Is Church Today As God Intended?

Over the last eighteen months I have been unwell and as a consequence on a regular basis I have been unable to attend a set gathering of Christians coming together at a set time each week. As a consequence of not attending a gathering it caused me to reflect and ask God the question “Is church today as God intended?” the response I received was “Don’t blame me if it isn’t”

Before I am shot down in flames or burned at the stake let me say this is a generalised comment and I understand that not all gatherings of people are the same, and there are settings where the Holy Spirit has free reign, but I observe that in general church today has become predictable.

You may go to a building, where you are issued with some form of welcome or communication leaflet, you sit in a chair, and set off on a predictable pre-organised routine, you sing a few songs, someone delivers maybe a polished message that was advertised the week before, at the conclusion have a coffee that is described as fellowship, and go home until the following week having little or no contact with anyone you saw that day. You may possibly attend a midweek group that has an issued agenda to be followed by the group leader.

I believe there is a disconnect between the church today and what God intended it to be.

When you read the New Testament, you see the Holy Spirit changed many things so that this gathering of people who call themselves Christians had this supernatural element about them.

It was the Holy Spirit, which came down after Jesus ascended to heaven, that empowered Christians thousands of years ago. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, people began speaking in different languages, people were being healed, and believers had a supernatural love for one another.

The fire that came down from heaven, that rush of wind, however, seems to have disappeared.

imagesDo you really see this supernatural power at work when the believers gather together for what we call church or in their daily lives? Isn’t it the same Holy Spirit that’s available to us today? Why is it so different now in many instances from when it was sent? Is it allowed to operate in the way God sent it?

In some instances there has been a shut down on the Holy Spirit moving as there has been a wacky element and even a fabrication of a Holy Spirit leading. Rather than deal with that in a loving instructional way and still continue to make room for the Holy Spirit to operate, there has been a shut down on the Holy Spirit to ensure there are no demonstrations that are likely to cause offense or be out of order.

The church today is neither super nor natural. So much is predictable and to be expected.

When Jesus said they would be endued with power (the Holy Spirit), it really did come upon them and they were powerful individuals (Jesus’ disciples) Why is it that in the church so many people are weak or defeated, or we get so insecure because we look at ourselves rather than God? It doesn’t make sense that we should be like that, and means we are not living in our inheritance.

Though Christians believe in an almighty and all powerful God who places His spirit in believers, the response so often among His people today is: Welcome to church. Here’s your bulletin. Enjoy your time with us. Come back next week.”

Is that all God intended for us in our lives?

While pondering whether Christians really believe the Holy Spirit exists today and can work powerfully, let me say what would the church look like today if we really stopped taking control of it and let the Holy Spirit lead? I fully understand and appreciate that organisation is important particularly in large settings, however are we willing to be open to the Holy Spirit to have free reign and change the pre-arranged events, or let Him in on any organisation. Do we ask Him to attend and make Him welcome in our gatherings and expect the supernatural along with the gifts of the spirit to be manifest.

Let me take it a step further do we expect and allow the Holy spirit to be in our life style. Do we listen for His direction, His wisdom in our daily lives and routine. Do we talk and listen to Him. Do we have a relationship with Him. “OOOOH steady on” I may hear some say that’s going too far and getting spooky. No not at all as we are to be naturally spiritual, and spiritually natural. Not one thing at home and some thing else in a different setting. It really is a great way to live as God intended it to be. So many issues, pressures, attitudes would never occur if we only kept in communion with the Holy Spirit.

I believe this is exactly what the world needs to see. We are called to be influencers. I could give you illustrations of times in my life when never having specifically said any thing yet people around have noticed changes in atmosphere, obstacles in situations tumbling. Why because the Holy Spirit dwells within us and leads us.

Oh my friend lets allow Him to lead and direct. You say “I cant in my church”. You can be in your daily walk and life style. Only take responsibility for that which He gives you. Don’t dwell and be negative about that which isn’t your responsibility, and move in all that He sets before you.

To sum up the church is not about buildings, facilities, the latest technology or the trendiest programs, and I am not against them providing it is Holy Spirit led. It’s about His people. You see people matter to God. We are His Church, and when us the church live the way God designed it to function, we will see a manifestation of God’s power and glory in His church and our daily lives.

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6 Responses to Is Church Today As God Intended?

  1. Keith says:

    Dear Ian, I got so excited reading this, I too have been drawn to preaching on the ” power of the Holy Spirit” and the power we receive. And a chuch that is totally God driven.

  2. Amen. Great read.
    Love God. Love one another. The creator of the universe is in control. Only do what you see Him doing. Not by power or by might but by His Spirit living in You.

  3. Derek Brown says:

    A truly prophetic and accurate insight into church today and one that needs to be addressed as quickly as possible. Who would have thought a generation ago that we would end up here making the same mistakes as previous generations. Prophets needed!

  4. Heather Scholey says:

    Hello Ian

    I found your blog “Is Church Today as God Intended?” very thought provoking and close to my heart. This morning I was pondering Psalm 23 vs 3 – a beautiful Psalm of life! “He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” As I pondered what ‘restored’ means I ended up in 1 Peter 2 vs 2-12. I know that God is building His Church – and it is His Church! It is not a bricks and mortar building but a “spiritual house” built with “living stones” that “offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” Man-made efforts will not succeed but I do believe that there is a growing awareness that, as we allow ourselves to learn to follow where He leads, then it will be for His name’s sake and not ours! He is building His Church and we are that “royal priesthood” that “holy nation” and it is time for us to let Him do it His way as we come into the full revelation of all that those verses mean!

    I am encouraged by the signs I am seeing and it also encourages me to hear that this theme is on the hearts of those who really do want to see “His Kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”

    God bless you Ian. Love Heather

  5. Chris Saville says:

    I feel your anguish , your frustration, your disappointment. I have been to many different denominational churches over the years and have felt that there has been something special in all of them, yet also something very lacking. Yet I guess none have been the way that God intended, none were perfect as none of us are perfect. When I was attending the Catholic church after leaving City, I usually went home completely empty, yet I milked it for all that I could, I gathered the crumbs, because I knew that was where I had to be at the time. that is the Answer, there is no perfect church, so we have to be where God has told us to be, and milk it for all that we can. Also St. Frances, I think said give us the grace t0 change the things we can but accept the things that we cannot change. or something like that. Blessings Chris

  6. Sue Lee says:

    Ian your blog confirmed what I know God is saying to me regarding being an influenencer, in my fellowship , work and family. The song Can others see Jesus in me has been in my mind for a few weeks. In work I am reminded regularly Sue can others see Jesus in you. Sadly many times they cannot, but I so want that to be so. My friend has given me a wrist band which I am now wearing with letter W W J D What would Jesus Do. Thanks Ian for your willingness to share these thoughts. They are such an encouragement to me and builds my faith up

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