Over the years many have watched, listened, and prayed within the sanctuaries of our churches. Many have visited just about every denomination of church in the Christian religion. Many have sat in the pews with people surrounding them and listened to pastor’s give the Word of God and yet felt as though the words came across hollow, empty, and dead.
Many joined a church to hear God’s truth, to be accepted, loved, and to be a part of God’s family only to be left in silence as the “click’s” gathered in their groups around the room talking and laughing. Standing to the side our heart hurts because we’re not a part of their elite little group.
Some of us have walked toward the front and seen the pastor smile but noticed his eyes don’t show the love of Christ. Some of us have experienced a counselor that sat in front of us asking his/her questions that leave us dull and numb. The words that are to encourage and lift us out of the depths of hell that we feel we’re in are more condemning than uplifting. The scriptures quoted are used as bats against our fragile psych.
It’s confusing because we thought the Lord said this was the church He wanted us to be in but the rejection, the false teachings, or the compromising of God’s Word to suit the needs of the pastor are going against the grain of what some of us was taught. So we leave only to visit yet another church and another and another only to find much the same.
Todays teaching of the gospel isn’t what we remembered from our growing up years. That is if we grew up in church. We’ve watched and witnessed people who shun the poor and those people that shout “praise God” and turn to add to the whispers of gossip while they quickly wipe the smile off their face. We’ve had some who walk away when we smile and our “hello” sticks in our throat. Noses are turned up because our clothes don’t come up to their standard. Some of us have found ourselves swallowed up in a sea of humanity in the mega churches only to have warm fuzzies tickle our ears, sin is forgotten or excused. We finally move on, another church, another congregation and each time we leave feeling dirtier than when we walked in or disillusuioned about what all this Christianity is about. Some never return.
Thankfully there are still a few that have found that church family that is loving, caring, and accept us, with a pastor who preaches God’s Word in love, who isn’t afraid to address the issues of our time and bring forth the truth from scriptures. Thankfully we can know that God, through Christ, is faithful and will lead us to what we need.
“What are you looking for?” the Lord asks. In Our heart we want to be accepted, we want to feel the love of other believers who love God and His Son, who will listen and pray and be there as an encouragement. We want to hear God’s truth and to do God’s will. We want to feel as though we are a part of the family of God.
When the Lord asked me that my reply was, “Todays church is lacking.” “I know” the Lord whispers with tears misty in His eyes. “But what do I do?” I asked. The Lord ran His hand across His beard and stood looking at me for a long silent moment. I thought He might not answer.
“You go to worship Me,” He says gently. “No matter what the people do or do not do, no matter what reception you receive, You go to worship Me.” Taking a step closer He adds, “There is no perfect church My child. Just people who are lost and looking but not finding.” “But…” He stopped me.
“If My Word is not being taught in truth you leave! If My Word is being taught in truth, you stay. The clicks you encounter are of no significance, it is My presence that is important.” I nodded my head. A slight smile tweeked Jesus face as He looked down at me. Placing His hand on my shoulder He gave my shoulder a slight squeeze. “You’ll be fine My child. Church is there for hearing My Word, for worship, and for fellowship. If the fellowship is absent, remember, I am there with you for it is My presence that counts. I sent you there for a purpose.” Then I awoke.
There are times when the Lord sends us to a church to be a witness, an example, to bring encouragment, or a warning to that body. We go in obedience.
“Whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.” 1John 2:6
Blessings to you.