Thursday, August 22, 2013

Why Are We Playing Church?

Many of us go through the motions with God without any substance to it. It is like a well worn routine, like what you do in the morning. Your alarm goes off. You slowly get up, put on a house coat, use the washroom, take a shower, brush your teeth, get dressed, have some cereal, have a cup of coffee, catch the same bus at the same time every day, because that is your morning routine. You don't think about it, you just do it. Most of us are like this with God. But that is not what he intended for us and it is not what honours him. In fact, there is no value to it unless it is by faith and empowered by the Spirit.

I have heard countless times from Christians, "How do I know he is real?" Well, if you have to ask that question you have never experienced the anointing of God; you have never been bathed in the Spirit; you have never stood in his presence. And this is the problem: Too many Christians are living a religious life instead of a Spirit-filled life.

Don't you want to know that he is real and present every moment of your day? Don't you want to hear from him and receive instruction from him? Don't you want to experience his power as you speak his Word and act on his love? That is what it is to be controlled by the Spirit.

Consider Peter for a moment. Peter was an Everyman. He represents you and me, the simple and common people. There was nothing special about him. He was uneducated. A fisherman. He got it wrong as often as he got it right. He lived by extremes; all or nothing. This was the man who first confessed Jesus as the Son of God one minute and then tried to dictate to him the next. He is the man who pledged his undying support to Jesus one day and then denied him three times the next. But then something happened to change Peter into what Jesus called him to be; the same thing that is suppose to happen to us.

The cross provided salvation, forgiveness, for everything in Peter's life, even the denials. It opened the door to the possibility of transformation, going from what he had been to the new creation the Father desired for him to be. But the power for this transformation came later. The power to live a victorious life in Jesus came after the cross. Jesus, in us, took place after the cross and it happened with the receiving of the Holy Spirit.

Peter went from a hot and cold guy to a spiritual giant. Soon after receiving the Spirit, Peter addressed a crowd and the anointing was so strong on him, the power of God so evident that three thousand people accepted Jesus under the conviction of the Holy Spirit. That is the difference between doing things for God in our strength and knowledge compared to doing it under the conviction and power of the Holy Spirit. We need that anointing.

Good is not good enough in this dying world. I am sure Peter would have served Jesus adequately, with lots of ups and downs, but compare that to the man Peter became. The man who people lined the streets to see in the hopes that his shadow would fall on them and they would be healed. Check it out for yourself in Acts 5. That is the power of God worked through us by the Holy Spirit. It was intended for us as much as the apostles.

We have settled for the ordinary. We go through the motions but they lack conviction and power. That doesn't mean our love isn't real. It simply means that we have lost the knowledge we once had and because we no longer understand the Spirit and who we are in Jesus, we live our religious lives in the best way we can, honestly loving God. But we are wrong for it.The Word clearly states that anything that does not come by faith is sin. It's one and the same.

Jesus stated we would do greater things than he had done, but now we scoff and ridicule those who take him at his word, surrender control to the Spirit, and walk as Jesus walked. We should not be operating for God without the anointing of the Spirit. Without the Spirit we are doing it in our own strength and anything we do like that, even though it is in Jesus' name, will not be honoured and will be burnt up.

I know this may sound strange to you and you may be content with your little life and your little service and your little love, but check it out for yourself. Do a study on the Spirit. Search for the Spirit in the gospels and you will discover that Jesus did nothing in his own ability but always by the Spirit. Do the same thing with the book of Acts and you will discover the apostles only operated by the Spirit.

What a travesty that the vast majority of the Church knows nothing of the manifestation of the Spirit, of the anointing, of the power or of the conviction. What are we doing playing at Church? Renew me Lord, in your power and strength. Come great Spirit, we need you. Come great Spirit we pray. Come in your strength and your power. Come in your own special way. I am praying for you and me both friend.

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