How Far Do You Want To Go?
The Church of Jesus Christ has prayed for years for a deeper, experience with God.
It has had revivals, fasts, rallies, retreats, and promotions. People have been blessed — clapping their hands, enjoying the presence of the Lord, dancing in the Spirit, experiencing times of great joy and blessing. The trouble is that the Church, year after year after year, has stopped at the point of blessing and has not entered into the depth of relationship that God intends it to have. We have not gone far enough. The big question is how far do you want to go?
We have beautiful edifices, lovely choir robes, artistic crosses, and elaborate stained glass windows. We have great choirs singing tremendous anthems. We have fellowships and spaghetti dinners. We have men in the pulpit who have been to a theological seminary or a three-or four-year Bible course and know the meaning of homiletics. They can deliver a beautiful sermon point-by-point. They baptize children, marry them when they are grown, listen to their problems, wipe their tears, bury their dead…but as needful as the day-to-day religious chores are, something is missing. It is not enough!
What I am sharing with you about the general condition of the Church today is what may be called “negative input.” No one likes to deal with negatives. However, in order to learn how to work the works of God, we must deal with things as they are and not as we would like them to be. We must “take the mask off.” We must face the truth even if that truth hurts or is completely contrary to what we have believed all our lives.
Here is a truth that, if you learn, absorb, and put it to use, will be one of the most valuable assets you will ever have in dealing with people or things. It is this: All success is based on dealing with people, places and things exactly as they are and not as you would like them to be, or as you are.
If you are dealing with a crook, you must deal with him as a crook. You may be the most honest person in the world, but you cannot deal with the crook successfully if you deal with him as if he were honest, after your standards of morality or ethics. He will steal you blind. In order to be successful you must deal with him as a crook. You must make him sign his name on the dotted line, have his signature notarized, secure collateral from him, and lock it in a safe deposit box for which you have the only key. You deal with a crook as a crook if you want to be successful.
Now, all truth is parallel. We must also deal with situations as they are. The Bible says: “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32). The truth about the situation of the Church today is that as churches, ministers, and lay people, we are in in desperate trouble. How will we ever reach this world for God if we continue to do business as usual inside the walls of our churches?