Growing up in a Christian home was one of the best things that could have ever happened to me. I did not know it then but, I am so glad to recognize it today. One of the most important highlights of the week was going to church. It was just what was expected each and every Sunday and I still feel the same about my Sundays today. It was just the place to be.
It is so good to hear and see the praise reports week after week of the wonderful church services that we attend. I love to read, see and share how God blessed us and how the Holy Spirit gave just what was needed for that that particular moment. I know how much I enjoy a powerful service myself but this morning at 3 am as I was sharing with God, I clearly heard Him say that He is not pleased with a lot that’s pleasing to us. Many are gathering in His name but not truly honoring His name.
We must stop playing church! If I asked the majority of the people that attend church on a regular basis to share how their church service was today, most that would reply would do so in a positive way and basically describe the service in the same manner. It is very rare that we hear that the service was so good because the word was convicting and made us see our dirt and filth to the point of repentance; the service showed the envy, jealousy, and unforgiveness in our hearts, the worship brought the right perception of who God is or overall, that the service showed that I, you and me must do better than what we have been doing.
It is true that we are living in the day where God is pouring out His Spirit upon all flesh; men and women are prophesying like never before. All over the world “Rhema” words are being preached by men, women, boys and girls. We are not lacking for good preaching! However, our time together in the service is not touching heaven unless our hearts are turned to God on earth. If there is no change to live life for Him in the midst of all the hoopla, it is simply a social even full of emotions that leave us empty and our God saddened. People are despondent, restless, tired and feel the need to quit many times upon coming to church and depend on the mature saints to help them to make it through. Heartfelt songs are needed and not an audition or performance. Fervent prayers should be prayed and not repetitious dialogue. A word of comfort and conviction should be preached and not a script that's never been lived! The service we decide to showboat could be the one where someone is about to throw in the towel.
Where is the REAL church? There is a service that is on the horizon that may not look like what we are accustomed to and God is going to get what He wants! By all means, let’s continue to have a great time when we come together but we must truly remember this, the best church we will ever experience is the encounter we will not remember. The day of Pentecost as described in Acts chapter 2 brought forth the turning point of the church. When the wind came from heaven, the house was filled. This is when the tongues looked like fire and the real amazement came about. Bold preaching from Peter came forth, not just the preaching that makes us feel good but the preaching that brings forth repentance, salvation and baptism. When the church encounters God for real, we will no longer be the same. Away with the experiences, we need an encounter with God each and every time we assemble. No way can we continue to be separate in our actions or thoughts after coming in contact with the Holy God!
Our Lord is giving us so many chances to get it right and it happens many times in the midst of other believers, and yet, we miss it. The chances we continue to receive from God are for changes to be made in our lives. Altar calls are for the alterations that need to be made for God to get glory to use us and not for selfish gain. Play time is over people of God and if we are going to play games and just meet for the sake of meeting, let’s choose another house beside God’s. I am no better than the next person but I know God has touched my heart in a way that I want Him to be pleased every chance I get. With tears in my eyes I just ask, "Can we try harder to please God than we do others and ourselves?" He just deserves better than what we are giving Him. He is ready to give us a REAL encounter with Him.