It's 6:30 AM on a Saturday morning and I find myself blogging. There are only a handful of things that would have my up at such an unimaginable hour for the weekend: I'm hot, sick, or hungry, much like a baby's :) Now, I'll admit that two of the three apply at this moment, but somehow these nuisances are always accompanied by something else. The mornings or nights that I find myself unintentionally awake are the moments that God wants me to hear something for His people. This early morning is no different. Over my growling stomach and the tossing of covers, He speaks.
As I laid in bed, my mind began racing. I have so many things that need to be done but I absolutely don't want to even think about it. So instead I tried to think "happy" thoughts. You know, on an island somewhere vacationing, visualizing things that I want to come to pass. That didn't last long before I was interrupted by my stomach reminding me that I have to find something to eat soon. Once again, I had to detract my mind from the obvious responsibilities that I have. I decided that I should just think about scripture and pray. No sooner did I make that decision did God really start speaking.
I recalled my church's Wednesday night service. You can find the playback here. One of the things that stuck out to me from our guest minister's message was the lack of depth that my generation has when it comes to the word of God. All week I've been thinking about it, even watching more messages on how we lack fervency in reading the word of God. Today, while reflecting on this reality, God spoke. He said that we are a generation that is empty and, therefore, powerless. We are a sound bite generation. We know bits and pieces of the Bible, but lack full knowledge and revelation. Yet, with the little knowledge and time that we spend with God, we have the audacity to start ministries with the intent of leading His people. We have one sound bite that sounds prolific and now we have a following and we feel obligated to lead, even if outside the will of God.
It's the blind leading the blind. Furthermore, it's appeasing those with itching ears. The world only wants the sound bite, "I have power and victory" message, but not the "be he holy because I am holy" commands. We live in a time where church is optional, not necessary. A time when professed Christians will go to church if they feel like it, but wouldn't dare miss an episode of Walking Dead or whatever new show is out. I mean they'll have the DVR set, phone on silent, and their whole family knows not to call during their show. But even when the church has reduced services to an hour and a half they still won't go. God is an afterthought, yet we want Him to hear the cries of our nation while ignoring His cry for our submission and obedience. We can't expect the full privileges of God with less than full submission.
The fact of the matter is, we can't live off of our grandmother's word. We have to get the word of God for ourselves. Every Sunday I leave church thinking, "Man i don't know enough in the Bible." Every single Sunday. I will attribute some of it to my pastor just knowing his stuff, but a vast majority of it being my genuine lack of knowledge. I question if I'm reading enough or even reading the right thing. I wonder what else I can do to get the word in my spirit such that I'm not a fraud- professing to know Jesus, but empty on His word. I dare not let an unbeliever know more than me. I dare not let other religions know more about my God than me. I dare not be a sound bite Christian who walks around powerless and defenseless against the fiery darts of the enemy. And I dare not have the audacity to lead a ministry that touches thousands across the world and not show myself approved, rightly dividing the word of God. That is dangerous ground to tread upon. When people's souls are at stake and they're holding on to your every word of hope, it better be from the source and not just a sound bite.
Then there's another subset of millenials who live by the mantra, "I'm spiritual not religious." My best friend and I have talked about this at length on several occasions. Mostly, we've been just trying to figure out what it means. I've concluded that it's having a casual relationship with God without having to abide by rules and regulations often associated with the church. I get it! The Pharisees ruined it for everyone. They led the way to the rule book beating, hypocritical, non-grace having churches that some of us grew up in. There's reason to be cautious; however there's even more at stake. Hear me out.
Could it be that maybe this fad is another way of the enemy trying to lure you away from the flock. Maybe, just maybe, he's trying to get you out there on you own, with no guidance or accountability, so that he can make his fatal attack. Maybe he wants you to feel like you're alone in this fight and have no one to stand with you. Maybe what you see as avoiding judgmental church folk is just a way for you to stay in your sin without having someone who is more spiritual lovingly help you out of it. Maybe you desire to be apart of a church body, but you've suffered church hurt at the hands of someone who should have extended grace. Whatever the reason, we have no time to do things rogue. There is a real enemy and we need real support.
None of us have it all together on this spiritual walk. None of have arrived and, quite honestly, there isn't a magic formula to get it right. We're all learning and progressing daily. The key, however, is never being content with where you are in your spiritual journey. We have to diligently seek God. We have been conditioned to reducing information to posts and tweets, but He cannot be reduced to a 140 character tweet, Instagram post, or one verse pushed from a bible app. That's not bible study. We can't get God through the drive thru. He requires and deserves us setting time aside and communing with Him. So, I challenge you to recommit your time to God. Don't be powerless and defenseless in this battle.