Praying Church or Playing Church?

The western church is seen by the world as anything BUT Christian. We are making no one jealous for what we claim we've found in Christ. Independent and proud of it, our only chance is of winning this "holy war" is to declare our DEPENDENCE upon God. See, our problem is not our weak leaders or our demoralization. It's not Hollywood or Harry Potter.

The problem is the church's foolish fearlessness of God.

A nation is never better than its church, the church no better than its people. Only God-transformed believers can change the moral fiber of any nation. If we will commit to prayer and the ministry of the Word, out of this focus would come a harvest of last-day prophets. Prophets...not professional preachers. Agonizers in prayer, not organizers in team meetings. Count on it!

If we could save our nations with Christian music, TV, books, tapes, conferences and beautiful buildings, we would have done so by now. Instead, what we call "Christianity" has become the number one cause of atheism. We've made man in our own image...a sickly church, with a form of godliness with no power to speak of. For this we must repent.

Babies are born in travail (Isa. 66:8). Revival is birthed by spiritual people, not by slick-talking, high dollar pulpiteers. As Leonard Ravenhill put it, "The professional preacher gets popular and pampered. A true revivalist gets persecuted, ostracized, and lonely." Our "life-changing sermons" aren't changing lives because we're impotent in our pleading before God. Whereas a preacher develops a sermon; a prophet brings a message from Heaven's throne.

So, the burden for revival is not on the pew, but on the preacher. New Testament ministers have one vital aspect to their job description: to fulfill Acts 6 by giving themselves continually to the ministry of the Word and to prayer. That's it. Too often they seem more concerned with personal savings than personal salvations. The worldly are keen to it and the church goers are tired of it.

REASONS

The reason for this sickly western church? 1) Some people work without worship, 2) others worship without work, 3) few people maintain the discipline of prayer. The prayer meeting is obsolete in most congregations. We cannot preach "you must be born again" until we "travail in birth" that people BE born again. Then we must not only conceive these babes, but raise them. We cannot merely lead them in "the sinner's Prayer" or take them down "the Roman Road" and deceive ourselves into believing anyone has actually been saved. No, any manipulative soul can do that.

Over 30 times in the New Testament we see some variation of the phrase "Follow Me." Are we willing to warn the new converts, as Jesus did, that the world will hate them? That their enemies would be the members of their own households? Are we willing to deny ourselves to DISCIPLE them? That is the Great Commission after all.

REPENTANCE

We need a major overhaul; we must repent. The Greek word is "metanoia," to change one's mind. We must change our mind about this thing we call church. As we look to our brothers in the east, we see that six of every eleven conversions today are from Asia or India. The underground church in China grows at a rate of 20,000 daily amidst persecution. Though 80% of the world is literally dying to serve Jesus, the western church is blessed and free. It seems that same freedom has become our greatest enemy as freedom includes the freedom to do nothing.

Our greatest threat? God Himself! Much has been given us and much will be required. The best way to grind our billions of wheels to a screeching halt could be by way of some disaster. Must it come to that? Ninevah lasted a mere 150 years after Jonah before she forgot God and was destroyed by her enemies. Have we had our run?

REVIVAL

It comes through prayer, not by waving our wooden swords, marching around our sanctuaries with banners, and singing to goose-bump-raising decibels so high we confuse them for "the anointing." Our churches are the laughing stock of Hell and we don't even realize it. Our services and conferences have the same effect on principalities and powers as the hole made by a finger in a bowl of pudding. When the dust settles, the finger is removed, everything becomes as it was.

REVOLUTION

Rotten as we are, we are as we are for such a time as this. Our youth included. God needs us and every emotional scar, every bitter bone and nasty habit we possess. He can use these things. We must surrender them to Him. He sees our potential to be more than pew potatoes raising tater tots. Jesus was a revolutionary. Though some of us may actually die, like the kids in the American schools and churches who were shot just because they were Christians, we must be the radicals who dare to turn on the light in a culture that is getting gloriously darker.

Fear not! The Lord is with you! The people who know their God will be strong and do great things! All we need to be is willing and obedient.

READ 'EM & REAP!!

Matthew 5:6 Psalm 33:12 2 Chronicles 7:14 Psalm 9:17 Proverbs 14:34 It's your choice. Your decision. We can be like thermometers or thermostats, blending with the social climate or changing the rules. You may not be a church-goer. Well, then BE the church and shine the light of Christ where you DO go. From now on, everything changes. Let's serve the King! Let's give 'em Heaven!

Need pastoral counseling and prayer? Write or IM me at [email protected]

Every blessing!

Michael
A servant of God
t.e.a.m. ministries
A Message of Discipleship & Encouragement to the Body of Christ
P.O. Box 633
Stephenville, Texas 76401
http://www.planetaryministry.org
BLOG: journals.aol.com/team1min/YourTownforJesus /

Pastor Michael broadcasts an e-Mail message of Discipleship and Encouragement to Christians across the planet each week, reaching millions from many various Chrsitian denominations. This e-Mail ministry has been impacting the lives of multitudes of people since 1999.

Pastor Michael has been broadcasting his messages of discipleship and encouragement to the Body of Christ since 1999 and is now reaching millions across the planet. Positive eMail replies abound from subscribers whose lives have been touched by these God-inspired messages.

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