The lack of fire, the lack of passion and the lack of love could mean dry season. Many Christians today, including me, have the tendency to blame others for the issues and problems we face inside the church. Name it: cliché sermons, exhausting (or toxic) church affiliations, gossips and “legalistic” leaders. Then we complain how weak and pathetic we are and pinpoint our fingers to anything and anyone just because we don’t see the progress we make in our lives. We blame others for not knowing God deeper because of the usual and typical examples pastors cite at the pulpit or our emotional hype went down because we despise the people around us not knowing none of these are the basis why we go through such.
One season of my life was entirely like that. My relationship with God got affected because of several issues within the church, the criticisms I have towards other leaders and volunteers, and just the insufficiency or absence of burning ardor. You see, I’ve let my relationship with God be damaged just because I feel like it was everyone’s fault for letting all this happen; then next thing I knew, the blame was put on God. The story goes on. My heart was miles away from His heart yet I blame others for causing the wilderness.
While it is true that pastors and church leaders have a role to play to help us in our walk with God, our decision to grow in His knowledge must be intentional. It is our responsibility, ladies and gentlemen. Our choice to be passionate in loving others must not depend on whether others have loved us back. Our choice must depend on the fact that He loved us first, so then we love.
We may have our list of beliefs that God is this and that, and we are this and that, but to what extend do we really know? How deep is our foundation? How intimate are we really with the Lord? When we cannot and unsure to answer, then there is something wrong.
We do not blame the church for our lack of depth, for our lack of communion with God, and for our lack of enthusiasm and zeal to love the Word. Others may contribute to our fire but in the end the decision of all these belong to you and me.
Unfortunately, our emotional euphoria do not equate to our relationship with God. It is never an indicator that we’re in a good condition. Likewise, we love by choice; not by how we are in the mood. Therefore, our “on fire” state does not always mean we are still with Him in our walk. Regardless of how we feel, abide, delight and dwell. Love is a decision. Slow down. Don’t rush and make decisions when emotions are high. [I’ll write more of this on my next entry]
The things in the church are not all and necessarily bad; they are all God’s instruments for us to thrive. However, when we rest our relationship with God upon all of those, then we fail. We will fail to see God in all these areas. We get exhausted. We get weak. We get back to our past. We slide back as if there’s no hope.
Church is we, and we are not perfect. We disappoint one another, we offend each other and we break each others’ hearts but let this not be the center of how we are in our walk with God. True enough, this may be a factor that leads us to isolation, but remember to ask, is this how God wants me to respond in times of crisis – whether it may be in relationships, offenses received or the lack thereof.
If there is any issue that is needed to address, ask God for grace to resolve it.
Truth is, the enemy would do anything to destroy the church. But another truth also remains: we have the power to make ourselves one regardless of our differences. That only would happen if we start choosing it.
Our faith is not just a feeling, merely an experience nor a concept. Our faith takes us to believe that we have one God, therefore we are one. One church. One body. One family.
Thus, our foundation, our theology, and our perception about people are important. We do not have an excuse neither blame a person how shallow we are in the Word. When we first have encountered and knew God, it was already the first step for us to realize that our relationship with Him takes effort, time and devotion – which would give us as well the heart to love others, overlook their transgressions and have the compassion when correcting and rebuking each other.
The choice is ours. Let us not condemn each other for what we have become. May each person and experience be beautiful lessons to us and start speaking life upon ourselves.
This is not the end of your journey when felt defeated and betrayed. You are God’s child. Understand that your brothers and sisters are not perfect neither the circumstances around you. Dig deep. Cultivate yourself. Study the Word. Pray.
Christianity is a personal thing. Your relationship with God is not others’ responsibility to make it work for you. Take initiative. Let no one and nothing hinder you from flourishing and prospering in His Word, even when it seems the ultimate choice left.
Lastly, to all church leaders: let us not dwell on the hype and get everyone be attracted to the Word and have a relationship with God. Even so, not to be overly stimulating and enlivening just because we have a target while they’re at the “hype” stage. It doesn’t help. It doesn’t work that way. We don’t want to see more people walk out of church after the decrease of their spirits. Let’s get on the real deal. Let’s focus on what really is establishing and foundational.