Sunday, May 10, 2009

Where is the church?

I've spent a good deal of time thinking and journaling tonight and I thought I would share something I have been mulling over. As I've said before, the Lord has been teaching me so much over these past couple of months. He has been reminding me of gifts he has given me and has opened my eyes to some of the beauty of Christian fellowship that I have never known before. Yet tonight, I find myself frustrated. I'm frustrated with the fact that my passion/fire for the things of God seems to ebb and flow when I wonder, "Shouldn't it should be more of a consistent force in my life?" I honestly feel very lukewarm, which is terrifying.

I have read often about the early church (specifically in the book of Acts) where the power of the Lord was heavy upon his people and they were quick to follow his leading. They were a people of prayer, conviction, studying the Word, fellowship, evangelism, accountability and love. I began studying the book of John the first chapter and in that chapter we see Jesus call his first disciples. These men walked with Christ, listened to his teachings, watched his mighty hand heal the sick and bring the dead to life. Those men saw him pray. Despite the fact that the disciples were staring at the very face of their Savior it wasn't until Jesus had ascended to heaven and the Holy Spirit filled them that there was any lasting and powerful movement in their hearts.

I've told Jon before that there is a certain fear in my heart regarding our calling to minister to the church here in America. We are so dead. Now I know this is a generalization because I've seen churches here in the states where God is genuinely moving. However I'm sadly aware that this is not the majority. I think part of this fear comes with the fact that I wonder if I may be a part of that majority, those who are unmoved by the sacrificial life of the Savior and unmoved by what his atoning blood has done on our behalf.

So I wonder. Why am I so easily swayed? Why do my passions quickly flicker out when I'm tired and overwhelmed with life? Isn't there something more? Shouldn't my life be more vibrant than that? Do I just need to resign myself to the fact that total victory over the trials of this world will not come on this side of Heaven or is there more God desires for us here? Where is the hunger? Where is the passion? Where is the conviction that burns in a repentant heart? Where is the love of Christ? Where is prayer? Where is the power of God? Is there not more than this and if so, why aren't we seeing it?

These are all burning questions that I am not necessarily posing to the church but more so to myself. I desire so deeply to see God capture the hearts of his people and I honestly wonder what keeps mine locked away from that freedom and power. I have found no specific answers to these questions but I know I desire more and that is what I will pray for. I can't imagine my life is exactly where God desires for me to be so I'm not willing to settle for anything less.

As Jon and I pray over where the Lord will eventually lead us my heart cries out to God asking him to use us in some small way to see change occur. May the teaching of God's word convict the hearts of his people so that they, that we would be transformed!

"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone...Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
- Romans 12:9-18, 21

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