(Written in the summer of 2016. The first time I ever got the nerve to discuss my views on church. I’ve grown more confident since. However, I still have been saying the same things about church. 🙂 Enjoy!)
My hands shake and my spirit trembles as I hear God ask, “Will you write this piece? Not later, but now. You know your calling.”
As I open my Bible for guidance, immediately it opens to (NKJ) Philippians 3:12-13 “Therefore my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear, and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
I had started to work on a new post for the continuation of Layers of Prayers, however, through praise and prayer, God revealed something very deep in my heart. Something He has taught me since I was 4 years old, something that I’ve struggled with since I was 13.
Related Post | My Calling | Maybe You Were Like Me
Speaking about issues that believers simply do not want to hear.
I ask with humility to hear me out. And dear God, please take over the pen.
Yesterday I wrote these words that you have read above. And as I started to dive into the blog, God directed me to cover part of my background when He first moved me when I was 13. Explaining how and why I say and think certain things. My calling, I believe, is to reach out to believers.
But still the original push for this blog wasn’t completed. So that information became its own blog post. With my explanations being said, now, together, we tackle what God pricked my spirit to write about.
Purpose Of Church
Let it be clarified, this blog is NOT in any sort bashing church or the importance of church. Church holds a large part of a believer’s life. So let’s go over that first. Why is church important?
The church provides an environment for us to find others who share Someone in common. God is an amazing icebreaker when meeting new people.
(BLB) Hebrews 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling together of ourselves as it is custom with some, but encouraging one another, and so much more as you see the Day drawing near.”
The church community is meant to encourage and uplift each other. We can keep each other accountable. It helps us not backslide in sin. It is meant to be a safe environment.
(It isn’t always, but that can be another blog topic for a later time.)
Since there is a large body of believers scattered throughout the world, we need shepherds to help lead the body. One of the main jobs for a pastor is to help and encourage the flock. Pastors can answer questions and protect the flock from wolves.
This is important because it is very common for those who struggle attending church due to bad experiences from a toxic church they left. So the discussion about God, Jesus, and what it means to have a relationship, may very possibly, be answered by people who also do not attend and therefore have a weaker understanding. The bond of believers should be strengthened together, not have us pinned against one another.
*Let it be noted that being a teacher of Christ, of any kind, we are held to a higher standard with God.
(NIV) James 3:01 “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”
Therefore, whatever your calling is, remember to pray for pastors and teachers of Christ. We are all accountable.
Now, this was noted with community, but I want to touch on it a little bit more. In the right church, fruit will be shown. In the right church, God will speak to His people. Differences will occur in the lives around us. We will be able to see and hear about those experiences. We have access to more than two believers who can pray for us.
(NIV) Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three gather in My name, there am I with them.” We have elders, church leaders, who can anoint us. (NIV) James 5:14 “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.”
The Bride Is The Body Of Believers
The goal of the church is to be surrounded by other believers. Lifting each other up and praising God together in the name of Christ. What we learn in church we need to take out of church and reflect it back. The true Church is not a building. It is the body of true believers.
Scripture talks about Christ and His bride. The bride is the Church. Not a building, but the body of believers. Christ gave His life so that all can enter a relationship with Him.
(NIV) John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
We Are Not To Only Grow In Church
Jesus didn’t give His life for a building. He gave His life to the individual. And it is the individual that this post is written for. Church for centuries has become a crutch and not a good one.
We are to fellowship with each other and we are to learn together. Discussions together often help us grow. However, it is not purely for socializing. If church is the only time we see people, then we need to change. We need to see the people we talk to in church outside of church.
If the words, “We should hang out,” ever come out of our mouth we should be sincere. Act upon the words we say! Do not say something just to “sound” like we care or because that’s the “Christian” thing to do. False!
Security Is In Christ Not In A Building Or People
To be Christ-like means to be accountable to every single thing, above all else, Jesus kept His word. God keeps His promises. If we do not have time to give to another person, do not give him or her a false pretense. This leaves bitterness in the ones that find we have given them false promises.
Do not find sole security in the church. Find sole security in Jesus Christ. This is crucial because, on the day we die, we will meet Him. We will not have a building, a community, or even close friends to “speak” on our behalf. No. We do not need that because Christ is always around us. INVOLVE JESUS IN EVERYDAY LIFE!
Where Is God On Our Priority List
He sees us. He knows us. Get to know Him! Don’t wait for another person to teach on a Sunday. Let God teach. Don’t let a sermon become the only lesson that is learned through the week. And don’t let a sermon be the only exposure to scripture.
If we want God to work in our life, we have to get to know Him. We cannot set a specific day and time for Him, why because He never does that to us.
So what if we feel rushed, we don’t have access to one scripture? We can’t talk in our mind to God? We don’t use the bathroom? We don’t use the shower? We don’t prepare and eat food? We don’t do chores around the house? What are we slobs?
Definition of slob: Good for nothing, waster.
Is this how we want our time management to be with God?
(Note: I need to do the dishes.)
Church Does Not Have To Refuel Us
We need to acknowledge Him and give Him the time of day. There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel refueled by going to church and fellowshipping with others. But I caution please do not let that be consistent in waiting to be refueled by church. God can and WILL refuel us through prayer and worship one on one. We should never rely on anyone else to give us that, except Christ.
When we meet Him, may we know Him. I urge you all and myself to have more memories and more lessons with God that are not church related. (Say what?!) Keep growing in the church and the body of believers, but grow with God one on one.
The memories where you are hidden behind doors and only God knows you personally. Don’t let God see you only in the midst of other believers. Let God see you and just your heart. Because in the end…
It’s you and God.
In the end, “It’s me and God.”
What are your thoughts on church?
Don’t forget to let me know any prayer requests you have or want to be continued for the month of July! 🙂
I know a lot of people have shared their opinions before, and it seems there feels to be a need for defending the church in responses past. I want to reinstate. I’m not against church, as this post is the first of the topic, I went into why I’m not against church. I’m against people using the church as a crutch. I’m against our focus being too much on the body of believers than on Christ Himself.
Month Scripture (NIV) Job 2:10, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”
***Community Prayer Request For June – Join Me In Praying For Each Other And If You Have A Request To Add Let Me Know. A New Prayer Request Post Comes Out Every Month And Is Updated As Requests And Updates Come In.
Second Blog: Peeking Beneath