I have been at 2 locations in my quiet time this morning. Luke 15 with prodigal son and the famine that the Lord brought the whole country. Could it be that He brought the whole country famine so that one guy would realize his need for the "father"? God can do things like that certainly. The famine may not have been the sole purpose for one guy, but it could have been - HE loves us each individually that much!! But what I kept thinking in this story was that there are times that God will bring a famine so that an appropriate hunger will come!!!
The other place I have camped out was in 2 Tim. 4:3-5 "3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry."
I know what I am thinking, feeling, and even being led by the Spirit to say will not be popular to many. But this has been on my mind for some time. After reading this scripture today and after much, much prayer I must speak out to all 10 of you that read this blog.
All over the WWW i am seeing more and more and more conferences that are getting bigger and bigger and bigger. Even churches these days are getting bigger and bigger! But I think one might conclude that we as a people are getting more and more shallow spiritually. One indication to that IN MY OPINION is by the president we as a country just put in office. On his first week in office he has done major abortion changes that I know the Lord will not bless. And yet we as a country - even if you personally did not vote for him - put him into office. I know our pocketbooks are hurting and we want that kind of change, but there were major moral things Obama was very clear about that go against the very core of our Savior and we as a country, the whole country, will be held accountable. Again, IN MY OPINION.
I think another indication that we as a people are getting more and more shallow is the kind of preaching we hear and the kinds of conference "they" are creating for us. There has to be a fashion show, there has to be a big spread of food, there has to be a meet and greet with the "show stopper", there has to be tons of resources offered to make sales big, etc. It seems like even though the hearts are probably good and the intentions are well meaning, we are creating a society of Christians that can not worship on their own and can not "survive" without a conference that has more than just some good preaching from the Word.
Everyday it becomes more and more clear to me one of the reasons God has called me to Southern Illinois is to have more of Him. There are days that I long for the big church to worship in. There are days that i feel so left out because I am too far from Atlanta to go to things, to far from Houston to go to conferences, too far from Nashville to get away............. I feel very left out. But when those things have been taken away from me I see that while yes I was worshipping the Lord in those avenues, it was more about worshipping a feeling that I got from those experiences. Like i was saying - the intentions are good of those that are creating all these big experiences, but I can see that at least for me those kinds of things made me want more of an experience than want more of Him. I was thinking that I wanted more of Him, but when it gets down to the heart of the matter I was wanting more of that stuff and feelings.
It seems to me that the ears are still needing to be tickled to get people in the door. I am shocked how often people will have speakers to their church that can tell them what looks good on their bodies as far as colors and clothes. I do know that there has to be a starting point to possibly get the lost in the door, but at the same time why is Jesus not enough? Of course the non-Christian does not know He is enough yet, but our actions as believers are telling them He is not enough either by all this shallow inventions. Yes, yes, yes God can still and will bring good out of it, but I have to wonder if we are not slowly doing ourselves in by this tickling of the ears - even with good intentions! A Christian Bible teacher and hero in the faith told me it was all cotton candy Christianity and we as a nation are paying and will pay more for it!! We have really come to a point of walking a very fine line and this one thinks we may have step over and gone too far. I agree.
Oh Lord - help me to not be caught up in the mess of candy. I want to be one that delivers sound doctrine. I want to be one that fills others with the Truth even when it is not popular. I know this is what my heart cry is. Lord, help me to know your will. Help my head to know I am doing as You would have me to do. Lord, help me to feel your validation and completeness. Yes, the big stuff has such a lure and such an excitement and offers such a validation that is surreal and not of you at times - who wouldn't want to be part of it. But Father if I am not offering sound doctrine and I am adding to the problem i see of believers not being to worship you in the darkness or "aloneness" without the masses......... or we can not study the Word without a book to read or a video to watch or a ipod to listen to or.......Lord as scary as this may be to say - don't let me be part.... Direct my paths and keep me accountable. Lord, oh Lord, give me a mentor!!! Jesus, my heart longs for you - all alone and with no big production to go to!! I want you!!! I love you!!!