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Sunday, February 6, 2011

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:lately (for months actually) I have been struggling with church, what the church has become, and what’s going on within churches that it has gripped me in a way I’ve never experience before. A way I have wrestled with and tried to understand.  It’s taken me awhile but I’m finally at a uncomfortable place where I can recognize it and deal with it.  

Bottom line is this: I am not satisfied and I know it’s time for the church to AWAKE.  Not just my local church home but I’m referring to the BODY as a whole….it’s many members…it’s entire entity.  I am not satisfied with settling and doing/living the bare minimum.  I do not attend church to watch musicians give concerts, I attend church expecting the spirit of the Lord to be ushered in.  I go to worship, to press in, to let God’s spirit have it’s way so that His will can be fulfilled. Not man’s agenda or good ideas.  I do not like routine services where everything is expected.  I do not like when we compromise the Holy Spirit.  I also am not satisfied with the lack of preaching and taking the good news out into the streets. 

How reassuring to know that I am not alone in my un-satisfaction and that there are other people out there with the same irritations and frustrations.  And while I went through the various stages of not knowing what to do about all this, of wanting to change but not channeling my efforts in the right directions, God has slowly began speaking to me and my attitude has changed.  I am no longer frustrated to the point where I just sit back and watch it happen, my fight instinct has started to arise and bubble within me.  And now that it’s here I should have known it would have been coupled with the fight/the opposition.

For you see for the first time in a long time, I was ready to go to church. Not to see if things would be different, not to see friends and family or check out the musicians, but because something in my spirit had changed. An urgency was there.  I was excited again.  This morning everything went wacky (woke up later than the alarm was intended for, our 2 year old lab peed in her crate and in the floor and she never has accidents, the enemy had me feeling my husband was against me, my bath water was cold, and I didn’t have time to get ready due to all these set backs and delays) and left me feeling smothered by lowly feelings that I had no motivation to fight back from this attack.  I gave up.

I was really feeling down on myself for allowing the enemy to get one over on me that I just  began to weep and cry.  Praise God for speaking through my husband who encouraged me.  He basically conveyed “yeah okay Jennie so you messed up, you gave up and didn’t fight, but God’s still here in this room this very second. You might not have made it to church but you can still fight here.” I was so encouraged and that sense of being a failure evaporated. 

So I picked up a bible study at Lifeway last week called SENT: Living the Missional Nature of the Church by Ed Stetzer.  So this morning I started to read the introduction and it was confirmed that this study did not leap out of the shelves for no reason. 

Here are a few snippets from the introduction that really stuck out to me:

“Missional is an important word because it doesn’t describe what we do as Christ-followers; it describes who we are as Christ-followers”

“By definition the church is a body of believers sent into the world. But many churches, particularly in the United States, seem to have developed a more stationary identidy, requiring the world to come to them to receive the healing, redemption, and salvation promised through Christ”

He went on to explain it’s like we’ve planted our feet within our comfortable church walls and said ‘come to us” instead of us going out and MOVING OUR FEET and saying to the world hey “we’re coming”

“The Holy Spirit is awakening the idea in us that any church that does not affect real change in it’s community, country, and the world is severely neglecting it’s true purpose”

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So if you share in my feelings, or have ever felt like this before I truly believe things are getting ready to change.  And you, the general reader can be a part of the change..the movement. So don’t feel bad in your dis-satisfaction. You shouldn’t. Because there’s more. We weren’t called to settle.

 

So Get Going…..

1 comment:

Suzanne G. said...

Jennie, I absolutely LOVED reading this post. I completely share your sentiments about church, and that same dissatisfaction has gnawed at me for a long time. I don't know how many churches I have attended over the years, including the one I regularly attend now that are routine and there really is not any place for the Holy Spirit to move. I know from personal prayer times that God does not move according to our "perfectly laid schedule". He comes when He pleases, He comes when are hearts truly want to see Him. He comes when people are gathered in His Name (and not to be entertained, not to socialize with friends/associates).

God has shown me so much in this past week alone that I've had to take care to write it all down as it comes to me so I do not forget. He is so amazing, and I believe that He is beginning to stir up in His people a desire for Him, a passion for His Name that overflows out of our hearts and into our cities, our communities...reaching the lost and the broken.

I know that for me, one thing that God has been impressing on my heart to do lately is to KNOW WHY I BELIEVE. 1 Peter 3:15 says "but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;". We need to know what we believe and why because given the amount of spiritual darkness, spiritual blindness, and lawlessness running rampant in this nation, people are less and less inclined to listen to the Gospel.

I pray you would be strengthened in your inner man - you and your husband - and that the Lord would continue to open your eyes to His will for your lives.