I was talking to my dad about a visit that he had to the doctors, he mentioned the doctor was discussing a care plan for his heart condition, which wasn’t any different to what was already in place, i.e going for a check up every few months, but one line of the plan mentioned “do not resuscitate” my dad’s doctor, somehow knew that my dad was a Christian and said “I know that you are a believer and didn’t think you would want to be resuscitated!”
After hearing my dad share that story, I began to wonder, what is right attitude? The existence we currently reside in is temporary, I do miss my grand-mothers and have fond memories of sunday tea with all the family at my Gran’s, it does feel odd looking back that my Gran has not been around for the last 10 years. I am currently working in a place which sees many of the older generation come and go, I am amazed at the stories which are recounted about them at their funerals. I have three young children, both my wife and I hope and pray that we are not “taken up” before they are adults, but is that wrong?
I know in my heart, that this world is not even an atom compared to the awesomeness of heaven, and sometimes going “up” instead of dealing with life on earth sounds more appealing! One of my favourite worship and childrens-work leaders, Rich Hubbard, wrote a song based on Ephesians 5:11-16 (MSG) which says
11-16 Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.
Wake up from your sleep,
Climb out of your coffins;
Christ will show you the light!
So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!
How many of us are “walking dead“? God may have saved us, but we have yet to shake off the grave clothes! I know in myself, things in life, work & family cause me to be slower to respond to God’s calling from time to time, but how many churches have “pew-fillers” enjoying the talks and doing nothing about it? There are a lot of recent headlines about research into congregations shrinking and the impact of churches declining. I believe that is because we have lost our relevance, our message has been muddied and lost within our bickering which fellow believers and hatred towards those who are deemed “unbiblical” and “sinful”!
I recall a church meeting where we broke into smaller groups, to discuss what the church we were in at the time could do in the future, there was a marked difference between the over 60s and those from a younger generation, it boiled down to “Less talk more action” or “just do it!” versus “We need more prayer and bible studies“, considering that the bishops and ministers of my local diocese have felt the need to run an annual bible conference, due to of the lack of good bible knowledge within their congregations, I agree that there is a need for followers of Christ to be strong in their “knowledge”, Ephesians 6 says how we need the truth and God’s word to defend and fight against the principalities and powers that are unseen.
But there is also a need to “just do it!” As I said in my “Wanderlust vs Training Camp” post, there comes a time when we have to get on and show the world what Christ has done in us, can do through us and will do with us, if we trust in him!
If we remain pew-fillers in churches, we may become:-
- Happy and clappy but under the wrong spirit.
- Uninspired people living lives no different than the previous week.
- Ineffective “chocolate teapots” for God.
- Hampered by the leadership, who want to have control and only allow people to do things which matched their set path and designs for the church’s future.
God has brought my family through a lot, not just in Christian/church circles but through our encounters with those around us. As I have said in quite a few posts recently, sitting still and passive is not an option, I never have been able to do nothing, for me to feel a part of a church or “community”I have to be doing something to contribute!
Although I may struggle to “submit” fully to someone’s leadership, I don’t believe “Followers of Christ” are meant to, we should let God guide and lead us! Every human leader has their faults, God knows them and I have seen a few. I was recently discussing with my fellow bearded gentlemen about how one of our bearded brethren gave up the faith due to a fellow priest doing him a disservice. When God is blamed for a church leader’s stupidity, selfishness or failure to treat a “brother or sister in Christ” how Jesus would, that really angers me! I know they are human but they are taking on the role of an “officer” in God’s army, which means they need to be the best example of Christ as they can! Not shooting their wounded, or even causing wounds themselves but bringing the “recruits” into a safe place to be healed and then sent back out to fight the good fight!
If we want to feel alive, we need to get out of the trenches and step up! Putting our heads over the “parapet“, we may get shot at, we may be scared but I can tell you without a shadow of doubt, that it is better to be “up on the frontline” than “sitting in the dugout” or “hiding back at the base“.
If you claim to be “born again“, act like you have life (which you have been given in its fullest) and make the best of it! If we do nothing, the devil will be successful in keeping us out of his way, don’t make him happy but be a nuisance to him and get on with living, get your hands dirty and just do it!