Friday, February 13, 2015

Why Going to Church is Not Enough

There was once a fellow who did everything right. He came to church every Sunday and sat in the front row. He listened to what the Pastor said and found himself yelling "Amen" in affirmation quite a number of times.

He tithed, and not only that, he gave 20%, not just the required 10! He was very liberal with his money, as well as his time for the service of God.

He then went home and continued to pray before his meals, and even read the Bible everyday. It seemed as if he was doing everything right, but yet he didn't seem to be making any progress in his spiritual life.

Despite the amount of time that he spent listening to talk about God or doing service for God, it just seemed that God was just kinda there in his life, and not something fully encompassing. No one around him could see it, but deep down, he knew it.

He knew that the reading he did during the day and the sermons he heard on Sunday were not having an impact upon his life. That although he was doing what he should be doing with being immersed in God's word, his heart was not being changed. But he just kept on reading, hoping that the time would come, when the magic of the Bible would clear up.

But it never seemed to happen. Why did this man never seem to actually grow closer to God. He became consumed with the words of God at all times, but he advanced nowhere.

I am about to make a radical statement (not really, I've not ever actually made one of those on these blogs) - reading the Bible and knowing all of its truths is not a magical formula for growing closer to the Lord.

Yes, reading the Bible is an instrumental part of spiritual development, but if you never open up your heart to hear what the Lord has to say, if you never allow what you hear in the Bible to actually impact the way you study the Word, then it doesn't really matter how much you read the words.

And note that just reading the words will not allow your life to suddenly change. As much as we want to ensure that we understand that we do it all by God's strength, that doesn't mean we have no influence in whether or not we choose to use God's strength in the first place!

So we must not just consume the words of the Lord, we must actually open up our hearts through prayer to allow them to expose our faults. And then we must yield to the Spirit to ensure that we can work through those faults by a still more constant prayer life.

It's not just about going to church, but what you do when you get there. In conclusion, I leave you with the words of Ecclesiastes 5:1,
"Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil."

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