Have you ever read a scripture in the Bible that gave you a sick feeling? Yeah, I know this might not be something that sounds inspiring but in the end it is. Every time I read Isaiah 29:13 it is like someone just poured a bucket of cold water on me. Isaiah 29:13 says this: “The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” “Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.” Oh boy, here comes that sick feeling I was talking about.
Over the last three or four months I’ve been examining my relationship with the Lord. I had to ask myself why I wasn’t on fire for the things of God anymore like I once was. At one pont in time I was at the church three or four times a week helping out wherever I could. I believed so much in the vision of the church that in a sense I had almost begun to try to make it happen within my own strength. I was giving it my all. Oops. Did I just say I was giving it my all? That’s right. I was still believing in the vision I felt for the right reasons but I was working so hard in my own strength that I began to get weary physically. I was working 40 hours a week on a physically and mentally demanding job and spending every other minute “doing” for the church. You might say, “Well, doesn’t the Word of God say to be doers of the Word and not just hearers?” Yes, it does but that means that whatever you are doing whether it’s your job or your family, or your church life we are supposed to be “applying” the word to those circumstances. You see, I had gotten myself out of balance in the “doing” part. Yes, we are to be servants to one another but as unto who? The Lord–that’s right. But we can get out of balance if we’re not careful and pretty soon we are taking on more and more and before you know it you hardly have any time left to worship the Lord “individually” and to read and study the Word for yourself. When you go to worship you might be raising your hands and singing the words but you might be so burnt out that you are beginning to just follow the rules of man. I had allowed myself to fall into people pleasing before God pleasing. Instead of just jumping up and saying, “I’ll do that” I should have been asking the Lord more for his direction. Yes, everything I was doing was a “good” thing. I was honoring Him with my mouth and my lips but my heart had gotten a little off track. I desired so much to see the vision of my Pastor come about that my heart was being consumed with the vision more than my own personal relationship with the Lord. I wonder how many Pastors feel this way too? They are working night and day for the church. and that is their calling, but maybe their personal relationship with the Lord is suffering. I believe that imbalance in our spiritual walk can be one of the biggest detriments to our spiritual growth. You might be saying, “Well how can we get people to work in the church?” I believe when we all begin to truly honor him with our hearts and have a desire to know Him in an even greater way for ourselves the church will have more than enough workers because we will be honoring God and not man. We won’t feel guilty if we don’t volunteer for everything. It’s a well known fact that in the church only about 20% of the members are doing the work in the church. What if everyone began to honor God with their hearts and truly seeking from Him what their place is in the church? Even if the workers grew to only 50% of the church can you imagine what could happen in that church? Those in the old 20% who were tirelessly working could be refreshed and renewed and able to maybe hear from the Lord again instead of only hearing from man and the unity of the church would perhaps get better.
I don’t really know why the Lord had me to write about this today. Maybe it’s just for clarification to myself but I can see what the church could really be to the world in “honor” of God. It would be amazing.
“Lord, I pray that no one would be offended by this writing today and I ask you Lord that my main desire in life would be to honor you with my heart so in turn I can be a useful servant to the body of Christ. Amen.