IS THERE HOPE FOR A
* I AM A CHRISTIAN trying to find a spiritual community to fellowship with and help strengthen my walk with God. I am trying to find other believers that I can team up with to labor in God's kingdom, enjoying the synergistic dynamics of a missional church in community!
* I AM A HUSBAND AND FATHER that is responsible for teaching my family about the necessity of having a loving relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ, leading them into a healthy, spiritual environment that will allow them to grow in grace and the Word.
* I AM A PASTOR that is responsible for feeding the flock of God which He has made me overseer of (Acts 20:28, 1Pe 5:2). I am to cast the vision that God has for the local church and then empower the saints to bring that vision to fruition.
* I AM A CONCERNED CITIZEN OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
I fear that something is missing. There seems to be a slumber befallen the people. The Church shouldn't need revival. We should be awake. We should be alive. We should be powerful in Christ. We should be influencing our cities, seeing the lost saved and the sick healed. Look, I know that there are great churches that are alive and seeing a mighty move of God, but the American church is, by and large, in desperate need of reviving. Oh, I know they're doing stuff, going through the motions, but look a little more carefully. Their eyes are closed. They are sleep walking!
They're like the gate keeper of a certain city. A couple of men were trying to get entrance in to his city, but the gate was shut.
They rang the bell and the gate keeper yelled, "Coming", but never came.
They rang it again and again and the gate keeper kept saying, "Coming" over and over.
Finally, he came and gave them entrance to the city. When asked why it took him so long he said: "I was asleep. I guess I have yelled "Coming" so many times that I can do it in my sleep now."
Have we had so much "church" we can do it in our sleep now? Singing in our sleep? Preaching in our sleep? Going through the motions, but asleep?
How can we know if our church is sleep walking? Glad you asked! Here's four ways of knowing if you're church is sleep walking:
1. PRAYER ISN'T A PRIORITY! If our churches aren't houses of prayer, they're nothing more than a social club. You can gauge the health of your church by the prayer meeting. Do you even have a prayer meeting? Most don't. Most have tried, but they couldn't get anyone to show up and it fizzled out! But ... HEY! Somebody give me G, I have a song on my heart!
Why is prayer important? It's the bridge to the throbbing heart of the universe. Without communion with God, we are impotent. Yes. Even though we're having church, dancing and singing, preaching and hollering "Amen"; if we're not praying, we're straying, playing, and flailing. Where there is no spirit of prayer there will be no revival.
2. WORSHIP IS AWKWARD! "Come on saints! God has been good to us! He's King of Kings and Lord of lords! Let take some time to worship Him!" Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock . . . 10 seconds later . . . Yaaaaaaaawn! "Come on. Let's sing a fast song so we can dance!" People struggle with worshiping God at church because they don't worship Him at home. They aren't really familiar with Him. He's more of an acquaintance than ruler of their life. The reason folk don't worship is you have to be familiar with Him to worship Him. You have to be overcome by His greatness; hungry for His presence in order to worship Him. Worship requires you to seek His face, not just His hand (blessings). Until people get hungry for the person of God, there will be no revival.
3. A BURDEN FOR THE LOST ... WHAT'S THAT? Our churches should be growing exponentially every year. It should be as simple as 1+1=2! A saved person, filled with appreciation, telling the world about Jesus Christ and His saving grace. ONE BEGGAR TELLING ANOTHER BEGGAR WHERE TO FIND BREAD! But service after service people come to the church with empty seats in their vehicles. What can we deduce from that? Do we not care that people are going to hell? Are we so preoccupied with ourselves that we don't even think about the plight of other people? Have we forgotten what God has done for us? We need an update on our walk with God; a fresh experience that makes us want to tell the world about Jesus Christ. OR IS IT JUST THE PREACHERS JOB TO EVANGELIZE?
NOTHING troubles me more than watching people step over top of a lost man/woman praying at the altar in order to go home to do ... well ... absolutely nothing! Watch some TV? Get to KFC buffet before everyone else? I wonder if that's who they would respond if it was their child being saved?
Until we rid the church of selfishness, there will be no revival.
4. PREACHING IS A SOURCE OF ENTERTAINMENT, NOT EMPOWERMENT. Things have to be pretty exciting to keep our sleepy eyes from closing for good. If the preaching isn't loud and spit (not Spirit) filled, it isn't anointed. Right? Wouldn't it be a sight if our mailmen were held to the same standard as the preacher? Dude comes flying through the yard, jumps over the bush, climbs the walls, throws the mail into the mailbox all the while yelling to the top of his voice, "Wooo hoooo! Come on now! You're not helping me!" LOL! That'd be a little weird and a lot funny.
I know that the fake preachers of the world have given good men of God a bad name. I understand that. But we've got to get back to the place where we believe preaching is instruction from God and we desperately want to hear it and apply it! We need to be excited about Bible studies and small group teaching sessions. We're not studying the National Geographic! We're studying the Word of God! Until we fall in love with God's Word again, there'll be no revival.
Isa 51:9 Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old....
We must awake from our slumber! Life is about more than our little selves! We must glorify the King of Kings ... Jesus! We must work while it is day; night is coming and no man will be able to.