Sometimes I wonder what people would say or think if they really knew how I felt. From all appearances, I might seemingly have myself together. The “good” church girl. The praise and worship leader. The preacher’s kid. The Pastor’s daughter. We all know the rumors about us (preacher’s kids). We are labeled the worst of them all. Some of the rumors are true because we are hurting and rebelling against what we see all done in the name of Jesus. We are angry at how people treat our family, talk about us behind our backs, and ridicule us for our mistakes when they are no better than we are. We are not perfect, yet expected to be.
My heart cries, “I love the Lord and desire to love him more, but I’m just sick of church!” Lately, I have been visiting various ministries. I am tired of all these many churches with great antics and circus shows. Truthfully, I do not expect a perfect church, but I desire a real representation of Christ, holiness, and growth in all of us. If not a consistent growth in numbers, at least in the hearts of those that already assemble together. I know God is real and I believe there is so much more to him than what I have seen, felt, and experienced. He’s more than a drum beat, a foot stomp, a jingling tambourine. He is GREAT AND MIGHTY!
- Why does our assemblies not reflect his character?
- Why does our fellowships consist of mere gatherings and longing hearts leaving unsatisfied?
- Why do we come hungry and leave hungry? Why are we fighting each other for positions in the “church”?
- Why are we being thrilled by riffs, runs, and talents from singers, but stiff as stones when we talk/sing about Jesus
- Why are we resistant to truth, yet captivated by lies?
- Why are we screaming, giving standing ovations for preachers, artists and groups, but silently praise God in our hearts?
- Why are our mouths closed during prayer, praise, and worship?
- Why are arms resting in laps instead of in the air?
- Why are hearts not contrite and spirits broken?
- Why are people staring, talking, laughing walking, texting, sleeping, or eating instead of praying for people who come to the altar?
- Why are people on social media updating and liking posts during our gatherings?
- Why are our kids on iPads and tablets playing games instead of parents leading them into God’s presence?
- Why am I going through the motions of an experience I had years or maybe never ago (just something rehearsed or observed)?
- Why am I not being restored when He is the restorer?
- Why am I okay with my sin because everybody else is doing it?
- Why am I tired when he came to give me rest?
- Why am I wanting, when he is my Shepherd?
I do not want to have church if there is no transformation. I do not want to have church if there is no deliverance. I do not want to have church if my addiction does not cease. I do not want to have church if we cannot speak to each other with genuine love and care. I do not want to have church if I cannot be open about my internal warfare without empathy, compassion, and loving correction being applied to my seeping wounds. I do not want to have church if we cannot discuss the root of people’s struggles. I do not want to have church if we cannot meet people in their pain to pull them up. I do not want to have church if I leave sweaty from a long praise break, but still have chains wrapped around my neck and feet. I do not want to have church while we pass by the broken and hungry on our way to having a “high time in the Lord”. I do not want to have church if we are not experiencing a fresh encounter of the Holy Ghost. I do not want to have church if we are not revolutionizing our community and turning it out for Jesus. I do not want to have church with a form of godliness. I do not want to have a church built on self-righteousness than the word of God. I do not want to have church if it is going to be a talent showcase. I do not want to have church if we have to dress up or look a certain way. I do not want to have church, but I want to be the church.
It is hard for me to share my heart with people, including those closest to me and that hurts the most. If I do share my heart, then I am ridiculed for trying to remove the old landmark and being worldly. I am not better than anyone. I just believe that there is more to the Christian walk than what I have experienced. I look at the gatherings of our brothers and sisters in other nations and they are hungry and desperate for God. They bow and kneel in his presence. They sings songs unto the Lord for lengths of time and dance. They have deliverance and breakthrough for the bound. American worship gatherings (church) can be programmed and timed. For example, I heard a well known Christian artist say that they would not sing in tongues because the people said they did not believe in speaking in tongues. I understand order, but when did it become okay for us to tell God how to move in his people. We are the Lord’s church. There is too much flesh on parade. Hence, the glory of the Lord departs. As blessed as we are in America, one might think those who have more would worship more, but we do not. It seems with all the blessings we have it still is not good enough. We act as if God owes us something, when it’s us who owes him everything. We gather to receive upon our lusts instead of gathering to give upon God’s desire. The American church is lukewarm and showy. We have our beautiful “churches” and we get comfortable sitting in them coming for 2 to 3 hours, if that long, each week, yet our surrounding community does not feel or see our impact. I am aware that there are people being the church and I celebrate them. My prayer is for the one’s that are not to arise and awaken. We need balance. We need to operate in the gifts of the spirit, while producing fruit. Believe me this prayer includes me because there is more that the Lord requires of us.
Lord teach me and your children how to be the church and stop having these “high times” while those around us are dying. We need you Jesus to awaken us out of sleep. Make us uncomfortable in our cushioned pews and our beautiful temples and tabernacles that we call your church, when you have really called us and not the building. Revive us to bring revival to the lost, broken and hurting. Cause us to be unsettled. Cause us to be shaken. Cause us to arise. Cause us to be bold. Cause us to be brave. Cause us to speak up and speak out against sin. Cause us to walk in your commandments and keep your word. Cause us to lose focus of self. Cause us to lose our life. Cause us to be patient. Cause us to be kind. Cause us to be forgiving. Cause us to be merciful. Cause us to cry out. Cause us to forsake our ways. Cause us to care for the broken. Cause us to care for the hurting. Cause us not to leave the wounded behind in battle. Cause us to reach our hands out in faith, rather than draw them back in fear. Cause us to love again. Cause us to see again. Cause us to hope in you. Cause us to rejoice in you. Cause us to be steadfast. Cause us to stand for holiness and righteousness. Cause us to cry out with broken spirits and contrite hearts. Cause us to repent. Cause us to submit to you and resist the devil. Cause us to abhor and hate evil. Cause us to do good. Cause us to flee fornication and youthful lusts. Cause us to chase after you God. Cause us to come running. Cause us to come poor in spirit. Cause us to renounce our pride. Cause us to walk upright. Cause us to sing songs of heaven that shake and dismantle the powers of Satan. Cause us to cast the devil and his demons out. Cause us to offer up acceptable sacrifices. Cause us to not send up strange fire. Cause us to be sincere. Cause us to come in unity. Cause us to prophesy with accuracy. Cause us to believe. Cause us to walk in complete obedience. Cause us to live in total surrender. Cause us to die to flesh. Cause us to forsake worldliness. Cause us to seek your face. Cause us to receive truth. Cause us to reject heresy and false doctrines of devils. Cause us to love truth. Cause us to pray fervently. Cause us to wait patiently. Cause us to trust in you alone. Cause us to be one. Make us one Lord. No longer I, but you. We need you. The world needs you. Not another amazing talent or world’s greatest entertainer, but we need the power and manifested presence of the Holy Ghost as on the day of Pentecost cause a mighty flooding of your Spirit that would be so tangible that it would pour out into the streets and bring people to you. Cause us to proclaim with boldness as Apostle Peter did, that this is that that Joel prophesied. Cause us to proclaim repentance, and salvation through Jesus alone. Cause us to be your disciples. Cause us to be your bride. We bind intimidating spirits. We lose boldness in the name of Jesus. We bind fear, doubt, and insecurities. We lose the tongue to speak the words of the Lord. We bind closed hands, hearts, minds, and we say yes Lord. Have your way in me. Rule in me. Reign in me. For this we give you all the praise in Jesus name, Amen.