Saturday, March 18, 2017
This is something that has been weighing on my heart for the past year. It started when my husband and I left our home church of 15 yrs for reasons we thought were sound. We wanted to grow and felt like we weren't anymore. Worship was dull and lifeless. Discipleship and fellowship seemed to be forgotten. So we left.
It was then that God intervened.
He unmasked the truth. And the truth was we were consumed with self. It stopped being about Him. When God gave us that revelation, we were grieved and even wept. We saw what we had become and it was disturbing. We became ticks that needed to be fed, filled, entertained, happy, and encouraged. And we are not alone...
We quickly repented and returned to our home church. We returned with a new understanding of church and Jesus and ourselves.
Church is not where we go to receive a blessing. It is not where we go to be entertained with programs, functions, parties, or even to get filled. It is where we go to give back to God. It is where we go to worship Him with all we have even if the music is off or dull. It is where we go to bless God. To praise Him and intercede for others. It is where we encourage others without seeking ourselves to be encouraged in return. It is not about us.
The consumer mentality we have as a society has flooded the church. We now are full of Christians who if not satisfied with the music, leave, if bugged by someone, leave, if there are not enough classes to help us grow, leave, if the temperature of the room is not quite right, leave, if the donuts are stale, leave, if the sermon is too harsh, leave, etc.
We have every opportunity to grow at home in God's word, but do we take it? It seems most do not when we seek to grow at church instead of giving back. We can receive a blessing in our home, but do we seek it out? It seems we attend church to get blessed instead.
So many churches fall prey to entertaining the congregation to keep them interested and attending. There are egg hunts, Lularoe parties, fashion shows, and even slumber parties. It quite frankly makes me angry. God's house is not the place for that...not even during the week.
The church in Acts certainly does not look like this. They endured hardship and did not leave when things got hard or did not go the way they expected. They laid it all down to follow Him. They did not have a consumer mentality. They had unity and strength. When they got together for church, they worshiped together, ate together, and encouraged one another. They didn't self indulge with frivolous things that had no impact on the Kingdom. They never lost focus.
When you head to church Sunday, please think about the reason you are going. Are you going to receive a blessing and get filled or are you going to give your all to Him, bless Him, and worship Him? Is the music off? Worship with all your heart anyway. Is the sermon hard to hear? Listen anyway.
God wants us to see what we have become and change our hearts back to it being about Him. He wants us to take our focus off of self and put it back on Him. He wants us to step out of the flesh and into the spirit...