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 Busy, Busy, Busy.....are you?

Rev 2:1 TO THE angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Ephesus write: These are the words of Him Who holds the seven stars [which are the messengers of the seven churches] in His right hand, Who goes about among the seven golden lampstands [which are the seven churches]:
Rev 2:2 I know your industry and activities, laborious toil and trouble, and your patient endurance, and how you cannot tolerate wicked [men] and have tested and critically appraised those who call [themselves] apostles (special messengers of Christ) and yet are not, and have found them to be impostors and liars.
Rev 2:3 I know you are enduring patiently and are bearing up for My name's sake, and you have not fainted or become exhausted or grown weary.
Rev 2:4 But I have this [one charge to make] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love].
Rev 2:5 Remember then from what heights you have fallen. Repent (change the inner man to meet God's will) and do the works you did previously [when first you knew the Lord], or else I will visit you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you change your mind and repent.

The church of Epephus by the description was a very impressive church, even compared to this hour.

Let's look at some of it's attributes, things that some folks would no doubt take bragging rights too, maybe some in leadership here. This is not make believe, this is true strenghts and values that are important in church. Verse 2 says:

Rev 2:2 I know your industry and activities, laborious toil and trouble, and your patient endurance, and how you cannot tolerate wicked [men] and have tested and critically appraised those who call [themselves] apostles (special messengers of Christ) and yet are not, and have found them to be impostors and liars.

This is not a lazy church, but industrious and active. They are busy folks. They are patient and enduring. They cannot tolerate wickedness. Sound familiar? They are discerning of spirits and have no tolerence for imposters.

Verse 3 would indicate that among other things they have endured some persecution for the sake of the Master and His Body. Very noble indeed. Remember, this is not pretend, this is truth as appraised by God.

With all these good works and activity, and all of this endurance, God still has a problem with this assembly. They have forgotten the most important part. Worship.

Now I'm certain that if these things said above in scripture were said about a church in this hour, surely this church would have a "praise team", great musicians, singing all the latest choruses and songs. In fact, I know of a church just like this in our area. I've attended church there. It's an awesome place. If you want to be involved in meaningful ministry, it's the place to be in town. They are doing a lot of good things, outside the box. But I have difficulty finding a tender heart.

It's not that they intend to do God any dis-service. Not at all. They want to serve the Lord. They put thier activity where their mouth is and their finances as well. There are many young people in this church who are expending their energy in service to the Lord. So what's missing? Worship, from a humble and contrite spirit.

I guess I've always had a tender heart. I don't apologize for it. I did not design it or pick it out. It's just me, so there is nothing to boast of. But I've observed church folks for a long time. And I find that those who seem to be worshipping God the most loose sight of what's going on around them. I find that even the thickest skin is pricked in the presence of the Lord. I have seen the toughest of men fall on their face before Him and weep. In fact, I've seen over 500 pastors on their faces before God repenting. It was the most powerful service I've ever attended. The result? Worship.

See folks, if you get close to God, worship just happens. You cannot wait for Sunday or Wednesday. It's part of everything we do. The church of Ephesus was doing alot of great things. Their reputation in their community must have been outstanding. But what happened in the process was that they had left their first love, the love of God that results in worship.

If we are too busy to worship God....we are too busy. Now I'm not attempting to judge you, I dont' even know who will read this. So how could I judge you. But we all know that we have time for what is important to us. We have this priority list of activities that must get done, and then some things that we "want" to happen. We often invest large sums of money in these pursuits, many of which are outside what would be called church activity. Not bad, just not bible. Examples would be a "bass boat" or a "wardrobe". How about a "race car", or "decorating"? These are not bad things. We make time for them, and we often invest large somes of money in them. You dont' have lots of money? Ok. What about tv? Most people have a tv. So we sit and partake of others who invest large somes of money in thier pursuits. Lifestyles of the rich and famous. Life styles of the not so rich and famous. Everything from "COPS" to "Baseball". It's all there. Americans, even christians spend many hours a week before a tv set observing the activities of others doing things. Busy.
So you are really active in your church and dont' spend alot of time with things I mentioned above or something like them? Most of those things mentioned above were not around in the church of Ephesus. So it sounds like your are doing well. You are very active in your church? They were really active in their church too. There are people in this hour who are missing from their family almost every night of the week, doing church stuff. Very noble. God even approves, to a point. But where is the first love? Where are the worshippers.

In the temple of God built by Solomon, there were hundreds of worshippers. Worship was happening all the time. Is there worship happening all the time in God's temple today? Before you answer, be sure to remember that we are God's temple, not a building made by hands.

I have often thought how wonderful it would have been to approach Jerusalem in Solomon's day, perhaps late in the day. Most of the commercial activity has faded. Folks are home having supper. The city is quiet expect for the temple. Choirs were singing praises unto God. Worship. Day and night, night and day. Worship. First love. Holy God. Worthy of worship.

Do you know that God looks for worshippers? In fact, it is our created purpose in life, worship. Yet we are so busy, we have little or no time to worship. There is just too much to "do". "Sorry God, but I have taken on too many assignments." I don't even have time for myself anymore". "I do want to spend time with You Lord, but I just can't find the time". Beloved, we have time for what we want to do.
So where do we go from here? The messenger to the church of Ephesus gave a simple instruction to this wonderful church. Repent. Return to your first love.
Why am I writing this? If there was ever a man who had an indescribable and close encounter with our Holy God, it is me. I was so different, people could look at me and see it on my face. I was so different, so clean, so pure inside, it showed on the outside without me uttering a word. But with tears in my eyes, I tell you that it somehow faded.

Yes I love God so much. But there's something missing in me that longs for that time of my "first love". I want to go back to that place where my God so consumed my whole being that I was immersed in God. It's a place that I cannot take myself. Only God can take me there. I've asked Him too over and over again. I've had some experiences from time to time. But not equalling or exceeding my "first love". God is searching for worshippers, those who worship in spirit and in truth. With my mind, I want to worship God. It's on my mind day and night. But what is lacking is a manifestation of His presence, like the first time. I know by faith He is here, in me. But I want to experience Him. He knows I do. So I patiently wait. No, I don't. I occupy myself with other things while I wait. I'm busy.

 2005/6/26 8:31
Nellie
Member



Joined: 2004/4/5
Posts: 952


 Re: Busy, Busy, Busy.....are you?

I know what you mean.
I'm not at the place I want to be with God, either.
I think of Him, and long to fellowship with Him, continuly, I keep searching for more of Him.
He is the only One who can fill the deep longing in our souls.
I'm hungry for His Glory.

I hear people talk about a Holy Hush of His Presence.

I want Him to teach me what it means to have Him for my Bridegroom. Teach me how to be His bride.
To teach me how to be a wife, mother, grandmother,
and friend.

I'm thirsty for Him, and I know He won't disapoint me.

I pray Brother, that He will manifest Himself to you, in a very profound way, Today.

Good post.
God Bless you
Nellie :-)

 2005/6/26 15:21Profile
Joshua99
Member



Joined: 2005/5/19
Posts: 118
Austin Tx.

 Re: Busy, Busy, Busy.....are you?

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me saying: the church of Jesus Christ is distracted by so many things both in ministry and at home. We are being consumed by the cares of this world and our world that we live in. When our households are out of divine control, they in turn will control and enslave us. Where is seeking the Lord-early in the morning? Having our senses trained in Righteousness to discern good and evil? To study the Word of God to show us "Approved of God" rightly dividing the Word of Truth?? Sadly not even a few in my station in this Life. We need to become desperate for Christ , until the Morning Star arrises in our Hearts, to His Glory! Lately, I have been digging deeper into the Truth the psalmist delares " Deep calls to deep". I want -to want- Jesus more than anything that is offered in this life...period! I know brother you understand what I am talking about, We need to wrestle with God, until we recieve "THE BLESSING" from Heaven. If we search with all our hearts and and hold fast to His Word and Promises, soon we shall be rewarded for our diligence, from Our Gracious Heavenly Father!


_________________
Bryan

 2005/6/27 0:03Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Busy, Busy, Busy.....are you?

Ah, I love you Lahry

"See folks, if you get close to God, worship just happens."

Somehow to lay hold ... again.

Amen, to every word here.


_________________
Mike Balog

 2005/6/27 0:39Profile
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re: Busy, Busy, Busy.....are you?

Quote:
Worship. Day and night, night and day.


Lahry,

How good is your word brother...

Andrew Murray in his preface to "Waiting on God."

"Previous to my leaving home for England last year, I had been much impressed by the thought of how, in all our religion, personal and public, we need more of God. I had felt that we needed to train our people in their worship more to wait on God, and to make the cultivation of a deeper sense of His presence, of more direct contact with Him, of entire dependance on Him, a definite aim of our ministry...I saw that God's God's Spirit had been working the same desire in many hearts."

In this cyber-community there is such a pool of hunger and brokeness, that I find my self returning time and time again...if only to get my bearings once more. There are so many brothers and sisters here that humble me with their hunger and thirst for righteousness.

Dear brother Lahry, American Christianity as you note is not lazy or unmotivated...it is unbridaled, restless,...untempered. We are mustangs, mixed breeds of proud wild evangelicals, running about trying to swallow the rushing wind that comes down from the mountain ranges.

We are strong but we are as weak for we cannot be ridden...each of our movements promises something new---sweeping over the plains chasing the newest lead horse our herds could be a mighty force but we refuse to be yoked. Our energies are dissapated because we can not be corralled.

If only we could be halted and turned.

This week I was helping a local church with a downtown outreach. The large white tent was set up in the park next to the mission. We had electronic power point, outdoor amplification, and a top notch praise band. The speaker was annointed. Towards the end of the meeting the presence of God began to settle on the people...

Yet just as soon as the windows were open, the leadership closed the shutters and ended the meeting abruptly. I don't know what the reason was....maybe it was too hot in the summer swelter. We were already 30 minutes over schedule...a baby was crying...flies were buzzing...the people might complain about having to sit a little longer. Maybe the potluck was ready...

Lahry, souls like baby birds had their mouths open and the cat stole the mother. I packed up my silly keyboard, questioning my service to the whole endeavor. How wretched is praise that insists on it's own song. Still, how can I complain? If it wasn't this time, then surely other times I was wanting to move on with my plans for the day. I have been guilty of this very thing a thousand times.

Is it our fault? Have we conditioned our pastors to plan quick activities instead of the long hard work? Has our choosy faithfulness wore down the leaders...are they afraid to make us sweat just one more half hour on a perfectly good summer day?

I'm not mad or judgemental of anyone...just tired of running under the blue sky of "almost" and "if only."

Today, although I have Monday deadlines that will keep me up through the night, I stopped all my activity. I could not take a step further...The work will take care of itself. I sung. I prayed. I waited. I let my heart become a glass pool...In my stillness I saw the reflection of the Lord encouraging me to pray for our pastors.

I want to release them from the burden to entertain me, to excite me, and impress me. No more do I want them to feel from me that the sheep judge their performance every Sunday morning. Let's close our theaters, end the happy cavalcades, and learn to love silence without doubting our pastors.

Lord, let the thirst for revivals' rain be changed into a taste for Your bridale, even if we must travel into the desert. Let all that remain be a desire to know the living water of obedience. I know we will find Jacobs' well Lord, not that only I may drink...but that I may draw a cup of water for You. Forgive my chidish songs, my sentimental chords, my selfish romance, and let me know worship with every passing breath.

Better is one day in the masters stable then a thousand years under the blue sky of freedom.

MC


_________________
Mike Compton

 2005/6/27 1:21Profile









 Re: I am moved deep inside.....

...and it "is" worship.

Oh thank God beloved, for this internet. You are the only resource for quality fellowship that I have. Just late yesterday, I was in the shower and thinking, what would I be doing if there was no internet? What would all of you be doing?

Now I know that a strong and abiding relationship with God can exist without the internet. That's not what this is about. God has blessed us here beloved. I know when I read your posts that God moves in your hearts to touch and bless me, edify my soul, and give me strenght. You fill in "gaps" in my life. You do things I cannot do yet need so much for my spiritual health. By some miraculous ability beyond me He does the same for you through me at times. We are all in this together. Each part of His Body working together for the good of it all. No part is more or less important. Just love in a pool of different functions working for the common joy of knowing our God in a more initmate way.

All of you have just blessed me so today. Thank you.

After the message I typed was finished yesterday morning, I was so hungry for worship. So I visited a church that I used to be a part of the praise team there. I just desperately needed to be with some worshippers that I could worship together with. I mean anointed worshippers. So I went. They are so anointed. Sadly, the church is not overflowing with those who share and appreciate what God is doing through them. I had asked the Lord to provide them with a bass player. The piano player is very gifted and had been playing bass with his piano, along with playing the piano and making it sound wonderful. But lo and behold, God had sent a very talented bass player. I was so blessed. Just being with worshippers, who were really worshipping was such a blessing to me.

I simply cannot tolerate this "modern" fare of what is given to be worship. It may be entertaining to some, but it just does not move my spirit inside. I might just as well say it, it's nothing but noise to me. I'm sorry. I need reverent, spirit filled, worship. I need melody and lyric inspired by God, not by talent and gift. I want what comes directly from the talent and gift giver. Who knows most about the worship that our God desires than God Himself? Do you understand that nothing is hidden from our God? Do you understand that if it is within His wisdom to do so, He will show you what is hidden if only you ask Him?

I could tell you time after time when I would misplace something and call upon God, Who knew exactly where this thing was. Within moments, I would find what I was looking for. At one point in my life I did a lot of technical troubleshooting. When I'd get stuck, I'd just ask God to show me the problem and "boop" there it was. It is so easy for Him and He delights in showing us. He is able to lead us and guide us into all truth. So why not ask Him how to worship?

Why don't we all just get in one accord and ask Him to show us how to make this fellowship a glory unto God, that blesses God, each of us, and whosoeverwill come here led by God to be blessed? It is a delight unto our God. It edifies and encourages all saints. The light of His glory will dispel any darkness, so don't fret over that. Just get into the Light. Get into God and God will get into YOU! I said, ...(how can I write I said and be honest?) Get into God and God will get into YOU! God gave His Son, what more do you expect? What more do I expect? God is not the problem, we are!

So let us lay aside every weight of carnality, and move into abundant life. Oh God knows it is so difficult, dear saint. God knows that I am the weakest among you. My flesh is like the wild horses that Compton I believe it was who was giving such beautiful illustration. If it is not continually tied up, I'll be off to the bramble with burrs in my tail and rebellion in my heart.

The pastor yesterday morning preached on worship. He did a good job. It was like there was just what I needed to hear and be in the presence of. I know he loves the Lord. But then at the end he began to speak about a "business meeting" that the church must have last evening. I've been to these before. They are not spiritual. It's all about shaving the sheep until there is nothing left to shave but hide. How I wept in my heart. Good worship, good preaching and yuk!

So yes, thank you for saying so. We do need to pray for pastors. We also need to pray for people like Jakes, Copeland, Hinn, and so on. Oh that God would bring them into His presence, that they may walk in His light, and not their own. God honors prayer because true prayer honors God. It expresses our total dependency upon Him. He is like that. He is pleasured when we ask and He is able to move these mountains.

Ever notice how "suddenly" God does things. We think things are just never going to change, and then bam! We can hardly comprehend how quickly something will change and we know it's God through and through. Has that ever happened to you?

well, I'm just sitting here typing away without regard to subject or length. If I've lost you by now, I don't blame you. I'm not sure where I'm at either. lol.

But I know this, I want the abundant life God sent His Son to purchase for me. I want initmate relationship with our God. I want to be used by Him as He chooses to do His will for my life. I detest things that slow me down, even though I know He often ties my leg to a stake just to keep me from wondering off. Praise God. But in my spirit, when I listen to His voice in there, it's all about God. I want Him. If He continues to afford me breath in my body and strenght to my fingers, I will share my progress with you, and ask you to do me the same joy. I want to know what God is doing and saying in your heart. I need to know that. We all do.

Saints, it's not about position. It's not about office or authority. It's not about organization. It's about Body. We had nothing to do with how our bodies are "organized". The talents and gifs we have are all God given. The place in the body is all God's doing. So there is nothing to boast of. I'm not better than any man living, nor worse than the saint with the weakest faith. We are all in this together. If we will but be in one accord, I know the Spirit of the Lord will be set free to act in us, upon us, and through us to bring God glory, honor, and praise. Let us seek Him first, and His righteousness, while there is yet just a little more time to do so.

In the wonder of Him,

Lahry

 2005/6/27 8:30





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