Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Everybody's Not Playing

I remember years ago, shortly after I first got saved, I attended a church service where we were singing praise and worship.  I lifted my hands and head, closed my eyes, and tried to look spiritual. Why? Because I wanted to look like everyone else...or at least what everyone else looked like to me.

I remained that way for a while after the song ended, and when I finally opened my eyes, one of the sisters in the church was looking at me quizzically.  She asked, "Where were you?"

"I don't know." I responded in an aggravated tone, "Where were you?"  I have to admit that I didn't appreciate her calling me out like that.  Why would she ask me that when I was doing exactly what everyone else was doing?  Wasn't this what we were all supposed to do anyway? Was I just not doing it right? That is when I realized, "Not everybody is playing."

See, I thought you got saved in order to become religious.  You came to Jesus, acknowledged that sin is wrong (which is not the same as repentance by the way), joined a church, and tried to live as a good person.  Nobody was really changed.  Nobody could really know the Lord, let alone hear Him speak directly to them.  Nobody could really overcome sin.  God knows we are flawed human beings and all that He expects is that we try our best to do what is right.  Aren't we all just trying our best to do right?

I didn't realize that...

You can be standing right next to someone at church, singing the same song and worshiping the Lord, but they might be for real.

You can talk about what the Lord has told you just like someone else, but they might actually have heard from God.

You can preach the Gospel and share about Jesus just like others, but God might actually be speaking through them.

You can talk about being a Christian like the person next to you, but they might really be born again.

"...for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart." I Samuel 16:7b

The worse mistake you can make is to assume that someone else has only gone as far as you have chosen to go with the Lord.  Don't assume that, if you are just going through the motions, this must mean that everyone is just going through the motions. I am not speaking about church-y stuff or belonging to some church organization; this is not mere religion.

There is a God in Heaven - the only True & Living God - and we will all stand before Him one day to give an accounting of our lives.  Regardless of whether you have truly given your life to Him or not, some people have because He will have a church without spot or blemish (Ephesians 5:27).

If there is one thing I want to stress today, it is that Jesus is real and you getting to personally know Him (not just know about Him) will determine your eternal destiny.  Jesus is real.  The words of God in Scripture are real.  The Holy Spirit is real. Gifts of the Spirit are real.  Demons are real. Supernatural power from God is real. Eternity is real.

If you are not personally experiencing and interacting with God daily in your life (not just imagining or hoping it to be so), why not? This life-changing power through faith in Jesus Christ is available to you today by the Holy Spirit if you want to receive it; God is no respecter of persons.

"And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." Luke 11:9

Don't settle for the religious counterfeits or substitutes. There is something greater in store for those who continue on to truly know the Lord and come into His presence. In the secret places, God is forging His people, preparing them for a time of confrontation with the forces of darkness to set captives free.  The Kingdom of God is being established in the hearts of His people; don't be left behind.

"Neither shall they say, Lo here! Or, lo there! For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." Luke 17:21


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