As I think back on the last year of my life…this is the only scripture that can describe what God has done and is doing in my life. Almost a year ago to date my family made one of the biggest, hardest decisions we have had to make. We fretted over this decision for many, many months and much prayer and thought went into this decision. Finally, out of pure faith we made the leap…and we left the church that we called “home”.
When I say we called this church our “home”…I mean that in the truest sense of the word. We helped build this church from the ground up, we served in many different areas of ministry, we spent countless hours at the church working to make improvements, we cooked meals there, we would even sleep there from time to time (when we worked till the wee hours of the morning), and we even cleaned the church. It was our home away from home. We found comfort within the four walls, we found refuge within the family that we spent many hours laboring next to; it was a place we could lay it all down and be real. We literally poured out our blood, sweat, and tears into this church. It was home.
I don’t want to go into all the grave details of the “whys” of our leaving because this isn’t about why we left…it’s about what God did in me and has taught me since we left.
Honestly, for the first few months after leaving…I struggled with the thought that we made the biggest mistake of our lives. I was afraid that we had not heard the Lord clearly…and I was in emotional shambles! However, after seeking the Lord again and wanting clarity…the Lord confirmed to me that it was the right decision and we did, in fact, hear Him clearly. (See, God is not bothered by our requesting of Him, nor does He get tired of us asking Him things…I think He actually enjoys it…for in that asking and requesting we are seeking Him!)
I started visiting other churches and all I could do while I sat through the services was to compare what I was experiencing with what I had felt I lost. It was like that for many weeks…I could not become satisfied with the churches I visited because I was comparing them to my home. The worship was not as deep, or powerful as the worship at home, the seating arrangement was not as easily accessible as my home, the greeters were not as friendly as home, and the connection was not there like it was at home. I was making myself miserable…I longed to be home…I wanted that connection, that bond, that safe place.
I don’t know when exactly my “revelation” (if that’s what you would like to call it) came…but one morning I woke up and realized…I am focusing too much on what I lost and not enough on what God wants to add to my life. There must be a reason…beside the obvious reasons…of why God called us to leave. There was a bigger picture I was not seeing. I started to seek the Lord, I started to inquire of Him, ask Him what He wanted me to know…asking Him to teach to me what I needed to learn.
To make a long story even longer…there are two things that the Lord revealed to me. One is very personal and one is very general…which both are really for the whole body of Christ.
The first thing that the Lord showed me was that I needed to really know His word. The word says in 1 Timothy 4:1 “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.”
If we don’t know the Word of God clearly…thoroughly…then we can become easily deceived. Unfortunately, I am a very gullible person. I believe things way too easily…and I had believed things that were taught that clearly went against what the Word of God said…and because I didn’t seek it out myself in the Word and allow the Holy Spirit to teach me…I had become deceived. (These are hard words to write! This was a hard lesson to learn! This is not easy for me to confess!)
Church…we NEED to know God’s Word! We don’t need to just read God’s Word daily…but we need to know God’s Word daily. We need knowledge, understanding, and insight into the Word. We need to know why we believe what we believe!! Not only that…but we need scripture to back it up! My greatest desire is for the body of Christ to know Him fully…to know His Word fully! We need to stop taking a “man’s” word for it and start to seek out what God says. I’m not saying that every pastor or teacher or minister is wrong or of the devil…but I am saying that we need to stop taking “man’s” word as truth…because we are all fallen, we are all human! The only truth is God’s!
The second thing that the Lord started showing me is that the American church needs some reconstruction. Well…maybe more than just some reconstruction…maybe the American church needs a lot of reconstruction! The American church as a whole has become so focused on things that are not even the focus of God. We focus on numbers, seating, lighting, money, power, size…it’s all about gain, gain, gain! It’s the American way! Now, I am not saying quit going to church because that is totally against what the Word says. It says in Hebrews 10:25 “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
However, what I am saying is that the American church needs to re-focus on what church is really supposed to be about. We have gotten church so wrong for too long! Now, I don’t have all the answers for what church is supposed to be like…but it is my desire to know, to inquire of God about it.
Since leaving our church, a few friends and I have started what is called a “House Church”. We meet once a week in each other’s homes and eat meals together, worship together, and study God’s Word together…we also go to the same church together on Sundays. In saying that…we decided to study God’s Word this summer on what the New Testament church looked like and begin to model that.
My call to the body of believers is this:
To join me in seeking to know God’s Word fully…to truly know and understand His Word so we may be fully equipped in the last days when many will fall away from the faith. Also, to really take a close look at the American church and compare it to what God wants the church to be through His Word.
If this story spoke to you in anyway, I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below and tell me your thoughts . I would love to hear your feedback whether you agree with me or not.