I wrote the following as a lead in to a teaching we'll be filming next week, but after reading it again, I thought I should post it as a stand alone blog entry.
Psalm 90:16, “Let Your work appear to Your servants, and Your glory to their children.”
We live in an age when even those within the house of God seem to have great difficulty in acknowledging the miracle working power of the God they serve. Believers of every denomination have taken it upon themselves to twist and interpret the Bible in such a way that they no longer believe in a God of miracles, a God who still speaks to His children, a God who is intimately involved in their lives, a God who is there when we are hurting, a God who is gracious when we repent, and a God who is active in the world.
We read the book of Acts, we read the exploits of the Apostles by the power of the Holy Spirit, we read the promises of Jesus telling us that greater things will we do in His name, then yawning, we shake our heads and say, ‘nope, not anymore! It was a misprint, God did not mean that, Jesus worded it differently in the original Hebrew, nope, God doesn’t do that anymore.’
We have not, because we ask not, and we ask not because nefarious agents of the enemy have talked us into believing that even if we ask we will never receive because God has boarded up the heavens, and He no longer does anything more than watch us run to and fro like purposeless insects.
We no longer pray to see the power of God in our churches, we no longer yearn to feel the flow of the Holy Spirit in our congregations, we no longer desire to see God’s work appear to His servants, instead we have become an inert mass of apathetic souls, looking to God as our ATM, desiring nothing more of Him than to give us a new house, or that boat we’ve had our eye on for so long.
We neglect to seek the greater things of God, because we are consumed with the lesser things of the world. We neglect to seek the Kingdom of God, because we are too busy with trying to build our own kingdoms here on earth. We deceive sincere Christians that God no longer does these things, because we ourselves are too lazy, too caught up in the world, too focused on other things to press in and seek the face of God, to be on our faces before Him and ask until we receive.
It’s amazing to me that some people still wonder why there is such a dramatic decline in church attendance, why so many people are walking away from their houses of worship, and why countless souls have resigned themselves to the status quo.
Souls are leaving the churches, because there is no power in the churches! People are walking away from their houses of worship because they can get better entertainment for far less than ten percent of their income elsewhere!
Sincere Christians, honest Christians, don’t go to church to be entertained, they don’t go to church to have their sins glossed over and their lifestyle justified, they go to church to be challenged, they go to church to hear the Word of God preached with authority, they go to church to see the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in power and practice.
In our never ending quest to be relevant, to attract the world with watered down messages of self empowerment, we neglected to notice that we have become the world we were trying to bring to Jesus in the first place.
Rather than Lord and King, Jesus has become a great teacher of morality for many professing believers. He has been relegated to the ranks of perhaps a prophet, who did good works, and taught good things, but it would be too controversial to call Him the Son of God, the Word made flesh, the only way to God, and the only path to salvation. That’s just divisive, we’re all embracing, we can’t tell people there’s only one way to heaven, what will they think of us. And so, with each passing year, with each graduating class of seminarians the gospel gets just a little more irrelevant, just a little more watered down, just a little less authoritative.
Now Jesus is one of many paths leading to the same destination, and this coming from the lips and pens of those who profess to be preachers and evangelists, men who claim that they are in communion and fellowship with God.
What have we become, and why have we become it?
We have become whitewashed tombs, we have become clanging cymbals, we have become powerless, impotent regurgitators of self help pabulum, which does nothing to help the spiritual man, hoping all the while that no one notices we never mention Jesus, the cross, salvation or repentance.
Why have we become this? Why is the church in such a spiritually crippled state? Because we stopped asking, we stopped crying out; we stopped pleading with God to let His works appear to His servants, and His glory to their children. We let sin fester; we let the disease spread because dealing with it is too time consuming and might cut into our time on the golf links, and no one ever made the payments on their palatial estate by confronting sin. Big givers get a pass, because they’re the big givers, and it’s as though we have been transported back to the middle ages when you could buy any indulgence if the price was right.
We have lowered the standard, we have redefined God, we have made repentance taboo within God’s own house, and continually deceive ourselves into believing that there is nothing more.
“We have attained all the spiritual things that are afforded us! Yep, might as well get comfortable and take a nap. It’s only downhill from here.”
This is the mindset of those who refuse to try God and see if He will not answer, who refuse to knock for fear that God will actually open, because they don’t know what they would do if they were proven wrong after so many years.
In a nutshell, this is what is wrong with much of the church today, and my prayer is that the trying times that are soon to descend upon this nation will serve to wake some of them up, and bring them to their knees at the foot of the cross.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.