We’re so dead.
Whenever our department at work has no customers we call it dead. It’s so dead. So boring and monotonous and it almost can make you go crazy. But that’s not right.
That’s not what dead means.
You know what girls? The church is so dead.
I didn’t think I was dead. Sure I’m saved. I know Jesus is my savior. I know He loves me. I seek to please Him and witness my life for Him. But…
He’d become a neat little corner in my life that I went to often, rather than everything in me.
One of my friends recently moved to Virginia. And I watch his move I thought why? Why are you moving? Why are you going away?
The church here needs fire. The church here needs revival. The church here needs a refreshing of the Spirit. A reminder of the power of God and everything He’s called us to do and be.
Girls if we have a fire in our hearts to serve and make a difference please listen to me. Don’t leave. Please don’t go somewhere else. The church in your home, not the building or the pastor or the specific group you go to, but the body of Christ in your part of the world, is starving.
We live in a world of complacency. The United States was created as a safe place for Christians to worship God without persecution but I’m starting to think that that safety is one of the most dangerous things that could take hold of the church.
Complacency. We’re happy. We’re safe. We’re content with our relationship with God. We’re pretty good people. We’re taught to reach for our dreams. The American dream. We can do anything we want. We can be anybody we want. It’s so attainable it becomes our passion and our drive and our purpose. Because we’re ok. We’re not bad people. We love our family, we’re kind to our coworkers. We recycle when we can, we go to church every week. We state our opinions on the election, or not maybe. We stand against abortion, we love our friends, we’re careful how we entertain ourselves. Some of us even read our bibles every single night or morning without fail.
Still dead. Still so very lukewarm it’s sickening. It’s all works. That doesn’t please God in the least. You know it doesn’t make God happy that you go to church every single week? It doesn’t make Him happy that you scan your eyes over a verse or two every morning. You know why? Isaiah says all our righteousness is as filthy rags.
Christian everything you ever do is nasty and disgusting to God, no matter how good you think it might seem to be.
I stumbled over something yesterday that flipped my world and I praise God that it did.
Jimmy Needham says “My ‘nicety’ gave me a sense of worth and value, but that’s really the opposite of the gospel. We bring nothing to the table except sin and brokenness. Through all of my religious efforts, I was actually fleeing from the cross.”
Are you able to wrap your mind around that? Even as a Christian for 20 years I still have nothing, nothing, nothing, to bring to the table except my sin and brokenness. And BOY do I know that to be true. My “light” and smile is so empty and useless and gross and absolutely pointless. Because you know why? As much as I prayed every day “God fill me with your light and your love to bless the people around me today.” What do I do? I get tired and upset and moody and then what does my head think? “God, why didn’t you give me your joy?” It makes me ashamed and it makes me cry at how vain and self-satisfied and self-dependant I’ve become. It’s nothing less than sickening. I want that to CHANGE.
Where does that change start?
Well for me, I need to stop lying to myself. No, a five minute Bible reading while I’m brushing my teeth with eyes half closing is not ENOUGH. Who does it please? Nobody but my sick conscious that tacks it up as another righteousness towards me. It makes me so ANGRY at myself.
I’ve been living in this disgusting contentment, not really doing anything. I was missing FELLOWSHIP with God. I know He’s there but my heart so longs to know that He’s HERE. The pain in my chest and emptiness was practically killing me and I wept to God over and over please FILL me God! But oh Christian.
Christian, God is not your servant. He’s not there to do your every bidding. You know how it is for me? God why don’t you take this pain away from me? I’m asking you to do it. Am I using the wrong phrasing? Why aren’t you answering? I’ve prayed, therefore you should answer. I prayed for a good thing, and I know it’s your will for me to be happy. I know you don’t want me to be hurting. So then why am I still crying on the floor in pain? Why are you not filling me up?
Even reading it now it feels almost like that’s what I was supposed to do, right? There is nothing wrong with what I said, right? Except for the disgusting self-righteousness. Even as I admitted to Him I was a mess, I couldn’t not, I live with me, I was still clinging to the righteousness I practiced every day. I was still clinging to the fact that God I’ve been doing this for you, so then will you please fill my pain in exchange?
There’s no exchange! THERE IS NO EXCHANGE! “We bring nothing to the table except sin and brokenness.” Forever and always. We bring absolutely nothing to the table except debt and the fact that we deserve to be punished.
Christian when we come to God, through Jesus Christ His son He washes us absolutely clean! Romans 8 says there is NO CONDEMNATION to the one who comes to Jesus and is washed through His blood. But realize Christian, Please realize this doesn’t give you the freedom to step back out into the world and try again. Please realize this. I’m begging myself to grasp this in my heart. You’re not meant to go back out and try again to build yourself a kingdom. Your only hope is to stay there, stay kneeling, in utter humility, at the feet of God. Don’t ever, ever leave that place. The moment you stand up and walk back out of that throneroom to try and make your own path you will die again.
Christian, Jesus did not come to give you a second chance at your personal pursuits in life. He’s not here to wash away your past mistakes so that you can go back out and try to find your way again with a clean slate. He came to give you a second chance at eternal life. Life with Him, the right life pursuing His will.
Walk, walk, walk with Him always. Please, I’m begging you, please never leave the foot of the throne. It’s there and only there that you have hope and fulfillment. Don’t ever let yourself turn away from seeing His feet. Don’t let your eyes stray from His face of love. From the very God who gave His life to have you. I’m not asking you not to lose your salvation, I’m asking you please realize again who God is and what He has done for you.
Christian, right now, as you read this, I ask you to kneel down, physically, on the floor and pray. Pray to God and ask His forgiveness. Ask Him to show you where your self-righteousness is. Ask Him to fill you with the fire of His spirit so that you can live life in line with His will. Remember who you were before He took you in and realize that you are still that person if you dare to step outside of His throne room. There is space at His feet, I promise. And when you get up off the floor to go about your day, don’t let your heart get up off the floor. Keep your heart bowed at His feet, even as you go about your day.
You’re a child of God and He loves you. He wants so much to know you and love you and show you His glory and His plans for you. James 4:8 says “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, you double minded.” I like to remind myself and others all the time, God is not holding back from you. He’s not cocking His head on the throne and considering maybe you don’t deserve to know Him. Maybe He will let you wallow in your sorrow for just a little bit longer so you’re really truly sorry. No. Our God is reaching out His hand for us. Reaching down from heaven and calling us. Come, He loves you, He wants you, He’s ready to teach and grow you now if only you will come.
We live in such a lukewarm world and I want to change that. I want to be so on fire for God that people can see it coming off me. I have so far to go, but I have forever to get there, and I’m starting today. I want to start today and I want to chase after my God with such passion that He can’t help smiling. I’m a person of passion. I always have been. I am more than able to dedicate myself to something and learn and memorize and pursue that thing to the maximum potential. I’m ready to turn that passion onto my God. I’m ready to run.
What about you?