My family visits different churches almost every Sunday. There are those Sundays that I simply cannot make church, but that doesn't mean that I don't meet with my Savior. My heart is being moved in ways like never before. I ponder everything that crosses my path. It's as if nothing is without purpose. I find myself thinking that if there is no purpose than why do it?
As I sit in a pew of a new church I ask the Lord, "Lord, if this is home, show me." He hasn't showed me yet. I hear from Him, "Keep on the search." You know what I'm learning? The more I search for that home church the more Jesus shows me of Himself. The more I am learning about me. Life is a constant journey. It doesn't stop and wait for us to find our perfect place. Life continues and as each day approaches we can either sit back and wait for the perfect moments or we can go out and grab them. Can we really just sit and wait for Jesus to do something? Wouldn't it be better to just get out there and be part of Him and His mission? Shouldn't we be seeking Him in everything around us? If it isn't God worthy we shouldn't be doing it.
We are on a mission. That mission depends all on our vision. Think about it. We are either on a God mission or a self mission. Which is it? I could sit back and wait for that perfect church to come or I can get out there and keep on the search. God is leading the mission. It's up to me whether I want to follow Him.
I think too many times we are following our churches. Churches offer so much. Each one unique. Each one offering something different. Programs and gatherings. That's all good and well, but as we try to reach the world we cannot forget who we are. We cannot change the program just to fit what the world wants. Why do we go to church? Really, that's a great question. If the reason isn't Jesus than we are missing the whole point. We fill up with so much that is offered. I think it's time to get back to the simple mission of sharing Jesus.
I have been in churches where no one moves to the altar. In eleven months I have yet to see one person move to the altar of a church. This is something that I am not used to. Why is this? It's something to take a hard look at and to begin we must start within our own heart. Is Jesus missing or our we just too busy to notice Him? Listen, the roast in the oven will wait. Wouldn't you rather have Jesus? I witness stop watch type clocks in the back of the church for the pastor's eyes only so he knows he only has a few minutes to wrap things up. This is heart wrenching to me.
We are limiting God. We expect Him to bless us in the hour we give Him at church. No more, no less, but bless us in our hour. We are selfish in our time with Jesus. We want to give when we have time to give, but we expect Jesus to give when we ask. We come up with committee after committee with projects to involve others. That's all and well, but where is Jesus in all of these committees? Too many times we place ourselves and our wants ahead of what Jesus is calling for us to do. When do we ask Jesus? More than asking Jesus what to do we are leaving it up to others to tell us what to do.
He is missing in our churches. A church can be full from front pew all the way to the back and Jesus can be absent. Is that mean of me to say? I'm not trying to be mean, I am trying to be real. We sit back and never say a word. We don't want to hurt others feelings. We don't want to rock the boat. But friends, it's time the boat got rocked or there are going to be many asking, "Why didn't you tell me? You knew Jesus. You knew He was coming. You knew I needed Him. Why did you leave me? Why did you forget about me?" Are you ready to answer those questions? I know I'm not. Too many have fallen through the cracks already.
We waste our time planning projects instead of changing hearts. We waste our time expecting others to do what God Himself is calling us to do. It's time we get out of the pews of the churches and start reaching the hearts of those around us. It's time for us to make changes in the way we reach others. We actually have to get up and get moving! Why are we wasting so much time?
What if we only had one hour left? One. What would you do? Who would you reach? What would be most important to you? If there is anything I have learned from that countdown clock I have seen in the back of the church is that we are running out of time. The problem is the simple fact that we don't give others our time. The clock is a huge problem of the Christian today. We divide our time with Jesus with all the other things we are involved in and in the end who is it that is getting the most time? I can tell you that Jesus isn't getting enough of my time. I am giving more time to other areas in my life. Surrender doesn't mean just give Jesus a little. It means give Him all.
So, how can we do that? We have family, we work, we go to school. The list goes on and on. It's pretty simple really. We make Jesus a part, a whole, of everything we do. He is our PURPOSE. What if we stopped using the clock and started using the compass? Jesus is our Forever North. We can change the way we think. When Jesus is the focus we stay on target. When He is no longer the focus it's time to change direction. If Jesus isn't in it, then we need to let it go.
Once we remember who we are that seems to change everything. We are children of the King of kings, Lord of lords. I am a child of the King and He has set before me a calling and mission. He has equipped me with everything I need to complete my mission. Just look what Jesus accomplished with twelve.
"And He said to them, "Go into the all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned."" Mark 16:15-16
We have our mission. What are we waiting for?
Dear Heavenly Father, open our hearts to Your Word. Lord, guide us to see Your will and purpose for our lives. Help us to fight fear with faith. Show us how to toss the clock out the window and to remain focused solely upon You. May we stop looking to others for projects and positions, but search You for our purpose and plan. Forgive us, Lord. We get excited and then we get lazy. We get on point and then our lives are derailed. May we take today and live it for You, Jesus. May we encourage others along the journey instead of tear them down. Help us to inspire. Jesus, above all else, use us for Your glory. Take our lives and shine through us so that the world around us may see less of us and more of You. Help us to bring comfort to the hurting and give strength to the weary. May our hands and feet be used for Your glory. Use us up, Lord.