Did you grow up in the Church but; the Church did not grow up in you? Did you regularly attend Church and regularly participate in all the auxiliaries yet, you did not or do not really have a real relationship with the Lord? Do you just go to Church and the moment you are behind closed doors you abandon all of God’s principles for living? Do you live Monday thru Saturday conforming to the world? Do you go to Church, study God’s Word but don’t really understand how to apply it to your own life? Have you or do you truly live a Godly life before your spouse and children or friends and relatives? Are you obedient to your pastor but disrespectful to your spouse? Are you a great Pastor who is a lousy husband? Do you really know what it is to have a personal relationship with the Lord? If the Lord was to return today can you truly say you will be “caught up in the air to meet Him?” Do you know that Jesus really does make a difference in your life? I am not talking about some religious experience. I am asking you these questions to provoke thought.
For many accepting Jesus Christ is a public experience. For many it is a procedure. For many, accepting Jesus Christ means to have your name on a membership role. Go through a basic initial training; decide what auxiliaries you would like to participate in then, jump right in. (I say auxiliary because there was a time when it was unheard of to say ministries.) If you attend regularly, pay your tithes, don’t make any waves, nor question the process, you have achieved conversion in the eyes of your trainers? In many cases you are expected to give in and yield to those who are in charge regardless. If you are related to or accepted by the established inner circle it is quite possible that as long as you conform to their wishes you can pretty much do whatever you desire. You do not really have to make any major changes in your personal life. Why? Because you love them and they love you, you have proven successfully that you are teachable, obedient and that you respect authority. They also are heart readers and can determine who is who? Hooray! You are now accepted in to what a very good God given friend of mine calls “the club”. Does any of this sound familiar? Did you grow up in the Church but the Church did not grow up in you?
What is the Church? Webster defines Church as; a building of public worship and especially Christian. A body or organization of religious believers. The clergy of a religious body. The Word of God teaches us that HIS people are actually His Church! The Christian Church is really a family of believers who have truly accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord. Who earnestly and faithfully have committed to being governed by God’s principles. As long as we remain on this side of heaven there is room for improvement.
Commit means to; put in trust. To cosign for preservation, disposal or safekeeping, to obligate, bind to and live by. When you commit to live for the Lord; you agree to surrender to His will and His way. You really should live your life from the perspective that God really does see everything. His Holy Spirit becomes your inner guide. You consistently study His Word. As you walk in faith and obedience to God’s principles you are strengthened spiritually. You don’t conform to the world neither do you disrespect the laws of the land.
The Lord loves us so much He gives us the freedom to choose. In His Word He tells us if you abide in Him He will abide in you. His Divine and Holy Spirit will take up residence in your soul. His Holy Spirit is also known as the Comforter. The Comforter will become your inner guide; The Comforter will make your conscious sensitive and aware of Godly instruction for life and daily living. The Comforter will let you know that Jesus Christ is the “Bread of life” John 6:35. That He is the “True Vine” John 15:1. That He is the “Light of the world” John 8:12. That He is “the way, the Truth, and the life.” John 14:6
God will give you a mentally sound mind. It is your choice to continue to sharpen it with His Word.
Ask yourself have you really chosen God’s way? Have you changed or just outwardly conformed to be accepted? If this is the case you will have very little self discipline. Nor will you have true inner peace. If you have truly changed there is an inner metamorphosis. You will begin to walk in the fruit of His Spirit. Do you really seek the truth? Or do you seek to prove and accept what is false? Is Jesus truly important in your home, job, career and life? Did you grow up in the Church but the Church did not grow up in you?
We are living in some serious times. There is much spiritual warfare about us. The world is not going to get better. But there is a better way to live daily. Jesus lived an exemplary life. He was and is the epitome of what life is all about. It is because of Jesus we have a direct way back to the Father. When He died the veil of the temple was torn in two. The purpose of the veil was to separate the section of the Temple where only the priest were allowed. We can thank Jesus because; we now can go directly to God. His Word can cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Did you know that Jesus was God’s Word wrapped in flesh? Jesus came as a living testimonial to the world and the family of God; which is His Church.
Did you know that the Church is actually Christ’s Bride? Do you know how important faithfulness is to a bride? Think about that; that is really heavy! God not only wants us to be faithful to our spouses but to Him. Jesus came to let us know that the principles in God’s Word are true. Did you know that God wants what is best for us? Did you know that God even disciplines us because He loves us so much? He even allows persecution so we can move on to further allow His will to be done in our life. Did you grow up in the Church but the Church did not grow up in you?
God does not have a list of rules and regulations. Yet, you are considered to be “in the know, if you acknowledge everyone in a hierarchal manner before you speak. You are even commended for knowing protocol. If you don’t walk while someone’s talking you are respectful. But these are not really rules are they? Think about it? If you are walking you really must need to go somewhere? Are not the doors of God’s Church always open? These are just a few things to think about. Oh! These again are not rules; it just shows you know how to do what? “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Liberty”. But God tells us not to use that as a cloak for maliciousness.
Did you know that God intended for His Church to be a “Lighthouse.” A place where we can worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. A place where darkness should not prevail. God is also a God of order. Yes, we should be respectful of our place of worship. But some things are just not necessary. If you were raised in Church, but the Church is not in you the truth really does not matter. It is easier to just do whatever is expected. This assures you that you can participate in any way. You can even opt to fill any position you desire. This is okay because your heart is considered okay, you have passed inspection. All you have to do is put in your request. After all you are related to or in the inner circle. You have a blanket excuse for any and every past or present behavior because you obey without question. You are unconditionally loved? Or are you really? You also give God honor, praise and thank him for giving you the opportunity to stand before all. Yet they can already see you are standing up.
If you really want to stand for something; stand up for what is right.” In actuality protocol to you really means you know who to call in order of importance? Now who is the respecter of persons? What’s really important is that we call on Jesus and create and environment where His presence is truly welcomed. Yes, I am being a little sarcastic. But not to be facetious. What is your point? I merely want all of us to think about why we do or do not do some of the things we do. No disrespect intended a lot of things just are not necessary. God has said that He would write His law in our hearts. As you diligently study God’s Word He will really deliver you! He will free you from a lot of stuff that just does not make sense. God has so many wonderful things in store for us. He also gives you the freedom to choose. Have you ever seen the movie “Groundhog Day?” It is a humorous little movie where this guy wakes up at the same time everyday and the same thing happens over and over. He knew how each person would respond. He knew each day exactly what to expect. After a while he realizes that some things really need to change. Did you know that God really can change you? Did you know He really does have a better way for you to live? Ask yourself honestly have you grown up in the Church but the Church did not grow up in you? God really and truly can deliver you!
There really is a difference between being in the Church and the Church being in you? When the Church is in you the Holy Spirit becomes the governor of your soul. You live in the world, you are to be law abiding citizen but you realize it is in God you move and live and have your being. You are convicted when wrong. You do not desire to be right just for the sake of being right. This is not some unrealistic, legalistic, rigid, mythical, unattainable, cultist way of being. (You are often encouraged to go along when there is a cultist mentality for the sake of being accepted by the group or groups.) You realize how vitally important it is to live your life before the Lord. You know without a doubt that God is your Heavenly Father.
The devil his imps and no one or nobody can do anything to pluck you out God’s hands, once you truly believe that you truly belong to God and Jesus is your Lord and Savior! You have been adopted into His family and you know that you know that you know without doubting you are His child! You know what His Word says about being double minded? Wait I must caution you! You must be aware that you will be thought of as strange and or self righteous by those who really do not know or understand you. They will even put you through their heart test. But, those who really know you know that you have been raised in the Church and the Church is in you. Go pluck some spiritual fruit and “pig out”. Especially try some of His good ole patience. Don’t go there; this not some egotistical, arrogant or prideful statement.