All around me, I see an epidemic.
- “It’s raining. I don’t want to get wet. I’ll just skip church today.”
- “The weather is so nice. I think I’ll __________. God won’t mind if I skip church today.”
- “It’s summer. There’s so much to do. I’ll go back to church in a few weeks.”
- “It’s winter…”
- “It’s spring…”
- “It’s too cold…”
- “It’s too hot…”
- “I don’t have to be in church to worship God.”
The list goes on and on. But God is not seasonal. He doesn’t care what the weather looks like on any given Sunday.
When I was young, I saw the effects of on again, off again church attendance. I lived it. In my house, it wasn’t pretty.
Sundays we would put on our best attitudes and clothes, smile even if we didn’t mean it, and go to church for a few hours. Sunday evening through the next Saturday night was lived as if God didn’t exist. I don’t remember praying before meals, or my parents picking up their Bibles from where they were placed when we returned home from church. I do remember the curse words, the bitterness, the anger.
I was taught you wore your best to church on Sunday for God. But you know what, God doesn’t care what you wear. He cares what’s in your heart.
The excuses above not only show a distracted mind, they show a distracted heart. If it’s an inconvenience to go to church, then we don’t have to go. God doesn’t mind.
I think He does.
We don’t go to church to appease a ruler-wielding God, who will punish us if we don’t attend. NO. We go to church–or at least we should go to church–to WORSHIP the creator of the universe. The Bible says without Him we are nothing. So why do we push Him away when it’s inconvenient? Or when things are going well?
God sees the heart. And, in my opinion, a seasonal Christian does not have a heart for God. My parents didn’t. They wanted to be seen. And yet their hearts were far from Him.
Matthew 7: 21-23 says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Why? Why doesn’t Jesus know these people who call on His name?
I believe it was because they were doing their works to be seen, but their hearts were not focused on the one for whom they claimed to be doing the work.
As I grow in the Lord, I realize that many of the things I grew up being taught, either in word or actions, were so WRONG. The traditions of men do not fully represent the heart of God. We can sit in church every Sunday of our lives, listen to countless sermons, podcasts, and Bible studies, sing wonderful songs, but if our hearts–our very being–is not affected, if we are not there to pour out our hearts and thankfulness, then we have done it all for naught.
First Cor. 13: 1-3 is often overlooked when we think of the love chapter. But it says this, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith,so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”
Without love we are useless piles of dirt. We are nothing, we gain nothing, and we make a lot of noise doing it.
How does that apply?
God is love.
Without God in our lives we are nothing, we gain nothing, and we make a lot of noise doing it.
This is not a salvation message. I am not talking to unbelievers. I am addressing the apathetic church who thinks worship can be based on the whims of the seasons.
Yes, you can worship at home. Yes, you can pray at home. Yes, you can listen to sermons at home.
BUT is it all that God wants for you? Is it the best?
My singular voice singing is minuscule compared to coming together with 50, 100, or more worshipers praising the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. My prayers are but a tiny drop in the ocean, but paired with my fellow congregants, we make a mighty river. My anointing is only magnified when in the presence of those who are seeking Almighty God.
When you don’t take your part in the body of Christ, we, the rest of the body, are crippled.
I’m going to leave it at that. I have pushed my heart onto this page, and I pray it is read as I have meant it–a loving reminder that GOD is GOD and not to be taken for granted.
PS. Forgive me if I do not respond to your comments in a timely manner. My neurologist appointment is this morning, and I have no idea what the rest of the day will bring. Your comments are precious to me, and I will read them as soon as I possibly can.