I have mentally written two or three posts in the last few weeks over various subjects but haven’t bothered to type anything up. My mind has been all over the place lately. I may share the reason for this later on or I may not and while I may have a page dedicated to my “random thoughts” I decided to write one post including several of those thoughts that have been rolling around in my head. Buckle up, as it may be a bumpy ride!
I have been asked several times lately if I have joined any other dating sites to which I respond with a firm, resounding, “NO!” I have absolutely no desire to enter that world again. I am simply not a glutton for that kind of punishment. Anyway, I mentioned the phrase “missionary dating” in a conversation with a few of my coworkers several weeks ago to which one shared she had never heard that terminology before. I thought I would share a refresher course in this concept as there seems to be a relapse in this disastrous practice and no one is really acknowledging it. Missionary Dating is where a believer dates a non-believer with the idea that they will lead them to the Lord. Now, I am not saying that this has never been successful because it has been but the majority of the time the believer will be pulled away from the Lord. The Bible is very clear that believers are not to be yoked (definition: couple or attach with or to a yoke) with a non-believer.
” Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14
You can argue the semantics all you want, but, my friends, if you are a Christ-follower then for the sake of your relationship with Him you simply cannot enter into a relationship with one who does not also follow Christ. I have known of couples who both professed to know Christ, dated, married and then later one came under the conviction that they never truly repented of their sins to then become a sold out believer in Jesus Christ. Only the Lord knows the true intentions of our hearts but to link yourself up with someone who does not profess Jesus as their Lord and Savior is just inviting trouble and you are in direct disobedience to His word. In other words … don’t. You can be friends with this person but there is simply no need to be in a romantic relationship with them. Set those boundaries and be firm with those boundaries.
I have been struggling so much with the Church at large and how we’ve seemed to have stepped away from the aspect that the Church was originally meant to equip the believers in order to reach the lost vs. doing all we can to make the Church appealing to the lost and overlooking the needs of the believers. Please understand I am a pastor’s kid, so I don’t believe in joining a church strictly to be served … you need to find ways to pour into your church but you also need to be poured into. However, if our sole focus is stripping away everything that separates the Church from the world so that the world will come in our doors then we have a BIG problem.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25
I’ll be honest in that I wondered if the Church could really be for both the non-believer and the believer anymore. I hated that I was even questioning this. And this isn’t directed at any church … I have the privilege of attending traditional, blended and contemporary worship services with some of the godliest people I know who are seeking to honor Christ as a church in the best way they know how. But I’ll admit .. I have missed worshipping in a brightly lit sanctuary where you could see and hear your fellow worshippers. I miss the days when there wasn’t a spotlight on the soloist (and I’m a soloist!) and the lights weren’t dimmed for the special as there was no need to “create an atmosphere of worship” or take the focus off the Lord by placing it on the musicians.
I was reminded on Monday night of what the Church can be for both, the sick and the healthy … a place of refuge, repentance, and rejoicing. I heard a powerful message on the cross and was reminded of the suffering that Jesus bore in my place. At the same time, my friend sitting next to me was hearing the majority of it for the first time. We both left in awe of the grace of God and humbled that we had time in His presence.
Revival isn’t something you are called or invited to … rather, it’s a response that occurs when true repentance is experienced. Think Jonah and Ninevah.
Jonah Goes to Nineveh
3 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying,2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.” 3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city,[a] three days’ journey in breadth.[b] 4 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” 5 And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.
The People of Nineveh Repent
6 The word reached[c] the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.7 And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, 8 but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. 9 Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”
10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.
I saw a post on Facebook today that talked about when spontaneous worship/revival breaks out because of a guitar rif … no offense but that’s spontaneous emotion. I keep thinking about the great awakenings in years past as they didn’t have social media, screens, reverb and strobe lights, yet the Holy Spirit still found a way to fill the place with His presence and call them to repentance. And I am sure they were singing some of the new songs of their day during those revivals. I am not knocking what we have in our churches today but I am just humbly suggesting that God doesn’t need it. Instead, He needs hearts willing to surrender their desires and replace them with His. He is needing people to get out of the way, to set aside their needs and truly repent.
Then … maybe then, we’ll see another great awakening in our country.
Well, that’s it for now. I told you it might be a bumpy ride. 🙂 And it’s ok if you disagree with any of the above statements. It’s just some of the things I have been attempting to flesh out in my time with the Lord and thought I’d share.
I love you all and am so thankful to have you in my life. I pray that the Holy Spirit’s presence is a gentle reminder to you of how much you are loved.
And don’t be afraid to step out of God’s way … it’s amazing at what He can accomplish when we stop blocking Him!