In my last blog post I addressed the question to individual Christians, "What's holding your back?" As promised, in this post I will address the question, "What's holding the church back?"
As individual believers lack spiritual growth, so does the church since the church is comprised of individual believers. Therefore, it is not wrong to say it is individual Christians that are holding back the church.
I want to look at a few things that we, as Christians do (or don't do), that come to mind that affects the church in a great way.
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our traditions. How many times have we said or heard, "But we've always done it this way"? Jesus told the Pharisees they've made the Word of God on non affect through their traditions. Traditions can kill a church. Traditions can suck the life right out of a church. Maybe its time to do something different!
We tend to put limits on God. Of course, we would never admit this but our actions prove it. Israel had a history of limiting God (Psalm 78:41). We limit what we allow God to do in our lives, in our families and in our churches. God desires to do so much but we, by our thoughts and our actions say "no" to God. How foolish we are at times.
We sometimes think we have to figure it all out. We want to live a practical "Christian" life. There is no such thing. You see, the Bible plainly tells us "Without faith it is impossible to please Him..." (Hebrews 11:6). We try to walk a spiritual journey in our own strength attempting to figure things out for ourselves. Where's the faith? If there is a lack of faith in or personal walk with the Lord that carries over to the church. There will be a lack of faith in the church.
Maybe some are guilty of the things mentioned in my last blog post. If you are guilty of backbiting, complaining/griping, gossiping, bad language (profanity as well as negative talk), hypocrisy, causing division in the church, lack of character and integrity these things spill over into the church. It affects the church body. This needs to stop now!
If you are guilty of these things then it is YOU that is holding the church back. What are you willing to do about it?
If the necessary corrections are not made you may well see ICABOD - "The Glory Is Departed" written above the church doors. What a sad ending that would be. You see, it's a terrible thing to experience the loss of the glory of God. It makes you wonder how many churches have lost the glory of God, whether willingly or unknowingly.
The same things that caused ICHABOD in Israel - sin, disobedience, idolatry - are present in many of today's churches. Christians must never take the glory of God in our midst for granted. If we do, we could very easily wake up one day and find out that ICABOD has become a reality among us.
Some have simply been playing church for far too long. You think you are a Christian when all you are is religious. Get a real relationship with Jesus.
It's time to sit up, stand up, step up, shut up (where applicable) and DO something. It's easy to sit back and complain about the church. What have you done lately to help the church? What is your life saying about the God you claim to serve as well as your church?
Some things to ponder...and fix.
Until next time...enjoy the journey!
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