There’s a reason why the alarm sounds and bells are usually nasty to the ear ! Be they the clock alarm , the ambulance or fire alarms, the sounds they make usually annoy us , disturb us , to the point of disturbing our status quo as we receive their helpful but annoying message . But yes, they’re designed to exactly do that for a good reason !
Today’s devotion could be a nasty alarm to some of us, because these aren’t the stuff we are used to in our set ups. Yes , with three fingers pointing directly at myself and our local church , and maybe , maybe only one or none pointing at you and your local church , join me in receiving and meditating upon this message ;
Most of our old and mainstream christian religious set ups had long ago had their spiritual death. They’re left with loads of shells of rituals that don’t impact or transform the masses they herd ! Though boasting in their old heritage , their old and strong systems and structures , their political and community influence, evidently most of them are herding their masses to slow , simple but sure spiritual destruction. Yes, to sure spiritual destruction ! Before I get the first stone from their adherents , I quickly shift !
The Pentecostal movement itself, which began early in the 20th century, has faded in its spiritual authenticity, power, meaning and right influence . It is now just another denomination. Over time, it has mutated to something else . The once glorious Charismatic Renewal is now compromised by money , power , fame and is in serious decline.
It has been ‘bought out’ in part by the ‘self’ movement and turned into a multi-billion motivational religi-business. Pop psychology mixed with quasi-religious hype is now the main church business. And their bazaars have been set up right inside the church. This is to our shame.
The message concerning self sacrifice and the Way of the cross has been considered “negative” by the religious salesmen of our time. And blood covenant Christianity has been quietly and gradually taken out of our baskets of religious wares. What we now see being served up to us is a lukewarm mess of ecumenical pottage. This is far less than our ‘high calling in Christ’.
The charismatic revival was wonderful fresh breeze in its time. But now the once great revival has been repackaged for sale to the masses in the religious markets of mammon ( money).
Holiness has gone out of the window. And faithfulness to the Holy Scriptures is now considered dispensable in lieu of the ‘prophetic revelations’ coming to us through our special new “five fold” anointed “apostles” and “prophets” and recently ” spiritual mums and dads”.
Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would be sent to come to us. But He has been grieved. The One who is sent to us to be our Comforter and Guide, even the Spirit of Truth. But His Presence is not as evident in our services as He once was. Yes, we can theologically explain this fact away.
The result of all these are also as evident ; near total spiritual deadness in “western” churches and shallow but attractive spirituality in Africa and similar areas. All leading to ” having a form of godliness but denying the power therein “.
But all is not lost. God always has remnants . Above all , Jesus loves His bride the Church, He will revive his true Church again and again !
So we join the Psalmist in praying for revival;
Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth.
Stir up your might And come to save us.
Turn again, O God of hosts:
Look down from heaven, and see; Have regard for this vine.
Restore us, O LORD God of hosts!
Let your face shine, that we may be saved. Psalms 80