Monday, August 29, 2011

God's Holy Pursuit Part 2

(Part 2 of the message I heard Sunday is further proof that my Pastor is sneaking a peek at my notes.)

As my Pastor stated Sunday morning, there is a diminished presence of God's Spirit in the church today.

"And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved." ~Matthew 24:12-13 NKJ

The Spirit of lawlessness has invaded the last day church. The King James uses the word iniquity. The transliterated word for iniquity in the Greek is anomia which means the condition of without law; because ignorant of it; because of violating it; contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness (source). The sin that separates us from the presence of God is anything in violation or contradiction to God's Word. There are a multitude of things that have become common and acceptable in the world that are completely contradictory to the Word of God and they have found their way into the church, a blending of values.

Jesus is speaking not to unbelievers, but to the church in Revelation when He says, "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth" Revelation 3:15-16.

A blending of cold and hot...make lukewarm. A blending of the world's normal with bits and pieces of the truth of God's Word ....makes one lukewarm. Jesus said He would rather we be cold. Halfheartedness is not pleasing to God but rather like a cheating spouse, an extramarital affair, a breaking of covenant, a betrayal.

The church as a whole is operating at minimal capacity. Although some would appear to be thriving, they are void of the Spirit of God. Building earthly kingdoms that will not stand, bound by legalism, religion and the traditions of man and operating in criticism, judgment and condemnation. I have been there and this is not God.

Blended Christianity, accepting of popular opinion while rejecting Truth. This is not God.

God is love.

And He is calling His children back to Himself. Everything He does in relationship to us is done in love. Even in chastisement and correction, He loves. We must turn from our sin, be bold in our faith, immerse ourselves in His presence and begin to walk in the authority that has been given to us. We must seek Him, not man or man's opinions or ideas or approval. We must seek Him and hear His voice. 

The Israelites wanted to go back to Egypt because they didn't have a vision for their future. Sunday evening, our guest speaker, Bob Griffin, explained it so well.  Because of sin, their vision was clouded. They could not perceive what God was wanting to do. They were in a place of non-perception. Sin and religion cut us off from seeing God's plan, from hearing His voice and will cause us to shrink back from the great things He is wanting to do in and through us.

In John 20:22 after Jesus was raised from the dead, He came and stood in the midst of His disciples and breathed on them to receive the Holy Spirit... the same breath that breathed life into man in Genesis 2:7. It is the Holy Spirit in us that empowers us to live... empowers us to live the life we were created to live, to walk in the authority we've been given, to accept the task before us with confidence.

God is in pursuit of His children. He is calling us to a higher place of obedience, faithfulness and love. Let us see and hear. Let us not shrink back, but advance in the power of the Holy Spirit, ready to conquer ground yet to be conquered.

When the call seems too great, allow God to breathe into you the breath of life and empower you with the Holy Spirit. There are big assignments waiting to be completed. There is a path waiting to be chosen. There is a door waiting to be opened.

I refuse to go back.

(If you missed Part One: God's Holy Pursuit, click here to read)

Today I am linking with Jen at Finding Heaven for Soli Deo Gloria.

4 friends had this to say:

Stephanie Clayton said...

Amen sister! Love the thought of the sweet breath Of the spirit.

Heart n Soul said...

I love that last paragraph... great post :)

Jen said...

I so get this -- this is where I am! And this gives me more perspective and motivation -- I don't ever want to be lukewarm!

Pamela said...

I, too, have been there and it took me a while to realize it wasn't God. The God that I serve doesn't have a perpetual frown. Like you said, He loves...always loves. And in that love I am encouraged to find the higher place. This was so encouraging to me. Yes, there is a diminished presence of God's Spirit in the church today, but it doesn't have to be permanent. Thank you for that word, Advance. I'm holding on to that one!