Do you remember as a young child joining your hands together and, while moving your fingers around, saying the rhyme, “Here is the church, here is the steeple, open the doors and see all the people”? It is a cute, fun activity for children. But, if the truth is known, Satan hates the real application of this rhyme. To Satan, believers obeying God’s IKEA (some assembly required) principle (Hebrews 10:25) is dangerous because it activates the supernatural “insider secrets” that I wrote about in the last post.
In the final post of this“The Insider Secrets” series, I want to make it known that Satan isn’t creative. For many, many years, he has successfully used the following three reasons (excuses) over and over again to minimize the importance of believers coming together. Let me forewarn you. My response to the deceptions will possibly cause you to say “ouch” or “oh me”.
Reason (Excuse) #1 – I’m Not Being Fed.
This needs a two-fold response …
A. If I had more courage, I’d respond, “You big baby”. (Wait, a surge of courage hit me. I did type my response. Now you know how that I really feel.) Please answer these questions. Do you really need someone else to feed you? Is this service your ONLY source of spiritual nutrition? Have you been on a spiritual starvation regiment since the last time that you gathered with fellow believers? Feasting spiritually isn’t supposed to be a once-a-week discipline, is it? Listen, I don’t need to tell you what you already know about having a daily time in the Word, worship, prayer, and fellowship with the Father. Feed yourself daily.
B. Paul admonished us to be so full of the Holy Spirit that we will bring ministry with us when we come to church. (1 Corinthians 14:26). YOU are to do the feeding when you come together with fellow believers. Connect. Impart. Love. Nurture. Men, there are other men that desperately need you. Ladies, there are ladies in your fellowship that need some of your “such as I have give I thee”. (Acts 3:6). When Vickie and I are not out on a weekend ministering in a Holy Spirit Rally, we are faithfully attending our home church. And, one of the major reasons why I love coming to our church is that it provides me (as a believer, not as an ordained minister) an opportunity before and after the services to encourage men one-on-one and fellowship with couples. I impart love. I genuinely care. I listen. In other words, I come to give the ministry. Anything that I receive during the service, so to speak, is the icing on the cake.
Reason (Excuse) #2 – My Church Doesn’t _____________ Enough! (I’ll let you fill in the blank.)
This too needs a two-fold response …
A. Read letter A in Reason (Excuse) #1.
B. If you are struggling because you feel as though your church doesn’t place enough emphasis upon a certain aspect of ministry (worship, missions, the Holy Spirit, … the list could go on and on), I have the PERFECT answer for you. Get involved in the children’s ministry of your church. I’m not suggesting that you do this to escape the adult service. No, a million times no. Here’s my reasoning. By being involved in this ministry, you can grow children who will begin to ________________. It will become a part of their spiritual DNA. In addition to teaching the provided curriculum, you can add in _________________ week after week. For example, if worship isn’t “deep” enough for you in the adult service, become a part of the children’s church or Sunday school and train, model, and then give an opportunity for the children to go into God’s presence in each and every service. Bear in mind, this isn’t all that you are doing in each service. You are teaching the lesson AND, inch by inch (service by service), raising up true worshippers.
Reason (Excuse) #3 – My Church Has Problems.
I could say that your church became less perfect when you joined that church, but I won’t. (Oops … I did, didn’t I.) I will admit upfront that the church isn’t perfect. Why? Because the church is made up of imperfect people with personalities and idiosyncrasies, imperfect people that are striving to become more like Christ. I know that my following responses are super simplistic.
A. If there is an area of deficiency, volunteer to work in that area. That is why the church is called the Body of Christ. We all have a part to play. Step up and make things better!
B. Go to the Way-Maker. In other words, pray. The apostle James hit the nail right on the head. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous person causes much to happen.” (James 5:16).
I’ve got to quit typing. There is much more that I could have/should have written. But, I know that I have stepped on enough spiritual toes. Do me/yourself a favor. Share this series with others. As always, I welcome your comment on what I’ve written. Blessings … Billy.