What is fashionable draws people. We all want to be considered, "chic," or hep to what's "in." Our apparel, the way we talk, the way we wear our hair, are all important to our attraction to others. That's only true for you and I if we care what others think about us. There are those who don't care anything about others opinion of themselves and it shows in their lifestyles and appearance. And there are some who are oblivious about their looks, or their manner in the presence of others. All of these factors are okay, for the most part. These differences are what make our world tolerable to dwell in. It would be a dull place if we all thought, acted, and looked alike.
I have noticed a disturbing trend in our places of worship. It appears that we have come to the conclusion that we must take measures to be sure everyone is comfortable, and attend services regularly. We want growth, and having new ideas seem to draw the masses. Copying the success of others is okay, but there is a missing element, uniqueness. Today we have coffee, snacks, libraries, worship teams, and nurseries. We have home groups, special ministries, and a staff that pastors each special group. I don't think any of these are bad, many are good and create fellowship, and that is pleasing to God. Churches really need change from the mundane or boring norms and expected. But where has the uniqueness gone to? Furthermore, where is the electricity of restoration?
I have memories from childhood that are engraved on my heart. I remember the churches we attended having a "revival" that were scheduled for a week or two, but lasted for a month or longer. I remember mom and dad taking us to people's homes after church, and all of us kids playing in the basement of the friends home, and when I went upstairs for what ever reason, seeing my parents, my aunt and uncle, and the friends, all on their knees crying out to God. They were hungry for God's presence.
That may be foreign to you. You may think that people were dogmatic, or overly religious, but they got what they prayed for. God's presence was real to them...and to me too. It was only my desire to run with the "herd," that took my heart and mind away from that real hunger to know God's reality. I chose to try for man's acceptance rather than God's.
"And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me
with all your heart. And I will be found by you, says the Lord"...
"As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for
you O God." Ps.42:1 (NKJV)
Charles Finney was a revivalist a couple of centuries ago. When he went into a city to hold a revival, entire villages came to Christ. Back in the 1800's, if a circus came to town, everyone attended, this was a major event. People didn't have the daily distraction of things to do we have today so a circus was highly anticipated. A circus came to a city where Finney was holding services. After a couple of days, they took their tents down and moved on...nobody attended. The people didn't care about the circus, they were hungry for God's presence. Isn't that unique?
The key to Finney's success was a man named "Father" Nash. He would arrive at the city Finney was heading to a couple of weeks early, and intercede in prayer for that community. The whole community converted, bars closed down, churches ignored their doctrinal differences, and God arrived in power. We cannot discount the need of unity wrought by prayer for our communities and nation. Our lack of prayer for the nation and it's people, have led us into a state of apathy in regard to spirituality, and we have replaced our desire for God's powerful presence for the acceptance of everyone, especially the secularist and it's "herd" worldview.
We can run with the "herd" if we want. We will drawl with programs and people will come to be a part , and some will even come to accept Christ. But if we're really wanting to see a real drawl, let's repent for trying to be the Holy Spirit and drawl the crowd. Let's repent for living and talking like the herd. Let's determine to see God return to our churches and return Sunday Schools that teach kids about God, and ground them in biblical precepts. Let's be seriously concerned for the lost, our neighbors, the elderly, and orphans. If we do, prayer will return to the home, and the schools. God will forgive the nation's sins, and restore us to spiritual health.
I could go on, but I think you get what I'm saying. I really don't want to run with the herd, I want to be in the "flock", and be led. It is only the direction I see the herd heading that causes my concern, because I'm in the herd. We are in trouble and need help. Let's pray for God's help today.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith