A series of recent posts I’ve really enjoyed that kind of relate to one another have to with revival and things that are killing the church.
The first is from Serving Grace Ministries, Patrick, and he’s been writing about revival. His latest is Prepare the Ground. Also Fix the Leak First was really good. In Prepare the Ground he says, “Let me ask you this question. When was the last time, if ever, have you seen a person, lost to their sins, so convicted that they burst through the doors of the church building crying, “What must I do to be saved?” Amen, I have felt that precise thing, followed up by despair, as in what have we done to the church? And repentance, I intercede for the church often. There’s the vision of who we are and what we ought to be doing and then there is the reality. That discrepancy hits me in the gut sometimes.
I was blessed last year by examining some of my ideas about prayers for revival, like what am I really asking for? What do I need? What would change? Somewhere in the midst of that process, God directed me to focus on my own revival, renewal, refreshment, stoke your own fires. So I am having a “revival” of my very own.
The second series is from Pastor Randy, the Top Ten Things That Are Killing the Church. He’s done an entire series addressing each one in more detail. They’re all good, they’re all very edifying, so it’s hard to pick one that presses on me the most, but I think choosing religion over relationship is a real problem. I am all about relationship, personal, intimate, invested in. One problem with “religion” is that we tend to learn things based on traditions, rumors, pre-conceived notions of who God is and many of those things can be based on misunderstandings of deceptions. I sometimes say one of the hardest thing about building relationship is unlearning all the things you may have been told or taught.
I know a woman right now separated from Christ because she still believes the bible says “cleanliness is next to Godliness” and she’s a terrible housekeeper. It’s almost comical in its silliness, but that is exactly how our brains function, and wounding left to fester like that grows and gets all entwined within our psyches. It can be really difficult to pluck out a deception like that, they can have deep roots and often are symptomatic of people who got bits and pieces of religion…but nothing of relationship.
Jesus Christ says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” In order to really know the truth we need a relationship with the truth and the Truth is actually a real person, One who gave His life to know us.