“The LORD has told you what is good, and this is what He requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (Isaiah 6:8).
I think it is obvious, the society we live in has become very self-centered. And I contend, this same characteristic has become quite present in the church.
Martin Luther once said, “I am more afraid of my OWN heart, than of the Pope and all his cardinals. For I have within me – the greatest of popes – self.”
You see, whenever a local body of believers develops an inward focus, where their ‘me’ becomes more than His ‘He,’ the effectiveness of that church, for His Kingdom, is greatly hindered, if not abruptly halted.
You know, it is sad for me, but this happens more than most want to admit. I have found that many believing Christians want more of the cozy and comfortable, than commitment and sacrifice. It seems a lot of what church has become gets defined by a nice sermon, familiar songs, fellowship with a few friends, and having their needs met. But God never intended for the gathering of His people to be like a country club; He calls us to join an army, an army that will bring the gospel into a very hostile enemy camp. Jesus told us, “Let your light shine in the darkness” (2 Corinthians 4:6) – and my friends, we are living in a dark world (Luke 10:2-3).
Thus, an effective, God-fearing church – a church that poses a real threat to the enemy – is a body of discipled people, who have been taught the truth of God’s Word, desire maturity in Christ, and thus, always take action for the sake of a person’s eternal life. However, for this to be accomplished, God’s people must go out into the world, they cannot become a self-contained sanctuary of personal comfort.
Listen, the urgency of the Lord’s command, and the desperate condition of humanity, should motivate us to leave the safety of our Christian fellowships and deliver His message of salvation through Jesus Christ to a dying world around us. How could we do anything less than that?
Avoiding this, repelling from it, means we will miss the Father’s plan for our lives, and the opportunity to be part of building His kingdom.
Here is what I know, God has called us to such a life, a life of adventurous obedience. He did not consider anything less.
So, let us answer this call, commit to what He commands (Matthew 28:19) and experience precisely what it means to be His church.