Is Religion Destroying the Church?
By Rick L King
November 18, 2010
I like the words that the Apostle Paul said in 1Co 2:4, ďAnd my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of manís wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of powerĒ. Much of the church today is lacking in what Paul talks about. Where is the Spirit and power?
Man has come up with so many agendas and programs that seem religious. Yet there is no power. People can not come into the presence of the mighty God and be changed and find peace and rest in their soul. We have so many formulas that we are supposed to follow. We are taught to walk Godís Word by our flesh and that God will bless our efforts. We have such structure to our meetings that if anyone or anything tries to upset them we get all irate. We wonít allow an anointed man or woman of God in the pulpit or to speak as we are afraid we will lose our control or that the people may actually want to hear that person more than us. Where is our faith and trust in God? When did fear start ruling instead of faith and trust? When did man get so smart that they decided that they knew how to be in control? When did man start trying to play God instead of allowing God to be God? Isaiah says in chapters 30 and 31 that we are in rebellion if we trust in anything other than the Holy Spirit. Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. Witchcraft is mind control. Whose mind is in control when we are walking by the flesh? It is not the mind of Christ, so it is in rebellion.
If you have ever tasted of the Holy Spirit and the freedom that comes when we allow Him to reign, then you will understand all that I am saying. The problem it seems is that there are so many that have never tasted of the power that Paul is referring too. All they have ever known is the tradition and structure that promotes only works by our flesh. Once you have tasted of His power, you are ruined for life. Nothing less will satisfy. Once you experience being in His presence and finding total peace and joy, you will long for it constantly. There is nothing that can or will ever compare with being in His presence. I have said for years that people only know freedom to the extent that they have experienced it. They donít miss what they have never known.
Somehow as a church we must get back to being the lighthouse for the world. People that come to our meetings need to sense the freedom and the power of the Holy Spirit at work in their midst. They need to see church as a refuge from all the storms of life where they can be renewed and strengthened to stand in a very ungodly world. The only way I can see for this to take place is that we must cry out to the Lord and allow the Holy Spirit to change all of our priorities. If our priority has been to live for self and all itís pleasures then we cannot expect to find the power of God. The word says that we cannot serve God and mammon. They just donít walk in agreement at all. Unless we can seek the Lord and allow Him to reign and rule we are going to miss it more and more. It takes time spent with the Lord alone to get to know Him and what He would want for us to do. We are to be co-laborers with Christ. Our ideas are rather pointless. The disciples in the upper room had spent time with Jesus before the cross. They knew all the things that they were told yet they didnít just run out and by their flesh start churches and programs. They waited till they were endued with power before they did things or went anywhere. We desperately need this today. I have often thought that if I was unsaved would I want to go to many of the so- called churches? Based on what I have seen, I donít believe that I would have gotten saved. Thank God that it is not based on that as people get saved as the Holy Spirit draws them.
I have been in meetings where the power of God has been so real that people got healed and delivered and saved right there. I have also been in meetings where it was all I could do to stay and listen to the dead words proclaimed by the speaker. Am I the only one that desires to see a church that is full of the power of the Holy Spirit? Am I the only one that does not care what happens when or who does the speaking just as long as it has the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon it? I am not impressed that a speaker has lots of money or position. I am not impressed that he/she went to a fine college and learned the ways of man to do things. The only thing that impresses me is that the person is humble and knows that God could use anyone that he chooses and they are totally dependent on the power of the Holy Spirit to flow through them. We are to be led by the spirit not by the word. I know I raised some eyebrows on that statement but what does Godís word say? We can be led by the word yet it still can be in our flesh. There is no power in this. It is the same as trying to keep the law, as it couldnít be done. The only one that can do this is Jesus. Without the power of the Holy Spirit we are only religious in our efforts to serve the Lord. It is not by our works that we serve him it should be only by our obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit. What the Holy Spirit leads he also empowers.
I went to two different churches years ago and noticed this. One church where Godís word was preached was dead as a doornail. People were asleep in the message. It was difficult to even concentrate of what was being said. I then went to another church and found that the same message basically was being spoken, but the power of God was all over the place. People were alive and excited and happy. So why the difference? I asked the Lord and was told that whenever His word is preached there is a certain amount of results, but it does not carry the results that he has ordained unless it is sent and led by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit must lead the Word. It takes both. It canít be one over the other; it takes both to produce power. We have all heard for years that we are to take up our sword, the Bible. This is really a false statement. If we look at the scripture we will find that it is not our sword but it is the Holy Spiritís sword. See Ephesians 6:17.
If it is the Holy Spiritís sword it means it is what he uses. If we are led by the spirit, then when the Holy Spirit wants to use Godís word through us as his sword. It was he and not we. The key to power is tapping into the Holy Spirit and allowing Him alone to lead. He does what the Father desires to do when the Father desires to do it and the way the Father desire to do things. It is all about Him and never about us. This is why we are told that we cannot please God in our flesh. There is no power in our flesh. Our flesh must die out so the Holy Spirit alone may work through us.
To those of you that have gone to churches or meetings and have not found the help that you have needed I just want you to know that it is not Godís fault. He will work as man gets out of the way and allows him to rule. Recently I was in a meeting and the whole order of the meeting changed. There was a person that was hurting that had come. Instead of the normal singing that seems to happen in the beginning, it started with prayer and thanksgiving. I knew to pray for this person so I did. The Lord touched them and they found freedom. Had we gone the way the religious structure would have gone, the person would have been hurting the whole time of singing and preaching. Assuming the Holy Spirit had not left by then, they then would have gotten prayed for at the end of the meeting. They would have actually missed everything that went on as they were so bound and hurt they could not receive anything yet. I tend to believe that if there is a hungry or hurting person that comes in and the Holy Spirit is allowed to lead, then that person will get a touch from the Lord. There is healing in His presence. We must promote His presence more than anything else. Without His presence we are just having a religious gathering.
I know that I may have stepped on a few religious toes in what I have said, but religion does not work. We need the demonstration and power of the Holy Spirit in the church and where people meet together. Short of His presence and power, we are going to have fruitless dead religious meetings that have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof. Bottom line is what do we want? All is available if we chose to go after it.
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