In prayer for the world this morning. I happened to listen to a video about Americans forgetting the events of 911 and the many who died either in the attack itself or trying to save the survivors. Americans swore to “never forget” yet here we are 16 years later burning flags and tearing each other apart. How quickly we digress. How many natural disasters have occurred in the last 16 years leaving more devastation, more death? A presidential election brings out the absolute worst in many people. People group up according to their personal soap boxes and spew their poisons on any platform they deem fit. They set out to cause social distress and violence. Darkness beyond belief is being exposed and the hearts of many are sickened, saddened and overwhelmed.
“Where do I begin to pray God?”
I pray for our President who has an overwhelming task before him of “fixing it.”
But he can’t fix it, only God can
I repent for our ways and thought patterns molded by generations of complacency and a general falling away from moral value and God’s Word leaving our children to flounder in doing whatever makes them feel good.
I pray that our world will turn to God, will turn away from what is evil.
I remembered the scriptures in Revelation 3
15 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! 16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! 17 You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. 18 So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. 19 I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.
20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. 21 Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.
22 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.”
This is Jesus talking to the CHURCH! Not the world who don’t know God, but to the church.
How do we get their attention, God? The ones who have plenty seem to have no need of You. The ones who are struggling turn away in anger. What is my role here? How can I help You, God? The world needs You, but they don’t want to do what You say in Your word. They don’t believe, they don’t see, they don’t hear, they make fun of what they don’t understand. How can I reach out to the world when my influence on my own friends and family doesn’t bear the fruit I want to see.
The Christians, for the most part, are going through the motions and think they are fulfilling their weekly requirements of attendance. I feel an overwhelming sense of urgency and yet I watch as the churches reorganize, redecorate, recalculate, recalibrate and life goes on while little changes in the hearts of man.
And how about church leadership? Many are burned out. The fire they had when they dreamed of becoming a pastor and getting into ministry has been gleaned and gleaned. The parishioners want someone else to fill their cup, and they expect the pastor to do that for them. The leadership plan and implement all sorts of ways for their flock to get fueled and this becomes a huge well-oiled machine, yet little changes in the hearts of man.
I don’t know why God says above that he wished we were either hot or cold. Hot for God is obviously being on FIRE with passion and obedience. Perhaps a cold heart is easier to ignite than a heart that is lukewarm. Think of stepping into a hot tub that is hot and bubbling and how great it feels. If I stepped in and it was cold, I would want to get out! But if I stepped into a lukewarm tub, I may not even notice the water touching my skin. I may sit a while hoping that it would heat up soon. Maybe that’s what some are doing in church…. they are sitting a while waiting for something to happen. Waiting for a personal sermon just for their life, a song that ministers to their heart, a prayer that changes things, a miracle to confirm their belief in God, or for everything to suddenly make sense as to why they are even on the planet. Nonetheless…. waiting. Some have given up waiting in a pew, so now they are waiting at home. They sleep later on Sunday mornings and have the weekend to themselves as a mini-vacation they have earned for a week’s work. They still profess to believe in God and call themselves Christian, but church just isn’t doing anything for them. Or they church hop looking for fire. They are LUKEWARM & self-absorbed.
How I long to see a FIRE INFUSED movement of God! How I long to see reformation in the hearts of man! I’m not looking to see people acting crazy, I want to see people HEALED, CHANGED, RENEWED, WHOLE in mind, body and spirit, filled with JOY and PEACE. I want to see people freed up enough to LOVE. I want to see people turn back to God and away from things and mindsets that destroy them from the inside out. Revival? Yes, but not an event that comes and goes. I want the world to know You God, but I must begin where I have been planted. What do I do from here?
John Wesley was quoted to say, “I set myself on fire and people come to watch me burn.” Let it begin Lord. I think of a candlelight service where one flame touches the candle next to it until an entire congregation is aglow. We need to ask God to fan our individual flames and then make a place, make room, make time for those around us to catch on FIRE. How else are we going to be effective in heating up the lukewarm and sending them out for the cold hearts? If we keep doing the same things, the same way expecting a different result, then we are just insane. That’s the quote, correct? There’s nothing wrong with programs…… just don’t make it the main thing. GOD is the main thing, He is everything. Jesus is our everything and our way maker. The Holy Spirit is our fuel. Let’s IGNITE!