This is some of my journaling that I did when I visited a church and the message basically came out as, “We don’t need to do anything, stop talking about going to multiple services and implementing programs and whatnot. Just be. Once we’re all nice and spiritually deep, then maybe we can talk about growth, but not until then…”
Can I say I was ready to scream to the heavens, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” This church had been hurt before when growth happened. Although it was years in the past, they did not seem to be trying to move beyond the “breaking point” as it were, but avoid it to avoid the hurt again.
So when this message of “don’t do, just be” came from the pulpit, I had a feeling I knew where the leadership group was going to take it and became a bit afraid that the cycle was starting again! Here’s what I dug up initially to refute what was being propagated…
Revelation 3:1-6 & 14-22
We are called to do something in everything we are involved in.
“We can’t do everything, but we must do something!” ~Darren Kitto
Rev 3:1-6 basically says the following:
This is the message from the One who is perfection – your “perfect” reputation is that of liveliness and vitality, but your actual state of existence is one of inert death and inaction! WAKE UP! Please feed what little of you is left alive before you kill yourself, body and soul, for good! You think you have arrived, yet what you’ve done has not even come close to perfection in the eyes of God! Go back to the initial teaching of the scriptures – with no commentary slants – obey what it says, how it says, when it says, and turn from your sin of lethargy. If you still do nothing, I will take what life in you remains when you least expect it.
There are, however, a small handful of you whom have stayed true to the scriptural text. You have nothing to fear, you will continue to walk with me in purity, because you have been found worthy to do so. This is your victory, and the honor will be bestowed on each of those faithful – they will not run the risk of losing their place in the Kingdom of Heaven. I will be quite proud to claim you as followers, friends, and family!
If you have ears – open them up and truly listen to these words!
Feed what is healthy; starve what is unhealthy. Wake up to the realization that you don’t have it all together. You may never, but you can be closer than at other times. Pull away the veil, as it were, and see clearly what is truly going on, then take action before it is too late to do anything about it!
We are called to be genuine – asked to re-learn for ourselves what was initially taught to us – not to filter it through titilating commentary and theories that make us feel better, but to view the raw, what-does-it-say-at-face-value message of the scripture – and then actually apply it as such rather than make it more palatable to our human sensibilities, standards, and stereotypes. Drop appearances and become real!
Revelation 3:14-22 also continues in this vein:
This is the message from the Final Say-So, the Ever-Faithful one who cannot lie, the origin of all truth and creation – Do not think that I am fooled by your actions or lack thereof, I know what is truly happening – you have become apathetic. I wish you were either on fire, or truly cold to me – then I would be able to take decisive action on you! But because you sit on the fence rather than taking a side or chosing to do anything of consequence, I am left with only one option – to spit you out of my mouth like undesireable mush.
You say that you are better off now, that “good-enough” is adequate. Yet you do not even have a clue how miserable and pathetic you still are! You are poor, you are in thread-bare garments that cover nothing, you are blinded to reality.
Stop accepting kudos and laurels from yourself – strive for what will make you rich in me! Go and dress yourself in pureness in all you do so you will have no fear of exposure and shame. Clear your eyes of the crusty mess that has accumulated – wash and refresh your sight so it is clear! Do not think that because my words are hard, they are not from Me – If I didn’t care about you, I wouldn’t be concerned enough to bring where you’re going wrong to light or to punish wrong doing. Please take this for what it is – a caring, loving word to keep you from ultimate harm – and turn from the ultimately harmful things you’re currently doing.
I want to come in to your lives and am constantly trying to communicate to you – LISTEN HARD! When you do hear me, open the door so we can do life TOGETHER and get to know each other more intimately! Those who understand and obey this well will have a place of honor in my standing, just as I was obediant and am now in high honor with my Father!
Please LISTEN to the words of this message, don’t let them “go in one ear and out the other!” making no difference in your life.
Apathy requries us to wake up and do something. Riding the fence “waiting for God to send us a sign” will do nothing for the health and vitality of a church. We need to get up off our rear-ends and actually do something about it! To say “we’re better off than we were” is nice, but God never called us to be happy with one baby step. He calls us to another, and another, and another…this means change and growth. If we refuse to do this – we die. If we continue to hem and haw and be wishy-washy in our lives, God will get fed up and walk off. He’s practically screaming “Do SOMETHING! ANYTHING! Just get off your butts for once, and make a definitive decision! You’re supposed to be old enough to not have me do everything for you anymore!”
Warm fuzzies are for babies, real life is for the mature – and real life is not a padded room! Real life will hurt (this side of Heaven) sometimes, but even a seed must die to its current circumstances in order to bring about new and abundant life. God even says, “look, I’m bringing this up because I care and want the best for you”. He’s not just making us uncomfortable because he can, it’s because he knows there’s something better for us, but until we grow past the babying stage, and actually move on our own, we’re rather limited and could die.
If a baby never developed beyond cooing and eating, and just being, he would miss out on many things. A baby never lives beyond the now – maturity looks and prepares for the future, and adjusts accordingly when necessary. A baby expects everything to be handed to him; Maturity will make the decisions and accept any responsibilities for the positive or negative outcomes. It may be harder, but maturity lives a much more fulfilled life than a baby.
The phrase “I need to hear from God” can sometimes be used as a spiritual-sounding excuse for “I don’t want to do this, but if God comes in a booming voice, then I guess I’ll have to do it.” The trouble is, oftentimes, we don’t want to recognize the booming voice (or voices) that God sends! Humility, Diligence, Availability, and Willingness are all keys, but the bottom line is whether or not you truly have the heart of God for others!
Pray for wisdom, pray for discernment, pray for God’s heart, pray to see things as He does, then pray for His provision as you venture down the direction He points you in – it may be unconventional, it may be less-traveled, it may be unrecognizable…but no one who’s had the faith to follow God over man has ever lost out in the long run!
Here’s one last verse to consider…
Anyone who doesn’t breathe is dead, and faith that doesn’t do anything is just as dead! (James 2:26 CEV)