Hard to believe that it's already July in this "new year!" I've heard other people say that the older you get the quicker time passes and I'm finding that to be true!
Our topic for this month is "forward" and how appropriate that is - especially after we focused on "joy" last month. Out of joy, it's time to move forward! We collectively need to shake the dust off our sandals, from those who haven't greeted us with peace, and continue on the journey. I see so many people still stuck in a rut that they landed in the last two years. All I want to do is drive over to them, ask them to hop in the joy wagon, and let's move on down the road together. But although many people say they want to move forward, not many are taking active steps to actually start moving. My heart breaks for God's children!
I had someone ask me recently "aren't you being hard on churches, it sounds like judgement." So I sat with the Lord and had a discussion with Him about it. Thankfully this person did the biblical thing, approaching me in private to discuss, and it was my job to listen to what they had to say, and without responding to them immediately, I paused to take time and take it to the Lord. As I sat with the Lord, His Holy Spirit asked me a question back (in true Jesus fashion right, always answering a question with a question!) He said "what is the health of the church?" And because I long for church unity, I follow many churches on social media along with their most outspoken congregants. So I did some honest research before I answered the Lord, along with looking at statistics that each denomination puts out about themselves each year. And unfortunately, many churches are not healthy and here's what I mean:
Many people attending church are going because they feel hopeless, broken, or burned out.
Out of those feeling the feelings listed above, 90% of those people have been attending the same church for over 6 months.
As I started reaching out to that demographic, as listed above, not one person had been contacted by their pastor in regards to care or resources. In addition, the church wasn't responding to the growing crisis within itself; support groups to help you move out of the place your at.
And statistics show twice as many churches have closed their doors permanently than ones who have opened, which actually started before 2020.
There's so much more, but we'll just stop there for today...
So as I sat with the Lord, I said "Lord, your churches aren't healthy because it's been about maintaining the building instead of the people." And I heard His Holy Spirit say "you haven't been in judgement, you've been reporting facts out of concern." (Insert my crying emojis here!)
The longer I sat with the Lord, the more I could understand His broken heart about His church. He's coming back for ONE church, not one denomination. He wants His church unified, He wants His church healthy. As we are all supposed to be attached to the Vine, we get our nutrients from the Vine, so we will be healthy. But as we look at many churches who aren't in good health, obviously they aren't attached to the Vine because they aren't getting their nutrients.
In this week's podcast, you can listen here, I shared a specific story about seminaries closing and what one women said about it. And that sums it up - we have a faith issue. As a corporate body of Christ followers, we are lacking the faith to actually follow the ways of Christ. And when we are cut off from the Vine, it's only a matter of time until we start to wither away because we aren't attached to our Source. And even in the midst of church closing, some Christians are still turning a blind eye to it all. Answers vary as to why, except for the obvious answer - not caring for people and leaving out God's Holy Spirit (which is the Power and Change.) As believers, this should shake us all. We need to care about the Bride of Christ!
It doesn't really matter what is happening in the world. It doesn't really matter how advanced society gets. God will still always be God and His people are called to continue to move forward. God's children have a duty to God to take a stand for Him. And when we do, then He takes a stand for us! If a church is spiritually healthy, and bearing good fruit, God will not allow it to close. Period. God is God and will ALWAYS provide for His children. Our God is a supernatural God that has the habit of making way where and when humans don't see the way. Churches closing have nothing to do about money - God has limitless resources. But when a church looks to money to stay open instead of looking to God to provide, it's a faith issue. Both Old and New Testaments show us that we are to look to God FIRST. And we are called to have faith in what our Holy Scripture says and know without a doubt that it is true.
As a body of believers we have lost our faith and that has kept us in place, stuck, and we can't move forward. Yet... with just a mindset shift of believing that God is Who He says He is, and placing our faith in Him, it can change in an instant! It's that simple, it truly is! We have story after story in our Bible as examples. And I have seen it so many times in my own life! I know others who also have amazing testimonies of God moving and turning the "impossible" into a reality. As a Christ follower, we are called to believe in the truth of scripture, and scripture clearly states "ALL things are possible with God" and we see how God has demonstrated it.
As believers, we serve an AWESOME Supernatural God Who lacks for nothing and can do anything. Let's start exercising our faith! Let's put our faith into practice and watch how God shows up for His children Who believe in Him! Our faith will ALWAYS move us forward in any circumstance, despite the world around us, because we serve a God Who has promised to move mountains for us. Let's live like we know that to be true!
If you are a woman, who feels unseen, neglected, or even stuck then I encourage you to get plugged into a community of women who's ready to stretch your faith so you can move forward again and never look back. Trumpets of Tirzah is raising up an army of women who have a mighty faith and laugh at fear. To see when our next event is, click here.