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.
Do 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.