Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late – and how little revival has resulted? I believe the problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying, and it simply will not work. To pray for revival while ignoring the plain precept laid down in Scripture is to waste a lot of words and get nothing for our trouble. Prayer will become effective when we stop using it as a substitute for obedience.
So I am sitting here in a hotel room at a “Pastor's retreat” where they do this and that. It is quite the interesting set up actually, and I find it neat to see how the inner workings of the church are proceeding, at the very least, in the denomination of the C&MA. It is amazing to hear what people have to say about the ministry that is happening presently at the church, and I am glad to see that the American church is not completely off the mark when we aim. However, I also get to see committee meetings and board meetings and I find that I am oftentimes very very frustrated with the church. I find myself asking questions about the topics that are brought up. People are so concerned about the risk, but does anyone ever think that perhaps, oh I don't know, GOD IS IN CONTROL?!
Honestly, I am tired of hearing of how they want to do “x” but when it comes down to doing it, they back out and make excuses. “The insurance will increase by $$” or, whatever the excuse they have currently, but you know, I think we should not judge by whether it will be successful, or failure, but rather, I think we should take risks knowing that God has our back in the things that don't make sense and He is going to protect, and guide the ministry in the direction He wants it to go, when He wants it to go, if only we would be willing to listen and obey.
I thought the quote I started this post with, is really quite fitting for my generation. I remember last year at TFC everyone and their great granny would say, “We want a revival,” and “something is coming.” And they were right in the fact something was coming, I myself felt it from time to time, but you know, I don't think it was what we expected it to look like, and so many people want to see revival, but they are not willing to look at themselves and get right with God, and THAT is where it all starts in my opinion. You can pray until the cows come home for revival, but if your heart, and your attitude are not in the right place. If you are not willing to examine yourself and confess where there needs to be confessing, etc. Then certainly you cannot expect a revival to happen.
Then again, maybe we have come to the point in time, where revivals are no longer going to happen. Maybe we have come so close to return of Christ, that we don't even realize that it might be right next to us. So many people say that “We are closer than we have ever been before.” Yeah, that's true, but so were the people who lived in the 20s. When they were living, they were closer than ever before at that point. So really that statement is really vague, and I don't think I like it.
I've discovered that I might be a little too literal with stuff, which is probably why I'm terrible at reading between the lines, unless I know the people really well (aka Dark Boys, and a few other people). I am very literal, and I think some people might find offensive when I tell them the literal truth. So many sugar coat the truth that I got fed up with it, and I think when all is said and done, the people I unintentionally offended are actually thankful that I told them the truth without making it sound tasty. I don't know, maybe this is all in my head, and I'm just some nut case. then again, what if I'm right? What if this institution we call evangelism, or the church, really needs some major improvements in the American Harem? I'm tired of seeing people stuck in that Christian Ghetto, and I am willing to do what I must to help them out of the sludge of the slums, even if it means I need to be literal, or perhaps slightly offensive. And that, really, is just what is ingrained in my personality. I know I could be more sensitive to people, but at the same time, some people need to be a little less sensitive, or maybe I'm too callous to care, but I really do not believe this is the case.
So in a nutshell of what this entire post is saying, I guess, is that I don't want to see the American Church get deep fried by God's wrath because we didn't obey his word, and decided to talk about improvements instead of making them.
k done for now.