It's Sunday morning. Hurriedly I prepare to go to church. As my feet hit the ground I quickly consider; What task await my day?
I awake sleeping children and bark out orders, get up!, get dressed!
Maybe I set out food for breakfast, maybe not. I grab a bag of donuts and pass them on to the kids.
I jump into the shower while shouting to my husband to get moving too.
The children are grumbling. They begin to tease one another. I yell at them, “Knock it off!”.
I barely get in a “hello” to my spouse. As we rush out in separate cars.
I go speeding down the highway. A car pulls in front of me going slow. I get irritated.
The children continued to be disagreeable in the car.
Thus my day has begun.
We arrive at the church. We all get out of the car. Primp ourselves and put on our church faces.
The appearance of the perfect family.
I enter into the church house. Unlock the doors and prepare it to receive the people.
People begin trickling in. They take their places as if a great performance was about to take place.
Billets of todays show are handed out at the door.
Greeters, Ushers, Musicians, Altar workers, Sunday school teachers and my husband, the Pastor.
The day begins. The rush of the Sunday show. Lights! Camera! Action!
The choir beings, sings their three songs.
The anouncer of the weekly agenda steps up and takes the fee for todays program.
Now the speaker, the Pastor. Pulls out a sermon ten minutes before performance time and gives the people what they want to hear.
God's a good God! “Yes, Amen”, say the people.
He wants to bless and prosper us! “Yes, Amen”, the people respond again.
His grace covers our sins and weaknesses! “Yes, Amen”.
Next week we will be having another “Chicken -q” to raise money for our new building.
Singles group will be meeting on Wednesday.
Quilting classes are Tuesday.
Youth baseball team meets on Saturday....
on and on the list of community group activities go on.
Then, suddenly, right in the middle of our perfectly choreographed meeting a little woman stands up.She moves out from her seat and begins to proceed to the front.
I was wondering to myself, what is this woman doing? Maybe I should stop her.
She goes right up to the pulpit. Who is this? What does she think she is doing?
She speaks the the Pastor. She says, “I came into this church to meet with God. I needed to hear from Him today. I've been going through hard times since my husband died. I came up to tell you. God is not here. I never heard one prayer. You never invited Him to come. You have displayed your great oratory ability without power. You handed me a program for the day as if I was going to the theatre. I did not see anywhere on your program a time for prayer. Do you not gather to worship God?”
Unexpectedly, this little woman, begins to groan with such deep agony. People are unsure what to do. Is she in pain? Then she cries out, “Oh God, wreck this place. Tear down every structure that was not erected by You. God, please have mercy upon us. Visit us. We need you!”
Suddenly, the floor began to shake. The walls began to move. Terror appeared upon the faces of the congregation. What's happening? Their feet were glued to the floor. They couldn't run for fear.
Then it happened. A cloud began to form in our midst. A weight of conviction began to fall upon everyone. People began to groan and wail. No longer prim and proper. People were falling to their faces in repentance. The Holiness of God came and was revealing to each person their own hearts.
Hearts that were not “God centered” but “self centered”. Time suddenly disappeared. Every agenda became insignificant, in light of the presence of God. All the things people thought they had to rush home and do just disappeared.
As people began to repent, people began to be healed! God's presence was healing His body. This was truly His Grace! For though, we had only given Him lip service, through the heartfelt prayer of one little woman, He showed up and touched each one of us. This is truly His Grace and Mercy!
Who knew we could feel this way! Who knew there could be such freedom of heart! Who knew there could be such love!
I was in the church and had not known God. It was a social club, a fellowship center. A place to network. Who knew it could actually be a place where God shows up!
This is a story I made up or is it?
People are coming to the church to find answers. The church, for the most part, has not had them. A church without power is the reason why things are happening in this world as they are.
If you as individuals and as churches and church leaders are not willing to pray, truly pray. Not give five minutes here and there you will not have what is necessary to make change in this nation or any nation.
We want a move of God or so it is said. If that is true, then it will require EVERYONE to come together to pray. Yes pastors, you have to participate too! Leaders set the example for others to follow. People have not been taught how to pray. We want to attack the enemy with a water pistol that leaks. That's why the church is sick.
God is holding the Shepherds accountable for the condition of the church.
Jer 8:9 The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them?
Jer 8:10 Therefore will I give their wives unto others, and their fields to them that shall inherit them: for every one from the least even unto the greatest is given to covetousness, from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.
Jer 8:11 For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.
Jer 8:12 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.
Jer 8:13 I will surely consume them, saith the LORD: there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them.
Jer 8:14 Why do we sit still? assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the defenced cities, and let us be silent there: for the LORD our God hath put us to silence, and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against the LORD.
Jer 8:15 We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble!
Jer 8:22 Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?
Will we allow our hearts to be pricked once again by the conviction of God? What has been the focus of your prayer life? Think about it? Your job or career? Your family? Your ministry? Your? Your? Your?
How much of our prayers have been focused upon God's plan for the earth? For His people?
What would happen in YOUR church when God shows up? Will you welcome Him? Or will you drive Him out? The Holy Spirit is the gentleman, God is not. He is GOD! He doesn't need your permission to show up, but He will not stay where He is not welcomed.
Aren't you tired of all the empty meetings? Conferences? How much knowledge can you receive?
Has it changed your life? Are you any closer to God? Do you have a more intimate relationship with Him because of it? Let's get real! Are you still sick?
So and so recognized me! Oh, I helped with this meeting! Oh, the Pastor talked to me! WHO CARES! How shallow can a person's life be!
Each one of us have the opportunity to spend one on one time with the King of all Glory and have HIM recognize us! Is that not more important?
The shallow nature of the individuals is the reason why you don't share your faith with others. Why the world is dying without a savior. If you truly knew God you would want to tell others about Him.
Others are willing to die for their cause. For a God they can neither see, encounter or hear. We should be convicted by this! WE SERVE THE LIVING GOD! How long will you straddle the fence?
1Ki 18:21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.