Taking personal responsibility for the state of the church

(Lev 6: 8-13; 9:23-24; Prov. 26:20a)

Taking responsibility will always inconvenience you. Our consumer-oriented generation always wants benefits without responsibility. The church was meant to be a well of goodness and joy to all those who dwell round about it. Unfortunately, our church world has become so focused around meetings and not individuals and gifts.

Most assemblies have become synagogues of contention rather than churches of Christ. Let it be known that the church is not an event but should be a gathering of doers of the word. The church is as strong and committed as you are.

It is estimated that about 10% of church members are actively involved in the advancement of the church whilst 90% are spectators with no vision and responsibility.

The problem with spectators is that they will always know more than the players. Many Christians are critics of the state of the church and sit on the sidelines watching.

According to the law of the burnt offering, the fire on the altar was supposed to be kept burning. The priest’s duty was to add wood and remove the ash every morning to keep the fire burning. Ash speaks of our past experiences and formulae that God has used before.

The Christian in this regard is commanded not to lean on their own experiences, for all our experiences and understanding are just but ash before the Lord and interfere with the fire on the altar.

Do you remember that Moses lost his chance to inherit the Promised Land when he chose to rely on his past experience rather than obeying God? God had commanded him to speak to rock to bring out water and he in stead hit the rock with his rod. Since the rod had worked before, Moses decided to use his experience and disregarded the commandment of the Lord.

Fire is made up of three elements namely; heat, oxygen and fuel. Fire goes out if any one of these three is missing. God gives two thirds of the fire, i.e. heat and oxygen and we must put the fuel. Where there is no wood, the fire goes out. If we neglect the fuel, the fire on the altar will go out.

The Old Testament priest was not supposed to bring his own fire to the altar for the fire came from God. The fire was not ignited by man but God. For once Aaron’s sons brought profane fires to the altar and they were met with the full wrath of God. Some people fuel the fire of strife in the church.

Please be warned, not to start the wrong fires around. The Lord is a consuming fire and will consume all those who start profane fires.

rue fire of revival comes from the Lord.

John the Baptist speaking of Jesus said that he would baptize us with the Holy Spirit and fire. We also have read in the book of Acts, that when the day of Pentecost was full come . . . cloven tongues as of fire were seen on all the people that were gathered in the Upper Room.

Spiritually speaking, the tongue is only an extension of the heart. For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Cloven tongues of fire symbolized burning hearts. We should therefore use our tongues to spread the fire of God around.

Man cannot start the fire, but should maintain it. The disciples’ lives were ignited by the fire of God on the day of Pentecost.

It is however, your attitude that influences the temperature of revival in your church. If we were to put a spiritual thermometer to your life, what would be its reading? Would it be cold, hot or lukewarm?

What is your spiritual temperature today? Have you maintained the glow? God will give the fire, but you determine how hot the fire is going to be, whether it continues to burn or not.

Do not extinguish the flame of the spirit both in your life and in your church. Stir up the gift in you; fan the flame and the dying ambers.

The Bible commands us to be fervent in the spirit. You are the custodian of the fireplace of your heart.

Never allow the fire of God to go out in your heart. As a child of God, you alone can take responsibility for your heart’s condition.

Going deeper, higher, wider and farther than we have ever been before

If you want a big revival bring the wood. When Isaiah had the voice of the Lord, he did not said “Here I am send him or her” but “send Me”. To bring it closer home, many people do not want to pay taxes, but want the Police and the Army to protect them.

They want good roads but someone else must pay. It is time you should ask yourself; what can I do for the church? Not what can the church do for me? If you think more souls should be saved; save some. If you think the church is weak; become strong yourself. If you think the church is not praying; pray more.

Revival is not a meeting, but the state of your heart. Bring the fuel of your prayers to church. Always remember that, faith is ever an active grace.

Its activity, however, is first of all manifested in prayer. This precedes any action. If everyone born again was living 100% for God, the whole world would be ablaze for Jesus.

The problem is that people are willing to draw the benefits of the fire, but not to keep the momentum of the fire. Bring your life to God, but also bring your fuel for the fire. Go get the wood and become a fire builder. Come with fasting, humility, faith, or commitment . . . please bring some fuel for the fire. ‘ ekwembey@yahoo.com

October 2006
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