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The Sounds of Silence in God’s House

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Have you ever felt grieved over something you cared deeply about, but had no control over? Lately, I’ve been feeling this way, like someone who just stepped out of the pages of the Old Testament.

Like Jacob of old, I have wrestled with the Lord over this post because I know as soon as it is read, I will be branded a critic of the Church. Unlike Jacob however, I have given up trying to hide my feelings any longer and admit that I am defeated.

Let me explain.

Whenever it became necessary for the Lord to deliver a message of correction to His people Israel, often He would raise up a man or woman and instruct them to go to the people and deliver the message. We refer to these servants as Prophets.

These Prophets are scattered throughout the Old Testament. Some we have labeled as “Minor Prophets” while others are called “Major Prophets”. All of them were called of God for a specific task and season in the history of Israel.

Of the many things these Prophets had in common, one was that they all shared a burden for God’s people. They bore this spiritual weight in their hearts because the people loved the pleasures of sin more than they loved God.

Oftentimes, as in the case of the Prophet Jeremiah, the magnitude of the weight they bore would reduce them to tears and cries of anguish. [1]

While I am certainly no Prophet, I can empathize with them because of something amiss among God’s people today. In fact, if I dwell on it too long, I become almost grief stricken. What is it that has me feeling this way?

It is the sound of silence in God’s house.

It is the realization that the church no longer desires revival; thus, she no longer travails in expectation of a new awakening. Rejecting the call from above to “come out from among them” [2], she has decided instead to align herself with the world, and in the process has rejected the Lord of Glory.

There is no longer a sound of weeping and anguish in the house of God over our spiritual barrenness, and the sound of this silence is deafening.

The church of Jesus Christ has married the world and thus has come under its spell. In doing so, the church is now more impacted by the world than the world is impacted by the church. Who can deny this truth?

We have sold our birthright.

I grieve because the church no longer wants God, but rather has discovered a way to carry on without Him. Remove the Holy Spirit from the church? No problem, hardly a soul will notice as we carry on with our regimented programs disguised as religion.

In our efforts to appease the masses, we have compromised all that made us unique, and our birthright has been auctioned off on the altar of pragmatism. We have copied the error of ancient Israel, who rejected the Almighty in favor of a flawed and imperfect king. [3]

I am distraught over the absence of Holy men and women of God, those who have been in His presence and now carry with them the burdens of a people gone astray. Where are those who have heard His voice, who have received the clarion call to sound the alarm and cry aloud for the church to return to its former glory? How long will they remain silent?

Incredulously, in the span of but a few generations the church has become little more than Sunday morning entertainment. Impassioned, God-inspired, soul searching sermons have given way to polished speeches that have more in common with the mantra of positive thinking than they do with the Word of God!

Instead of preparing our hearts for an encounter with the Holy One, we have created a sterile, guilt free environment where our hearts will never be pricked, and our conscious will remain unseared.

This environment is better suited for a coffee house or a nightclub, places where one never need concern themselves with being confronted with the sin that permeates their life.

We dim the lights and crank up the sound system in our efforts to mask the reality that we no longer walk in the Spirit, therefore we are resigned to manufacture a spirit of our own. The cheering thousands are proof enough that we have found the right formula.

Never mind that weeping and anguish of soul are no longer found in God’s house. The church now exists to make us feel good about ourselves, and all who enter its doors have entered a “Guilt Free Zone’. We have created a safe place where sin is never acknowledged or confronted. Come as you are and leave as you came.

We do not want revival. We do not want a return to the old paths. We do not want a fresh revelation from God as to the pitiful condition our souls are in. No, we want none of things because if we did, we would have them!

If the church wanted revival, it would have revival. It would pay any price in order to once again be endued with power from on High. But the church does not want revival because to have it means she would have to divorce herself from the harlot, worldly system it has aligned itself with.

The church is not inclined to return to the old paths, where the good way was [4]. To do so would force us to choose whether we will be hot or cold. To return to the old paths would force us from our lofty seat on the fence of mediocrity and lukewarmness, and we are quite comfortable there, aren’t we?

Instead, we want to be like the world in nearly every respect, while still calling ourselves “Christian”, and we will stop at nothing to accomplish this goal.

What has this illegitimate marriage given us? It has given us a parade of sexual predators in the church that has left untold thousands broken and bleeding in its wake.

It has given us a litany of ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’ [5] disguised as clergy who reject the teachings of scripture in order to cozy up to the world, thus allowing every conceivable and base lifestyle to stand in the pulpit and declare their own twisted version of ‘truth’.

It has given us an anemic and sick substitute for Christ’s church, the very church He bled and died for. What is supposed to be His Body has been rendered powerless to stem the tide of sin and degradation that has enveloped it.

Such a church has forfeited its birthright and is no longer Christ’s representative on the earth. It is a counterfeit, and the deafening silence from within its lukewarm walls is proof enough that she is in danger of being rejected by the Lord. [6]

May God have mercy on us…

Ron

 

 

[1] Jeremiah is often referred to as the “Weeping Prophet because of his own words in chapter 9, verse 1: Oh, that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of my people!

[2] 2 Cor.6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you.

[3] 1 Samuel 8:19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, No, but we will have a king over us.

[4] Jeremiah 6:16 Thus says the Lord, Stand you in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and you shall find rest for your souls. But they said, we will not walk in them.

[5] Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

[6] Rev. 3:16 So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth.

 

 

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Feeling Small in His Presence

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Today my family and I did something we always love to do,which was to go to the beach.At least that’s what the girls call it.For me,it’s all about the ocean.That vast,incredible ocean.While they can spend hours talking,picking up seashells,or just walking together I am transfixed by the grandeur of the sea.2016-11-09-13-34-46

The sea,with it’s timeless,repetitive rhythm of the tides that come and go as if they have been programmed by some Master craftsman to continue unabated for all eternity.

Never stopping,never slowing,but in a rhythmic pattern choreographed by Someone far greater than any of us.

I feel so small in His presence…

It is a world unto itself,something so vast and incomprehensible as to render the most prolific of writers utterly speechless.

Who can begin to describe the complexities involved when this was first placed into motion? Where is the mind that can trace back to it’s origin this cycle of ebb and flow?

It is here,in this place,that I sense Him in a way that defies all human comprehension.

For there is a Holy solitude here. Here,among the many people who have come from far and near to rest in the warm sunshine and to fall asleep listening to the sounds of the relentless waves crashing into the shore.This is a Holy place.

In the midst of all that is going on here,there is an unexplained sense of calm and order.

It is a solitude unlike any other,as if one can here “deep call unto deep”.

In the midst of this crowded beach I stand gazing out at this seemingly endless body of water called the Gulf of Mexico,and I am nearly overcome by the sense that I am surrounded by One who is greater than all I can see with my own eyes.2016-11-09-13-43-01

It is as if I hear His voice whispering to me that what I am witnessing is something from eternity past.Strong. Ageless. Timeless.

His voice,this ocean,the ceaseless tides,are all reminders that He is still in control of it all and that I do not have to fear what tomorrow may bring.

The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, than the mighty waves of the sea.  Psa 93:4 NKJV

We serve a Mighty God.He calls the waves and the winds to obedience.By His own decree we have been bought with a price and are now the Sons and Daughters of God.He has redeemed us and knows what every tomorrow will bring.Being God,there is no event that can take him by surprise or catch him unaware.

Do you not fear Me?’ says the LORD. ‘Will you not tremble at My presence, Who have placed the sand as the bound of the se2016-11-09-13-47-14a, By a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass beyond it? And though its waves toss to and fro, Yet they cannot prevail; Though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it.  Jer 5:22 NKJV

 

 

Lord,in your Presence I feel so small.Hide me under the shadow of your mighty hands.

May I never get so high-minded or proud that I forget just how great You are.

The Spirit is Speaking to The Church…

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Did you ever stop to think about how many times you’ve had to repeat yourself when trying to get your children to pick up their room or do their homework, or how many times you’ve said the same thing over and over yet no one seems to listen?

Ask any parent(or spouse!)and I’m sure they’ll agree that sometimes you just have to keep hammering home the point until they get it. Looking back I’d have to say I gave my poor mother an awful lot of grey hair because I had a tendency to do things my own way. Come to think of it, I haven’t changed much in that regard so I guess I’m just naturally hard headed.

Jesus knew a thing or two about repeating himself as well. Don’t believe that? Then read along with me and lets see how many times Jesus repeated basically the same phrase as He delivered a message to each of the seven churches in Asia.

Revelation 2:7 (NKJV)
7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”
Revelation 2:11 (NKJV)
11 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”
Revelation 2:17 (NKJV)
17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”
Revelation 2:29 (NKJV)
29 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Revelation 3:6 (NKJV)
6 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Revelation 3:13 (NKJV)
13 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Revelation 3:22 (NKJV)
22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

If I did the math right that make seven times that Jesus said “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Seven times he admonished the church to open their hearts to receive the message that was delivered to them. Seems to me that this must be pretty important to the Lord.

What I find striking about this is that the Spirit of God knew the spiritual condition of these seven churches. So much so that He knew their shortcomings,their strengths and weaknesses,and yes even their motives. In short,nothing could be hidden from the Spirit because He is the Spirit of Truth.

Whether it be a church or whether it’s you or I,the Holy Spirit does indeed know us.Every part of us.What does this mean for us today? Well, if it’s true that God “changes not” then it’s also true that the Spirit knows us just as intimately as He did those seven churches nearly 2000 years ago.

Now, shouldn’t we be listening to His voice and acting upon it the first time?

Be blessed,

Ron