as mine. I wanted a closer relationship with the Lord. I wanted something more than just religious activity. My wife and I couldn’t come to a decision back then because she grew up in a different denomination that was like the night to the day of the denomination that I was a part of (did that make any sense???) and we just couldn’t find a church where we both felt at home, so we didn’t go. Later on we finally found a church where we both felt that we could go together, as a family. It was a Southern Baptist church that still exists with many of the same members. For a year or so, everything went well. They had a very good pastor there and the members were ready to grow with in the Lord, but eventually the pastor bumped heads with the family who had actually built the church and things soon fell apart because the Lord was left out of the whole thing. We soon backed out of church again, and we stayed out for some time because we just didn’t want to go through the whole thing all over again. We didn’t loose our fellowship with Jesus, but we did, miss out on fellowship with members of the body of Christ.
My children were small back then, but they are getting older and I see the need for them to be a part of the Church. I see the need for them to have fellowship with other believers so that they can grow with others in the Lord. A place where the Lord can use them because they are already known by that particular body of believers. I don’t want them to have to go through this lone wolf cycle.
So what is a lone wolf Christian?
A lone wolf Christian is one who doesn’t deal with or go to Church because they do not see the need or the importance. A lone wolf thinks that a relationship with the Lord is more important than religion. I agree with the latter statement, a relationship is more important but the problem that arises is that we need church. We need to go to church, not for the service, not so that we can be seen every week, not so we can feel better about ourselves, but a place where we can worship with others. A place where we can use the gifts that we are given by God. A place where we can lift up others. A place where we can serve and bless them. This church doesn’t have to be in a designated building. It can be in homes, or in each member’s homes. We must remember that church is where the body is.
I know that God can use me in a church but I also see the strain I have caused in my own walk because I stayed out of church for so long. On the up side, I can see how I have not been effected by certain fads or trappings that many Christians have fallen into and I am grateful to God for it but at the same time I know that there has been a place where I could have been serving the Lord if I had sought a church home.
I find myself happy that I can step back and see things that others have been slowly indoctrinated into that seem right but in reality preach another gospel.
I also find myself unhappy because I want to be used by God to teach His word and to help equip Christians but I am waiting for God to show me my place, my room, the place where I belong.
Like Isaac, I am coming out of the border of Gerar. I am coming out of a place where God didn’t want me to be in the first place, and like Isaac, I am looking for that room, that place.
Isaac’s servants dug a well after he began to move but the herdsman of Gerar quarreled with them for it, so he named it Esek or “Quarrel”.
Then they dug another well and found water but the herdsmen quarreled with them again and he named that one Sitnah or “Enmity”
Isaac moved from there and they dug another well. This time the herdsmen did not argue with them so he named it Rehoboth or “Spaciousness, room”
So far my family has not found our place to serve the Lord corporately. We have been searching though. We have found strife in some places and enmity in others but we know that we have a place for us out there. We all have our Rehoboth. We all have our room; we just have to find it. The point is “Don’t give up”
Many times we get tempted to give up after one or two times of coming into contact with strife or enmity from others and it is easy to lose heart and give up. Maybe you have made mistakes, thinking that it was God’s will for you and you later found out that it wasn’t. Maybe you are thinking of stopping your search. Maybe you have found your place. Maybe you think that God could never use you because of how you have acted in the past. Take heart, don’t lose faith and always remember that God has room for us somewhere, we just have to wait for His time.