Friday, July 1, 2016

The SPOILED, WEAK American Church

"There's good news. It looks like they're gonna' get a chance to learn to have faith like them."
-A pastor I know, regarding the American church and our Russian brethren

Q. Are you part of the spoiled American church?
A. If you can easily eat more than once a day, yes.

But don't worry, according to a reliable pastor I know, you'll get a chance to learn about the strong faith of our brothers and sisters in Russia, and other parts of the world living in scarcity. This is not just my opinion, in Bill Myers, The Jesus Experience, he recounts a story of going to Russia to make a movie, and how the Russian believer he was working with said he was sorry for us weak, American believers. Bill was offended, but I agree. 

As a church secretary, I get the honor of composing a newsletter each month with amazing pictures of their sister church in Siberia. Those men of God have such a humble, Christlike visage--peaceful, long-suffering. And some of the other pictures of them are interspersed with images of wrecks of buildings, decrepit old folks who you can tell have suffered. To God be the glory for it, because in the happy church America, you just see the sicky-sweet smiles. It makes me wanna' PUKE.

Because everywhere it's ME ME ME, I wanna' be blessed now, instead of "I wanna' die for You, my Lord Christ!"

"You know how gladly I would have shed my blood for the sake of Your Word, but I may not deserve this honor. If it is Your will I shall die gladly. Only let Your holy name be praised and glorified by my sufferings and death." - MARTIN LUTHER

If MARTIN LUTHER, who translated THE ENTIRE BIBLE into the language of the people, didn't even think he deserved THE HONOR of dying for Jesus, how much LESS should WE, who think we do great by God because we go to church every week, donate some canned good, or help a soup kitchen?!

But you cannot even tell the spoiled, weak American church how anemic they are, because they don't have ANY idea how spoiled and weak they are....

"What do you mean, that we should give up everything and go live like a poor, starving person?"


But you should THINK that way.

"God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." - John 4:24

Look at the way that you talk and think every day--are most of your conversations about ANY kind of world, PHYSICAL topic? (Politics, social issues, terrorism, even things related to ministry, like organizing a Bible study, why so-and-so in the choir does such a bad job, how you can help your youth group grow, etc.)

Some of these, WHILE GOOD, are all PHYSICAL EVENTS.

"God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." - John 4:24

"Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." - Colossians 3:2

"Yeah, but Kristen, we can't ignore things going on around us!"

But what is your FOCUS?

When your focus is on "things above," then YOU DON'T GET PLAYED BY THE DEVIL. You REALIZE that our fight is not "against flesh and blood." And you don't let the devil set you up to fight with our brothers and sisters who might look different and come from different places, but who all claim Christ.

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." - Ephesians 6:12

So, I urge you--eschew earthly things! "Set your mind on things above...." Because if you don't do it soon, you'll do it the hard way. The Lord taught me to fast by taking my hunger away for four days and replacing it with joy. It was miraculous. I didn't eat for four days and felt joy the whole time. But I felt Him make it very clear to me, that those who don't fast now in joy, will fast later when it will NOT be easy. Whether that's a spiritual fast for some, or a food fast for others, the point is that if you don't submit to Him and the things of the Spirit, willingly now, as part of the spoiled American church, you will have to learn the hard way.

I pray you choose the former.

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