DELIBERATELY PURSUING GOD
A LITTLE LEAVEN
When we hear the words “contemporary” and “modern” within the realm of church we may think of discarding or re-structuring the older traditions and streamlining with a new, fresh approach to serving God. We can incorporate new architecture, new styles, new music and more technology but all this does not necessarily make the gospel more anointed. Tragically the enemy has whispered his influences of a “new and improved” version of ministry while secretly incorporating his strategy of also hindering or “throwing out” the Holy Spirit. Some ideas can be God inspired and are fine as long as one aspect of our purpose is left intact; the reverential fear of God. As we develop in our understanding of who He is and who we are, we will realize this is the most important revelation in our personal relationship with Him. And of course this is in turn has a direct influence on the spiritual effectiveness of the church. We all learn from what we see, hear and experience and training the next generation is our responsibility.
Many in the church just go through the motions and do not recognize the difference between what is anointed and what is not. For the true disciples that really “know” Him, the closer they are to God the more they understand about the spiritual realm. When God’s children truly see a glimpse of Him they begin to comprehend just how holy and how glorious He is. The saints that experience His holy presence join the ranks with everyone else in the universe that has had an encounter with the Almighty and in their prayer closets fall on their faces in awestruck wonder. “And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne ON THEIR FACES, and worshipped God.” (Rev.7:11)
This reverential fear is not a terror or a dread that we would feel threatened or danger but rather a respect of His authority. God does not present Himself or His Kingdom as weak or compromising and does not suggest that He can be approached with anything less than an attitude of purity, humility and seriousness. This is not a political man-made religion but rather an awareness of a divine presence. It has never been an option to abide under His wings without first examining our heart for anything that would offend His perfect holiness. It is crucial to develop this mindset when we come to Him in prayer, worship, meditation or in the corporate assembly. We pray and plead for Him to come into our midst and we say we desire to come into His Holy of Holies but do we realize what we are asking? Do we really want His fire to purge our mind and reveal our secret sins? Are we prepared to present our heart and life to Him?
It is very interesting to turn in your Strongs concordance and look at the references to the word “holy”. If God takes everything that is connected with His church as holy then it might be wise for us all to become more sensitive to His way of thinking. Our lack of respect for authority in the world has unfortunately bled over into our lack of reverential respect for God. This rebellious state of mind and resentment is a danger as an example to the youth and can bring a corruptible influence along with calloused emotions into the church.
Many believe they can watch what they want, say what they want and expose their heart to all kinds of evil without being affected but – it is a deception. The lukewarmness of an individual has a drastic impact on the rest of the body and if several in the congregation open the door to the world and drinks of its filth – the church can suffer and develop a suspicious, cold, religious personality. We have heard about lifeless services and actually felt for ourselves an atmosphere of depression and apathy and wondered where in the world this could come from. It comes from the spirits that walk in with the “bodies.” The building is just brick and drywall! The church can be like the temple in Isaiah chapter 6 or it can feel like a morgue. It all depends on the spiritual condition of the people’s hearts.
We can realize the meaning of the leaven in Mathew chapter thirteen as how powerful an influence can be. The text say’s in verse 33 that a woman hid some small pieces of leaven in three measures of meal and the whole seven and a half gallons became leavened. I have always thought about how negativity and criticism can infect a church and hinder the worship and overall spiritual health of the body. But what if we turn it around and see how powerful optimism and positive minded people can influence the body? How important it is to pray and worship during the week before we come together. How important it is to be careful what we say and how we live. How many people are we affecting with our words and deeds?