The climate for believers in this dispensation is quite frenzied. Parishioners have no idea whom they can trust in the body and leaders are distracted while indulging in sins of the flesh. Greed, manipulation and deception are ruling the day in our modern, post resurrection churches. Even the faithful are becoming confused concerning doctrine and truth. How can anyone remain focused or steady in the faith?
One thing to consider in responding to this question would be to ask ourselves, “Where are we eating?” Unbeknownst to many Christians they are on a path that deviates from the word. One practice that seems to be on the rise is believers attempting to pastor themselves. Now we understand there are times when being without a pastor will occur at sometime or another in our walk; however this shouldn’t actually become the norm. Our God is a God of covenants and relationship. Those who choose a cafeteria style of engagement that doesn’t include church membership or even regular fellowship gatherings leave themselves open to disaster. They risk becoming spiritual nomads, wandering from one ministry to another promoting a climate of no accountability. Pride brews, then a fall from the faith prevails. Believers should never forsake partnering with any ministry or a resolve be united with a body of believers. Jesus established the church to solidify covenants, foster healthy relationships and grow the body. Only rogues eat spiritually from other ministries or tables they don’t know anything about. No one leader knows their history or their spiritual needs. This places them directly in satan’s bulls’ eye! His goal is to alienate the disconnected from the fellowship then lull them away from Christ. Jesus reminds us where there are two or three gathered in His name that He would dwell in our midst. There is power in holy, Christ centered gatherings. The New Testament echoes this same sentiment by directing us not to forsake assembly. Yet many are guilty of this very thing. Why?
We have to warn believers that we can’t eat or receive a word from everyone who professes to hear from God. This dangerous practice has infiltrated the church and many are convinced they do not need to participate in healthy pastor-parishioner relationships. As unfortunate as this is, there are various reasons why many adopt this practice. Some cite they are tired of pastors shaking them down for money. Some are tired of church members who are never reprimanded for unGodly behavior. Some feel that going to church is way too time consuming while some are just weary with not being able to trust that their best interests prevail in the mind of church officials.
Whatever the reasoning, the established church that was built on the shed blood of Jesus offers guidance, protection and nurturing which can not be ignored. Christ built the church for the betterment for the believer. Without proper pastoral correction, we risk becoming prophecy junkies who rush anywhere, anytime to anyplace in search of a personal word. This practice of trying to take short cuts instead of cultivating a substantial prayer life is extremely dangerous for anyone; especially new converts. Instead of praying and spending time with God when a crisis arises, we seek a spiritual “fix“. In this hunger for a quick and painless answer that is usually comforting to the flesh but not an authentic word from God, a spirit of apostasy slowly contaminates the recipient. We cannot become lazy in communicating with God daily.
We need true prophets with strong discernment to challenge the climate of slothfulness among our complacent congregants. We need intercessors who are willing to pray for our government, leaders, churches and families. We must become accountable to one another and be perfected through human interaction. We must master the tools of fasting, studying and laboring in prayer for needs to be met.
We will not hear the voice of God if we depend on the word of someone who may or may not be a true prophet. We need to seek sobriety while drinking the sincere milk of the word. Let us mature in God, eating the whole roll. The ritual of pulling up to fast food prophets who seek monetary gain at the expense of souls must stop! Guarding our heart is necessary to prohibit anyone who is unclean from pouring heresy into our spirit. No longer can we entertain Big Gulps, smoothies or slushies filling our spirit with a sugary fluid which lacks spiritual nutrition. We have to stop eating from the tables of questionable leaders in order to appease our restless conscious to avoid getting completely right with God. The Father spews out the lukewarm because compromise is sin! It is only through self reflection and submission to the Lord we can discover our place in His body.
Finding a table that is full of righteous leaders who are consistently pointing us back to the cross may be daunting, but needful. We need to stop ordering happy meals looking for toy surprises to preoccupy us with worldly pleasures. A decision on our part has to be made if we are to take our place as disciples of God who walk in truth. We need to ask Him where in the body we can flourish and eat from that table.
If you are finding little or no healthy fruit in your walk with the Lord, ask yourself, “Where am I eating?”
Be encouraged and blessed child of the MOST HIGH GOD!
Dr. Denise Joyce Williams resides in Florida with her husband who is a career soldier. Her book entitled, “The Healing Of A Broken Vessel” was released by Publish America in March 2009. The book can be found: http://www.amazon.com. She’s currently penning her second book entitled “The Chambers Of The Heart”.