From within the walls.

Recently I have noticed a dynamic change. This change encompasses the Church altogether. As I stated in another writing, the Church- the Body of Christ- must have an expectancy for a movement of God’s Spirit. Without that expectancy for greater things, change cannot take place. But even with expectancy, that is not enough. Recently I read something about the Church and the apparent Body of Christ- each person individually. And my heart breaks deeply. It breaks for those in the Church, and the Church itself, because I fear we are greatly missing something.

“We say that our churches are blessed by the presence of the Holy Spirit. But what if, when people come, there is no sign of His presence, no joy, little love, and no manifestation of the grace and power of Christ?…Some Pentecostal people have, at one time, had an experience with God, but the work of the Spirit has diminished in their lives. It has not continued to affect how they live.”

These few sentences gripped me in my heart as I read from an article in my church’s foyer. I sat there and I was almost overcome by many emotions. Thoughts ran through my mind as if in a marathon. Today, when I read this article, it just happened to be “Pentecost Sunday”- the day to use a reminder [and refilling] of the Spirit of God in our lives. That is where it hit me. We tend to use this one day to refill ourselves spiritually. What about the rest of the year? I fear we use it as an excuse to renew our walk with God and wait again until the next big service. We seek the presence of God yet there is no fruit. I fear that too many rely on this one day [or special services, crusades, or revivals] to reestablish themselves in faith and in the Spirit of God. If we are called Pentecostals then that entails allowing the Holy Spirit to continue to work, daily, in our lives. Our churches would be radically different if each person claiming to be a Pentecostal [or even just a Christian] would allow for that Spirit to encounter them at their core. Conviction would occur. I do not mean deciding not to lie, only, but the multitude of sin that we pretend doesn’t affect us. Gossip is disease in our churches. Crude joking is at the altar, in the sanctuary, and in the fellowship. Arrogance and pride is gangrene spreading throughout, especially in leadership. The stage has become a pedestal. Alcohol is pretty poison disguised in one beer, one glass of wine, and one night forgotten. Pornography and sex are secrets hidden in shame. And we wonder why even when we expect great things, we see no wonders. No miracles. When we seek the presence of God we must be willing to let go and allow for His Spirit to see those areas in our lives that need change. Without that change, our expectancy is in vain. From within the walls of every church, it is our choice as believers of Christ the Messiah to want God more than the lives that we live. Our lives, if truly seeking the Spirit of God, will be full of love and life, owning up to our mistakes in our humanity, but still recognizing the power of God in spite of it all. It is not enough to experience God and His Spirit alone, but to daily seek a new experience with Him, never being satisfied. Complacency must be left. From within the walls…change is possible.

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