These past few weeks have brought so many thoughts, continuous prayer and even tears. I’ve cried out, I’ve withdrawn, become angry, fearful, imaginative and sad.
Writing about anything other than these uncertain times seem small at this moment.
I’m not saying motherhood, beauty or faithfulness is small. Not at all. In fact, our work in all those areas must be increased. Those callings are so grand and it is in those callings that bring a sort of peace to our souls amidst the unrest.
Nonetheless, I don’t have it in me to spend time writing on parenting foils or on how to pray for our kids or even on how to surrender to Jesus.
I’ve been full to the brink on the words I am going to write, it’s been burning in my heart and I can’t keep it to myself anymore.
I feel a sense of urgency. There is a sense of time running out and I can’t shake it.
The world is in uproar. I don’t know when Jesus is coming back for His church, but He is coming. It may be tomorrow or 20 years from now. But that really doesn’t matter. All I know is that people are lost and dying and I know that this world is getting further from God and His truth and light and there is so much work for us to do.
For months I have been almost annoyed and rather frustrated.
Frustrated with myself and frustrated with the church in general.
This sense of comfortable, complacency; this spirit of self indulgence in our churches. Parishioners asking not how can I serve the Lord today, but How can the church serve me? This lukewarm air that has penetrated the house of God is stifling and makes me sick.
And I want to scream from the rooftops “WE DON’T HAVE TIME! We don’t have time to be so caught up and busy with our own lives! We don’t have time to be complacent and secure! We don’t have time to sit and wait in safety!”
The harvest is ready. The winter is coming. Autumn is upon us and we need laborers. We need people to work the fields.
Where are the workers? Where are those who will bleed and sweat for lost souls?
Why are we content sitting in our comfy pews waiting?
Why are we living, ‘just barely getting by’ kind of lives?
Why are we still struggling with the same old sins of years gone by?
Why are we still so satisfied with milk?
Why do we still fill our souls with stuff of this world?
Why are we gluttons of idolatry and self indulgence?
Why aren’t we hungry for more of God?
THE HARVEST is Ready!!! We have to get over all of this stuff and get to work.
Stop arguing among yourselves! Stop waging war over insignificant battles on the internet! Stop pursuing senseless arguments with people who are not your people, who are not your “friends,” who are not in your sphere of influence.
Stop wagging your tongues like dogs. Such dogs pant for water and will lap what they can from drainage in order to quench their thirst. Your thirst can not be quenched by words or self-indulgence or recognition, but can only be satisfied by living water that is continually poured into you by the power of the Holy Spirit.
That same water will flow into your soul producing fruit: Love, joy, peace, gentleness, self control.
Why do we keep going to the drain hoping to find a pool of stagnant, filthy water when we can have it overflowing?
Open your bibles! In its infallible words of truth will your thirst be quenched! Let your tears of sorrow and repentance pour onto its pages and you will be filled to overflowing!
This world is lost and dying. People are going to spend eternity separated from God and yet, here we are complaining about church parking and the pastors sermons aren’t speaking to me and the music is not relevant and my kids don’t like it and we are going to the lake this weekend instead of church and all the church wants is money and I am not being used and it’s too big and church just isn’t the same!!
Are you kidding me???
GET OVER YOURSELF!
We don’t have time for this mess!
Ya’ll, I get it. I sat in church a few weeks ago and thought to myself, “I’m bored, this message isn’t relating to my life at all.” And I struggled with my thoughts. I felt wrong and couldn’t shake this sick feeling I had. I couldn’t figure it out and then the Lord gently said to me, “What makes you think any of this is for you?” And a phrase I have been saying to myself quite a bit came to me again, “Who do you think you are?”
First of all, the word of God “does not return empty…it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to…” Isaiah 55:11. So what if I don’t “think” it applies to me. It does. Period. Paul says that ‘all scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” 2 Timothy 3:16- 17. Who am I to think the word brought on the pulpit is not for me? I am still in training! I need to be equipped!
But let me say something else, STOP waiting for your pastors to spoon feed you! Feed yourself. Daily. Trust that your pastors are being led by the spirit to preach the good news and get this… the hour service isn’t for YOU! It’s for the lost, the seeking, the sick.
You are free, you are found, you are purposed, you are healed! Feed yourself!
The shepherd is there to gather the sheep, to lead them to good pasture, to protect from the evil one. The sheep however, feed themselves. They graze all day long. The shepherd doesn’t have to tell the sheep to eat, they just do! They know, ‘if I don’t eat I starve!’
Stop wanting to be fed! Feed yourself and show others how to feed themselves.
Teach, encourage, evangelize…be filled up so you can pour out so that the words of the apostle will be true for all of us, “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering and the time for my departure is near” 2 timothy 4:6.
We complain the music isn’t relevant or it’s too loud or why can’t they do new stuff or why can’t they play hymns…The music isn’t for you, it\’s for God. Glorify him. Fall on your face in repentance and thank him for his loving kindness. Take your hands out of your pockets and raise them in complete surrender and ask for mercy!
We complain our kids don’t like church? So?!? They don’t like vegetables either but you still make them eat them! So what if your kids don’t like it! They are selfish sinners in need of a savior! It’s your calling to teach them, you are their shepherd, show them the way and they will become servants for the church who know the truth, not self seekers looking to be filled.
We complain that all the church wants is money…Your money isn’t yours anyway! Get over it! The early church sold all their possessions and cared for each other so that every need was met. Forget your money, who have you cared for and given of yourself to lately? Start with that!
We complain we aren’t being used? Really? Embrace your place. It may be with babies who need an hour of attention because their parents are on social media too much. It may be filling mints in the bathrooms for someone who can’t afford toothpaste this week and just wants to keep a little dignity. It may be standing at a booth greeting new visitors with a smile that says, you aren’t alone. Embrace it! Stop seeking recognition! None of it is for you!
We complain the church is too big? It’s growing too fast? Really? A stagnant church will soon rot. Seriously.
We complain church just isn’t the same…Thank God! No, it’s not. It’s not suppose to be! There is work to be done! We can’t just stay in one place and be comfortable! Don’t you think the apostles longed for the days of being with Jesus, of the ‘good ol’ days’ of breaking bread and hearing the father’s teachings? Of course they did. But that time was gone and they had work to do. They had the same job we have now, to usher in the kingdom! To save the lost and point them to Jesus! The apostles worked tirelessly until death sharing the truth of Salvation. We too must work. The apostles took the great commission seriously and unto death! Go into the whole world and preach the Gospel!” Mark 16:15. We can’t do that if we just sit and reminisce on old times! We can’t do that if we are so full of stuff and too comfortable in our old ways.
This is urgent!
We don’t have time to wonder and wander! We don’t have time to be dealing with our own junk!
Get over it! Repent, turn from your ways and seek after God.
We need to get hungry!
Shake off the chains that entangle, you have been redeemed and set free! Embrace the freedom and run hard and fast after God.
Your unbelief, your lack of faith, your worries, fears, unforgiveness, brokenness, tired, comfort…turn it all aside! Get rid of your idols, the stuff that steals your time and makes you a glutton for your own self worth. Cast off all the cares of this world!
I have this vision of God’s holy people, His beautiful church, unhindered by the stuff of this world, putting aside all the distractions and weights of this world and linking arms. Arm in arm we walk the fields of this world and together we reach out to the fallen, the lost, the wanderers, the hurting. We walk across the world, arm in arm and believe that such a link cannot broken.
Come on Church! Link arms with me.
Jesus is coming soon and the church needs to be ready!
Let’s get over ourselves. None of it is for us!
The Harvest is ready. Let’s go to work.