Friday, June 19, 2015

Killing the Pursuit of God

The church has worked recently (in the last 20 years or so) to remove much of its programming in hopes that by doing so Christians would use the extra time to lead their families and pursue personal relationship with Christ. Instead, these Christians simply filled that time where church program used to be with sports, recreation, tv, and just hanging out. Where we thought our many programs were hindering families from growing strong, in actuality they very well may have been the last thing our churches still had to help develop people into a true and relentless thirst for Christ. Instead of teaching people to be desperate for knowing God, we said, "don't take it too far and thereby neglect your family." That doesn't sound too bad really, but think about it. We, the church leaders just said, "knowing God is not as important as keeping your family happy." Even if we didn't say it in those words, that's what people heard.

Now why did we head down this path? Maybe it was reactive, or restorative to a previous generation. A.W. Tozer points out that programming actually began to replace true worship in the 1940's or earlier (from Pursuit of God). If that is accurate, then maybe our reduction/removal of those programs was an attempt at restoration of that true, thirsty worship. I think that is probably the initial motivation.

However, I think we might have jumped into that decision a little too fast also. I think leaders realized how much easier it would be to staff the remaining programs, the "important" ones. I think leaders realized how much more time they could have with their own families as well. Add it all up and maybe we just didn't take enough time in prayer and meditation on the call to kill those programs.

So where we wanted to instill a deep thirst and hunger for knowing God more, we may have inadvertently finished killing the Pursuit of God altogether. It makes me wonder if for the last 100 years we have allowed Satan to quietly and subtly destroy the essence of what being a Christian really means. And that is a scary thought. The good news is this: even if we have diluted the Christian faith to the point that it is no longer real and salvific faith, we simply need to repent. We just need to again put God back at the top of our list of desires. We simply repent of our complacency, our self-justifications and truly thirst and hunger for the One True God. Thirst to know Him and know Him fully. Simple, right?

What's great about that kind of thirst is that we will always want more of God. We will never stop short again and become complacent. Sine we are dying to know Him completely we just keep running closer to Him. Why? Because on this side of eternity, in our finite world, we cannot know Him fully. But it shouldn't and won't stop us from trying and thirsting for that. This is one time where Always wanting what you can't have is good. Of course, you can have it; you just have to want it more than anything else. Pursue Him, seek Him, and He promises you will find Him. You can and will fully know Him in the life to come, the eternal life.