Something is really wrong with the Church….

Something is wrong in the Church today. I don’t say that lightly, or as someone who thrives on criticizing everyone else so as to establish my own spiritual superiority, or as someone who is feeding on sour grapes because things aren’t the way I would like them. I say it because of how many people I meet on a daily basis who are discouraged by traditional church and have chosen not to attend anymore.
Everywhere I turn, I hear people complaining about the same thing. This isn’t something localized to a particular area or limited to a certain social strata or denomination  I hear this from all sorts of people, many with impeccable spiritual credentials.  I have talked to pastors who have spent decades in ministry who are now questioning the vibrancy of the Church. Others just off the streets, armed with little more than a spiritual hunger, who refuse to attend church, not because they don’t believe, but because they are repelled by what they see, they are tired of seeing “Christians” and”leaders” in the church who are out looking like the world and acting like the world, and than acting holier than thou on Sunday mornings.
No matter how you view this issue, no matter what position you have, no matter what church you belong to, you have to admit that something is wrong.
We are supposed to be the salt of the Earth, as something that gives flavor to make a meal taste good. But when we are not attracting the lost, but rather repelling them, then our salt has lost its savor. What makes it even worse is that we are even repelling the saved.
There are opposing extremes to this issue, true, but shouldn’t the middle be closer to the truth? We see on one hand the churches that are so loose and “loving” that they excuse any sin or misconduct, including homosexuality and adultery in the church. On the other hand, there are those in their religious zeal have taken it upon themselves to proclaim their self-righteous judgments on every church around them. Somewhere they read that the Word of God is a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces, so they’ve traded in their fishing pole for a sledgehammer.
But in the middle, where we hope to find something that is more balanced, instead we find a modern church that is socially based, smooth and sensual, sophisticated, and presented like a Hollywood production so that it will appeal to the crowds who flock there. Listen, if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, then it is most likely a duck, and not a church.
And what, may I ask, ever happened to the Gospel of power? If our churches are supposed to be so good, then why are so many people turned off by them? If the fire that is burning in our churches was from off the altar of God instead of a Wizard of Oz production, then I can guarantee you that hungry souls would be drawn by the Spirit of God, but instead, they are turning away. Something is wrong!
Where are the old-fashioned preachers who used to preach under the anointing of power, and relied not their stack of disheveled notes, but on the power of God to deliver the message? Our pastors today follow the social and marketing formulas they were taught in college and present a Gospel in a multi-media fashion with 7 bullet points, a poem, and three jokes and Worship Leaders singing songs they like, they are the most popular all about “me” and leave Jesus out. Something is wrong!
What happened to the strong calls for repentance that brought thousands down to the altar to repent and ask Jesus Christ to save their souls? This is the litmus test for Christianity; it is the essence of the Cross; it is the Great Commission that Jesus commanded us with.  Something is wrong!
Where did all the miracles go? Not the weak excuses of “if it is God’s will …”, or a reliance on a “gradual healing” with a doctor’s appointment in hand, but the instant manifestation of the power of God? Jesus said to heal the sick, and preach the Gospel. Was He just kidding? Did He really mean it? Yes, He meant it! If there is not a flowing of miracle healing’s in your church, then I’m sorry, something is wrong!
Where is the outpouring of the Holy Ghost? Do we even know what it means anymore to feel the presence of the Spirit of God descend on a service and fill up the room with holiness? Or do we just think that our party atmosphere of excitement when someone plays a cool song, or the excitement that we get when some charismatic speaker works the crowd is the Holy Ghost? It’s been so long since we’ve seen the real thing that we don’t even know what it is anymore. Something is wrong!
Something of deep substance is missing in our church today. But we’ve become so sophisticated and enamored with our social Gospel that we don’t even realize that something is wrong. We are left like Gideon, threshing his wheat in secret by the wine-press of God because our fields have been taken over by a worldly church. And we wonder out loud to the angel, “What happened to the miracles our fathers have told us about?”
Yeah, that’s my question too. What happened?
When we lost our fear of God, we lost our power in God. And at that point, as it says in Isaiah 29, the Book became sealed unto us so that we no longer even grasp how far we have fallen. We read it, but we can’t see past the surface of the page.
I believe in the four R’s, the four steps to revival – Recognition, Repentance, Righteousness, and Revival. The first step to Revival is to realize that we don’t have one, to recognize that something is desperately wrong with our churches, and that we have lost something precious in our pursuit of a super-sophisticated modern Church. We’ve lost it, and we need to get it back…

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How Do You Trust God?

1838_1838_5It’s easy to say, “Give your cares to God and trust Him” when everything in life seems to be going well.  It’s easy to say, “I trust you God with everything I have” when bills are paid on time and when you just got a promotion at work.

However, if God striped you of everything you own; If God told you to leave the very job that’s paying your bills, will you trust the Lord enough to do it?  Will you trust God even when you don’t understand; even when life hurts?  If God told you to leave the familiar and enter the unfamiliar, will you trust Him?

For many of us, God has done just that.  He has taken you from what’s “oh so familiar” and redirected our paths into the unfamiliar.  Where we don’t understand what’s happening in our life; what to do or where to go.  The only thing we know is that the Lord gave us a “word” (instruction, a promise, vision, etc) and the only thing we have to hold on to is that word.

For me, when I began to feel a stirring I started to seek and waited on God for a while. In my mind, I wanted  him to show me the path ahead of me and to show the type of path, is it good?, is a plain sailing one or is it a difficult one? In my thinking, I thought if the path that God showed me is a good one, then I would walk in it.

Isn’t that how we always think, we are so afraid of making mistakes?

Isn’t this the type of mind-set that we have? Every time when we are at a crossroad, we want to know that whether we are going to take a gold trodden path ahead of us and we want an assurance that the path that we set out to take will be peaceful and plain sailing. Right? We wanted to know that the path ahead for the future would be rosy before we stepped out and walked towards that goal.

Isn’t this what you visualize, because I definitely visualize it this way!!

I didn’t want to make any mistakes, I didn’t want to walk a difficult road, I didn’t want to have troubles, heartaches and worries, anxieties and any complications. I didn’t want to waste any time.

You know what God began to show me?  Instead of showing which path I should take, told me “Step out and walk, and walk in faith and a Path will open unto you “. He reminded me that just like the Israelite’s when they crossed the Red Sea, the Red Sea was not opened all the way to the bank on the other side that they could see.  As they took the next step they began to see farther in front of them as they walked out in faith, step by step, the path to the other bank was becoming more visible.

I believe sometimes, God will place you in a situation where you have to trust Him and He’ll give you piece by piece as you obey and trust Him. Everyday I’m learning that you may not understand life and all that’s happening; but God will give you a piece to the puzzle as you learn to step out on faith, trust and obey him.

Today, I still don’t know where he is leading me, but what I do know is that I’ll trust him and I’ll go where he says go.

Never Give Up

“Whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly as though you were working for your real master and not merely for humans. Col 3:23

There are times we all face giants in our lives… and like the football video above, they knew the were going against a giant in their case a football team and before they even faced them they already had the attitude of defeat. So many times we have that same attitude we face a giant in our life ad we just give up! Before we even face our opponent we are already waving the white flag, we don’t even try. Because we let satan put thoughts in our head  we aren’t good enough. 

I think about a time someone faced a giant, and when I begin just to read on David facing Golith, God begin to open my eyes about another giant, a Giant that I didnt look at as a giant before, and its the story of Joshua and the children of Isreal. Heres The parphrased story…

 ~Joshua 3~

Now Jericho was tightly shut up Because of the children of Israel None went out And none came in And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given unto thine hand Jericho And the king thereof and the mighty men of valor And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war And go round about the city once

Thus shalt thou do six days And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams horns And the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times and the priests shall blow the trumpets and it shall come to pass that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet all the people shall shout with a great shout and the wall of the city shall fall down flat and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him For the Lord hath said unto Joshua SHOUT for I have given you the city

The inhabitants of Jericho were perverted by sin and corrupt Surrounded by walls so thick that chariots raced on top With ladders, catapults and spearheads readied and blazing in the sun The armies of Israel stood ready for commands of war to come For 39 years Joshua was trained under Moses’ righteous hand And it was Joshua who led nearly three million Israelites Into the promised land Now Moses was dead and the real test came Could he simply follow God’s word And do something that to the natural mind Would be utterly absurd Without Moses to ask advice of Or an advisory committee God said the walls will fall Just tell them SHOUT for I have given you the city

Now God was putting in operation a principle of war Setting at our disposal weaponry that drops demons to the floor Something with tremendous power that assassinates fear and doubt Its the high praises of victory unleashed by a shout When David played his songs of praise, demons fled from Saul As Paul and Silas worshiped God, the chains began to fall it lifts us above the circumstance and lets God’s power flow

The shout of victory binds the devil with chains that won’t let go So with the confidence of warring angels Israel stood stone ready To obey Joshua, speak to their mountain And SHOUT for God was giving them the city

Six days they marched around Jericho and the last day they marched seven While the Canaanites jeered from their evil walls Israels faith reached Heaven Before any manifestation, with every brick still in place
Eyeball to eyeball they looked fear dead in its face They didn’t wait to feel some earthquake or to see a lightning flash They didn’t need to hear a theatric rumble or a mind-blowing crash They prepared their souls for victory Now its God’s turn to come thru They’d scream their lungs out Simply because… they believed…
God’s word was true.

So, with the high praises of God in their mouths, Came a massive… there came a volcanic sound And Israel shouted in victory And they shouted in faith And the walls came tumbling down

Now Joshua Could have looked at this giant of a wall which chariot raced on top.. it was huge!.. he could have said God I cant do this.. and he had all these people who he was in charge over can youu imagine walking around a wall seven times and knowing thousands of people were going to be quiet as they walk around this wall? and having to walk around 9-10 hours a day! and these people being so tired and not giving up?… but Joshua trusted God, he wasnt walking around this wall for himself he was doing it for God he was believing and trusting God that the walls were going to fall!… and after seven times when they shouted the walls came down!… so what would happened if we just looked at our giant and shouted a shout of victory and watch him fall…

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9

What ever you’re facing today don’t give up because you think you cant do it anymore that your tired that it’s too much.. because like the coach was beside his player yelling DONT GIVE UP!!.. God is besides you yelling DONT GIVE UP! IM RIGHT HERE BESIDE U! YOU WILL MAKE IT!… sometimes we are so close to victory and we give up because the giants to big.. but my GOD is bigger.. he will strengthen you.. So whatever your facing keep going to don’t give up. and trust GOD and shout with a SHOUT OF VICTORY!.. and watch the walls fall…..

Luke 10:19 (The Message)

18-20Jesus said, “I know. I saw Satan fall, a bolt of lightning out of the sky. See what I’ve given you? Safe passage as you walk on snakes and scorpions, and protection from every assault of the Enemy. No one can put a hand on you. All the same, the great triumph is not in your authority over evil, but in God’s authority over you and presence with you. Not what you do for God but what God does for you—that’s the agenda for rejoicing.”