Category Archives: Church

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

time, clock, DaliLast time, I wrote about a dream I had concerning the Church. Here is one more, with a different message:

In the dream, I woke up on the day I was supposed to have eye surgery at the hospital on the north side of our city. The surgery appointment time was 7:05. I looked at the clocks in our kitchen, and the one on the wall said 6:15. The microwave clock said 6:30. I panicked, thinking I didn’t have enough time, no matter which clock was right. And I still had to take a shower.

I asked my husband Paul what time it really was, but he didn’t seem to know. My mom changed the clock on the microwave to 7:30, thinking that was the correct time. When I pointed out the error to her, she laughed and said she would change it again. But nobody seemed to know what time it really was.

I became overwhelmed as I realized I might not have enough time for a shower before my appointment. But I was going to try anyway. I now discovered I didn’t have my clothes ready, either. They were stuffed tightly in my purse, and I couldn’t seem to get them out. I poured powdered laundry detergent into the purse, all over the clothes, and then realized I had now made a huge mess of them. The dream ended with my dad trying to help me fix the situation.

Whew! How would you like to have stress like that going on? And what does it all mean?

Here are the main points I understand: A critical event is looming on the horizon, there isn’t much time, and nobody seems to understand what time it really is.

I believe the dream is speaking of the return of Jesus for His Church, and we are not ready.

I had an appointment for eye surgery at the north side hospital. “North” often speaks of heaven, where God is.  At the appointed time, we will see Jesus as He is. We will see clearly.

1 John 3:2, 3“… But we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure.” (Note that I desperately wanted to get that shower in!)

1 Corinthians 13:12“For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know even as also I am known.”

While nobody in the house seemed to know what time it really was, I was keenly aware that the time available was extremely short — maybe shorter than we thought.  I didn’t know if I had enough time to get ready, but it seemed like I probably did not.

I am not sure if the numbers I saw on the clocks had deeper meanings, but this is what I did understand from them:

7:05 — The appointed time has been set.
6:15 — The time is very short before that appointment.
6:30 — The time is even shorter than we thought.
7:30 — Some people are totally off on the timing, expecting the appointment to take place much later than when it actually will.

My mom mistakenly set the clock for later than the appointment time. Some Christians are putting the time of Jesus’ return off with their prophecies and theology, not realizing that their idea of when Jesus will return is actually after the appointed time God has set.

In the dream, I felt very unprepared and not clean, and I wanted desperately to remedy that, but I was trying to do it in my own strength. I couldn’t lay hold of my clothes. Sprinkling dry laundry detergent over them sounds a lot like our human efforts to spruce ourselves up outwardly, but inwardly we’re still a mess — and our Father in heaven is there, trying to assist us with this, just as my father in the dream tried to help me.

Yet, we do have a part to play in getting ready. Revelation 19:7 comments, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”

So, is the dream saying we cannot possibly be ready when Jesus comes? No, it is a warning to wake up and understand what time it is. The appointed time for His coming for His bride is sooner than we may have realized.  We need to make adjustments now.  Jesus is returning for a beautiful bride, who is “without spot or wrinkle … holy, and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27). While we can’t clean ourselves up by human effort (Ephesians 5:26 says Jesus sanctifies and cleanses us by the washing of the water of the Word), we do need to cooperate with Him by listening and obeying.

He’s coming sooner  than we think. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him (Luke 12:40, NIV). We don’t want to end up like the five foolish virgins in Matthew 25.

How do we make sure we are ready? Come to the Lord for cleansing. Each of us knows the areas of compromise in our lives which need to go. We must lay aside whatever distracts us from the Lord. Seek His face, call on His name for a fresh love for Him, and eagerly look for Him. He is coming for those who “love His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8). “Unto those who look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:28).

In the dream, the time of the eye appointment was 7:05. Let me finish with Psalm 70:5: “But I am poor and needy; make haste unto me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer. O Lord, make no tarrying.

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dream interpretation

 

 

Hearing God Through Your Dreams,
Audio teaching by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

 

personal prophecy

 

 

The Spirit-Filled Guide to Personal Prophecy,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

A Dream About the Church

vanToday, I’d like to share a recent dream, which I feel is about something currently happening in the family of God.

For most of the dream, I was acting as an observer.  I saw my daughter sitting in the driver’s seat of my van, and she seemed to be stalled. Pulled up alongside of her in another car was a well-known actor of bygone days. He was someone who had done several TV series on occult or paranormal themes. He was smiling graciously at her while advising her on how to get the van running.

He told her to put water in the gas tank. In her ignorance, she trusted that he was really trying to help her, so she did as he said. I knew she had just ruined the van.

At this point, I left my observer position. I hurried behind the actor’s car with a pad of paper and pen to write down his license plate number, so I could turn him in to the authorities. But then I heard him chuckling about what he had duped my daughter into doing. He was also laughing at me for thinking I could turn him in. I suddenly realized that, because he had not personally poured the water into the gas tank, but had fooled my daughter into doing it to herself, there would be no case against him in a court of law.

My interpretation:

Vans and cars usually represent a person’s life or ministry. Vans lean more toward meaning ministry in my dreams.

I felt that the actor represented the devil (perhaps also evil or deceived people he works through). Actors play roles which are not their real selves, so here was a man who was pretending to be nice and to give sound advice, but his intentions were entirely evil. He preyed upon the ignorance and innocence of my daughter.

My daughter represented younger people in the faith, either biological or spiritual sons and daughters. She blindly believed someone was trying help her, just because that’s what he wanted her to think. She did not discern the source of the information she received. Hence, she ruined the van by following his evil advice. This was due to extreme ignorance in basic car care, too.

My daughter watered down the fuel. We cannot mix the pure fuel of the Word and of the Holy Spirit with other substances. We need to stick with what the Bible says and not adulterate it. This is a trap many Christians fall into. They absorb  secular, humanistic thoughts, opinions, and advice, not discerning the unholy sources from which they are coming. They end up thinking and living just like non-Christians, even ruining their own lives by following beliefs and tactics which are not from God. They can’t even pin it on the enemy, because they do it to themselves through ignorance of the truth and lack of discernment. An absence of prayer and reading the Bible are major reasons for this ignorance and inability to discern.

Meanwhile, the devil is enjoying deceiving God’s people, thereby rendering them ineffective and even ruining their lives.

I noted that my daughter was not able to get my van going in the first place; it was already at a standstill. The evil advice she took just finished the job. I felt this was saying that in our families and in the Church, we hand our ministries over to the next generation without equipping them to know how to drive them.

What is the solution? 

Those of us who are older and/or leaders in the family of God must train our sons and daughters (both biological and spiritual) in the fundamentals of the faith, the Bible, and in discernment, so that they are not duped into thinking evil is good, “lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices”  (2 Corinthians 2:11). We must emphasize the importance of daily prayer and time in the Word as well. The generations behind us will not be able to keep the kingdom of God, or their own personal lives as believers, moving forward without these things.

In our churches, we must also realize that we cannot water down or compromise the “living fuel” of the Word from the pulpit. Our gospel must be centered on Jesus, rather than on a me-istic message of personal success.

Do you have any further thoughts to add? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

_________________________

dream interpretation

 

 

 

Hearing God Through Your Dreams,
Audio Teaching by Lee Ann Rubsam

Self-Help Christian Living

self-help solutions“Seven Reasons You Don’t Get Healed.” “Ten Steps to Personal Success (and Why You’re Not There Yet).” “Eight Reasons Your Prayers Are Not Answered.”

Do these titles sound in any way familiar? Christian teachers preach and write on topics such as these a lot. They start by telling us how we’re doing it all wrong and then offer us the alternative solutions they’ve discovered. Some of us become hopelessly overwhelmed — first, by the extent of our revealed failure, and second, by the myriads of steps we must take to fix ourselves. We feel tempted to cry out in despair, “Why should I even try? I’ll be sure to do something wrong to keep me from receiving what I need from God anyway! Why does it have to be so hard???!!!”

The truth is, the message presented by many of these teachers is basically flawed. It is a humanistic, self-help approach, just like the secular world churns out. Based on following methods and formulas (backed up with a smattering of isolated Bible verses, of course), it is all about depending on yourself, not on God. You determine your own destiny by either doing all the stuff right or doing it wrong. Mess up? Too bad. You should have followed the game plan laid out by Christian Expert So-and-So.

The true Bible message, however, is quite the opposite. We are to depend, not on ourselves, but on Jesus. Consider what our Lord said in Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” It’s like a fresh, revitalizing breeze washing over you, isn’t it?

Ever since the Garden of Eden, the devil has been whispering to mankind, “You can have all the knowledge for yourself. You can be like God.” It was an invitation then to rebellious independence, and the message has not changed. It has only been repackaged by well-meaning Christian teachers and sometimes backed up with Bible verses which make it seem right. Meanwhile, the Lord has been calling to us, “You can’t do it yourself. You never could. Come to Me, and depend on Me. I want to help you.”

The deception is in putting a formula first, with a dash of God thrown in. The truth is in making relationship with the Unlimited One our foremost priority and then letting Him lead us. He wants to show His might on our behalf, to override our weakness with His strength as we walk through life’s difficulties with our hand in His.

The Pharisees of old made it difficult for their listeners to enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 23:13). Likewise, some Christian teachers today are hindering God’s children from entering into a joyful, victorious life by placing the emphasis on ourselves, rather than on Jesus. Perhaps 2 Corinthians 11:3 is an appropriate verse for us to freshly apply: “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity which is in Christ.”

“The simplicity which is in Christ.” Let’s remember that.

My next post will be an extension of these thoughts. We’ll talk about some current teaching on intercession which I find troubling, and how we can receive answers to our prayers without striving in the flesh.

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inner peace

 

 

All-Surpassing Peace in a Shaking World,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

Bible studies

 

 

River Life: Entering into the Character of Jesus,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

What Should the Church Look Like? (Part 8) — Conclusion

balanced churchWe started this series by looking at what “church” (ekklesia) means — a called-out assembly. We are called out of the darkness of this world into God’s family and kingdom, not as individuals only, but as a united body of believers, meant to live and carry out our purpose together.

I also gave you a core job description: The Church is the expression of Jesus Christ upon the earth.

Throughout the series, I emphasized that healthy church life means we function as the family of God. When we forget that we are family, some of the other components of who we are — an army, discipleship center, or even a house of prayer — can get out of whack. But if we stay in the context of family, the many purposes God has for His Church work beautifully together. When we overemphasize one aspect of the Church to the exclusion of others, we become like a wheel out of round, or one missing some spokes, but properly balancing who we are and what we are supposed to do causes us to thrive.

There is one more element of the Church that I would like to mention. Really, I’ve saved the best for last:

We are Christ’s bride.

It is definitely a “now, but not yet” part of who we are. We are betrothed to our Bridegroom Jesus, but the wedding celebration will not take place until He returns for us. While we wait for Him, we are in a two-fold preparation time. We are already spotless in the sense that we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ, blameless and pure through His atonement for us at the cross. But Jesus is also bringing us through a wedding preparation process, “that He might sanctify and cleanse [His bride] with the washing of water by His Word, so that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:26, 27).

We have our role to play as well. Just as an earthly bride goes through much preparation to look her most beautiful on her wedding day, we are to give great attention to readying ourselves for Jesus. Revelation 19:7 says of the marriage supper in heaven, “for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”

In this present hour, the Lord is doing His part to cleanse His Church, even sometimes through the painful, public exposure of sin. We must do ours as well, in setting aside every encumbrance, every distraction, which would keep us from looking eagerly for our Bridegroom to come for us. We must get our attention off the temporary pursuits and cares of earth, and firmly fix our gaze on Jesus. He is coming. Let us be eagerly anticipating Him.

Summing things up:

The expression of love, mercy, and compassion should always be prominent in the Church. We carry out the practical functions to which we are called as Christ’s body on earth, but forever in the context of these three attributes. This is why the Spirit led the apostle Paul to insert “the love chapter” (1 Corinthians 13) between the the gifts and church order chapters (1 Corinthians 12 and 14).

We must also remember that our Sunday morning services are only a slice of what it means to be the Church. If that is all we ever experience, we are missing out on a great deal. The early Church not only met together in large gatherings; they met “house to house” informally, eating and fellowshipping with one another (Acts 2:46), receiving teaching (Acts 20:20), and praying together (Acts 12:12) too. We can do the same in our day. They also lived out the life of Christ in the world around them, including showing forth the power of God through miracles, signs, and wonders, which are supposed to “follow those who believe” (Mark 16:17). “For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power” (1 Corinthians 4:20).

I hope you have enjoyed this series and that it has provoked some new ideas for you. I would love hearing any additional thoughts you have!

What Should the Church Look Like? (Part 1)
Part 2 — We Are Family
Part 3 — We Are One Body
Part 4 — We Are an Army
Part 5 — We Are a House of Prayer and Worship
Part 6 — We Are a Healing Center
Part 7 — Other Church Attributes

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nature of God

 

 

Before Whom We Stand: The Everyman’s Guide to the Nature of God
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

Christian character

 

River Life: Entering into the Character of Jesus,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

intercession, prayer

 

 

The Intercessor Manual,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

 

What Should the Church Look Like? (Part 7) — Other Attributes of the Church

Supreme Court buildingWe’ve talked about the Church being a family, a body, an army, a house of prayer and worship, and a healing center. Here are a few other attributes of the Church which should not be neglected.

 

The Church is a governing body upon earth.

We carry out our governing function in a couple of ways. One is by bringing the power and presence of God with us wherever we go.

We are meant to influence and bring change in our world through our words and actions. We are “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20), meaning that what Jesus did to demonstrate the Kingdom of God, we do also. Jesus “went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:38); we do likewise. He spoke light and truth; we are to do the same. Jesus said of His disciples, “You are the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world”“a city set on a hill [that] cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:13, 14). Paul worded it, God “makes manifest by us the savor of His knowledge in every place” (2 Corinthians 2:15). So, we govern by bringing the Lord’s kingdom to our world in how we do life.

Each of us can do this in the process of going about our daily occupations. But in order to be as effective as possible, we should stay aware that this is why we have been placed by God in our particular spheres of influence. We must not miss our opportunities!

The second way we govern on earth is through prayer. In Matthew 18:18, 19, Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them by My Father Who is in heaven.”

In his book, Secrets of a Prayer Warrior, Derek Prince said this: “The Bible reveals that this world is not really ruled by presidents and governors and dictators. They only seem to rule. The people who really rule the world are those who know how to pray.” We need to grasp this idea and run with it!

Our governing function is carried out both individually and as a church body. While each of us should be an ambassador and a prayer warrior, when we join together in unity with other believers, our effectiveness is greatly multiplied. Corporate governing as a body ties in with what we already saw in Part 4 about the Church being an army. No man fights a war all by himself.

Ultimately, we will physically govern on earth with Christ when He returns (and we with Him) for His millennial reign as King. The governing we do now is a seed, a foretaste of what is to come.

discipleshipThe Church is a center for discipleship.

What did Jesus tell His disciples before He left earth? “Go, therefore, and teach [make disciples of] all nations… teaching them to observe all things which I have commanded you….” (Matthew 28:19, 20).

Paul called this discipleship “the perfecting [equipping] of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ, until we all come, in the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, into maturity, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we are no longer children, tossed to and fro, carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery and cunning craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Ephesians 4:12-14).

Some of our local churches are fulfilling the discipleship function well. However, based on the amount of serious doctrinal error which has become commonplace in the Church today, apparently many of our churches are not getting the job done. In Charismatic / prophetic / apostolic circles, we often focus on “equipping the saints” in how to do the supernatural works of Jesus, but we have neglected to lay the firm foundation of the core doctrines taught by the original New Testament apostles. Indeed, we have neglected teaching the Bible as a whole. On the other hand, in fundamentalist / non-Charismatic streams, there is often a great adherence to Bible teaching, while not emphasizing pursuing intimacy with Jesus Himself. As you can see, the Church needs a lot of improvement in the discipleship area!

The discipleship function can be worked out in a variety of ways. The Word of God should be preached from our pulpits (in many cases, this is not happening as it should). Home Bible studies and Bible classes within the local church can further enhance the work. One-on-one discipleship, with mature believers mentoring newer Christians, is just as vital as what we receive through sermons and structured teaching.

I personally believe we should see more teaching from the Bible on God’s nature. If we understand Who He is and how He acts, we can then apply that understanding to develop Christlike character in our own lives. Too many believers in our day have little understanding of either God’s nature or how to live like Jesus. These things can be taught systematically, however.

It is a large task, and may seem overwhelming, but each of us can do our part by being connected into a local fellowship where true discipleship is taking place, and by being willing to disciple others who are just beginning their life in Christ.

In our next post, we’ll wrap up this series with one more aspect of who the Church is and a few final thoughts.

What Should the Church Look Like? (Part 1)
Part 2 — We Are Family
Part 3 — We Are One Body
Part 4 — We Are an Army
Part 5 — We Are a House of Prayer and Worship
Part 6 — We Are a Healing Center
Next: Part 8 (Conclusion)

________________________________________

nature of God

 

 

Before Whom We Stand: The Everyman’s Guide to the Nature of God
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

Christian character

 

River Life: Entering into the Character of Jesus,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

intercession, prayer

 

 

The Intercessor Manual,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

What Should the Church Look Like? (Part 6) — We Are a Healing Center

healingJesus is the Healer, and He has commissioned us to labor with Him in that capacity, because “…as [Jesus] is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17).

Jesus commissioned His disciples, in Matthew 10:7, 8, “And as you go, preach, saying, ”The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons; freely you have received, now freely give.”

We are His ambassadors, so we should be doing the same things He did. Indeed, He said we would: “Truly, Truly, I say to you, He who believes on Me, the works that I do, he shall do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to my Father” (John 14:12).

We all love miraculous healing stories, whether in the Bible or in modern times, don’t we? While we’re excited and delighted to see people healed instantly, some healing takes a long time — especially inner healing. Yet I have heard it said, time and again, by multiple preachers, “The church is not supposed to be a hospital!” Ahem. Yes, it is.

If you travel in apostolic circles, you are probably having fits with me about now. Because, most likely you are into hosting spiritual boot camps to equip the saints for battle, right? But let’s think this through a bit.

You want a harvest of souls, don’t you? What kind of world do we have around us? One full of hurting, traumatized people. More than half come from broken homes. At least one in four has been a victim of sexual abuse. Still others have suffered other types of physical or emotional abuse. Some are refugees and have lived through the greatest atrocities imaginable in their home countries. Some have tried to commit suicide because they can’t deal with the pain anymore.

Now tell me the Church is not supposed to be a hospital! What are you going to do with them once you have brought them to Jesus, if you won’t provide a place of healing for them within the Church? Will you just push them through boot camp and out to the battlefield?

And what about Christians who once were healthy, but now are not? Should we just ignore their hurt, perhaps write them off as unfit? Do we pressure them to pretend everything is all right, when it is not? Or should we instead be compassionate enough to be an active part of their healing process, realizing with a heart of humility that any of us could also experience a stretch of life where we aren’t in top form?

That’s my human reasoning, but let’s look at what the Bible says about it. “We, then, who are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak and not to please ourselves” (Romans 15:1). Jesus bound up the brokenhearted (Isaiah 61:1). “A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking flax shall He not quench, until He sends forth judgment to victory” (Isaiah 42:3; Matthew 12:20).

Realizing that the Church should be a healing center — including a “hospital,” if you will — doesn’t mean that we let people sit around and lick their wounds for the rest of their lives. The whole purpose of doctors and hospitals is to get people well, so they can lead healthy lives when possible. Indeed, healing people of emotional wounds is an element of equipping the saints — because part of healing is giving them the tools to stay well and strong, so that they can go out there and make a difference in God’s kingdom.

I think that might be a worthy reason to think the Church should be a hospital. How about you?

What Should the Church Look Like? (Part 1)
Part 2 — We Are Family
Part 3 — We Are One Body
Part 4 — We Are an Army
Part 5 — We Are a House of Prayer and Worship
Next: Part 7 — Other Attributes of the Church

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healing

 

God’s Word on Healing
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

Christian encouragement

 

 

Encouragement from God’s Word
by Lee Ann Rubsam

What Should the Church Look Like? (Part 5) — We Are a House of Prayer and Worship

church worshipMy pastor often said God’s desire for the local church is that we be a house of prayer, which thereby becomes a house of His presence, which results in us becoming a house of power.

Isaiah 56:7, 8 is often used to describe the house of prayer function of the local church: “Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: … for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all people. The Lord GOD Who gathers the outcasts of Israel says, ‘Yet will I gather others to Him [the Messiah, Jesus] besides those who are gathered to Him.'”

In context, these verses are about the temple in Jerusalem during the time of Jesus’ millennial reign upon the earth. They speak of God joining Jew and Gentile together in united adoration of Jesus.

Communion with God through prayer and worship, both individually and corporately, is one of the central themes throughout both the Old and New Testaments. The apostle Paul said we are to rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, [and] in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

The early church took corporate prayer quite seriously. One hundred twenty disciples gathered together in the upper room, waiting according to Jesus’ instructions for the coming of the Holy Spirit. What did they do while they waited? “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication” (Acts 1:14).

In Acts 4:24-31, with the threat of persecution hanging over them, together they cried out for the Lord to give them boldness to preach the Gospel with healing, signs, and wonders following. Their prayer was answered. The Lord responded by physically shaking the place where they were gathered, filling them all afresh with the Holy Spirit, and giving them the boldness they had desired of Him.

When Peter was in prison awaiting execution, his situation looked hopeless, “but prayer was made without ceasing by the church to God for him” (Acts 12:5). In response to their prayers, Peter was supernaturally released from prison by an angel. We know that this was not only individual prayer going on, because Peter then went to one of the homes “where many were gathered together praying” (Acts 12:12).

Jesus gave us an encouraging glimpse into what can be accomplished through group prayer in Matthew 18:19, 20: “…If two of you shall agree on earth touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father Who is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

Worship is a vital function of any house of prayer. In John 4:23, 24, Jesus said, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

True worship is not an activity we engage in just because it is part of the “order of service.” It is not a preliminary to get through so we can move on to the sermon. It is not a set of songs calculated to stir our souls because of the catchy beat or the excellent abilities of the worship team. Many churches engage in praise at that soul level, never getting to true worship, which brings heart intimacy with the Lord. But if we do focus on the Lord, worshiping Him from the heart, it draws Him to manifest His presence among us in ways wherein we know we have touched God. Indeed, those of us who have tasted of His presence find it hard to be content with anything less thereafter.

While prayer and heartfelt worship are not the only things which the Church is meant to do, if we are to be the people God intended, we must shift worship away from being an entertainment activity back to that true worship of the heart in our gatherings. And, we must turn prayer from a lukewarm, obligatory part of our services to something we look forward to with expectancy, having faith that God will answer us. I am so encouraged that this change is already beginning to take place in many church gatherings around the world. I believe the momentum will continue to build, and as a result, God will release powerful miracles through His people. House of prayer > house of presence > house of power.

Keep in mind that prayer and worship don’t have to happen only in a Sunday morning service, either. They can be accomplished by meeting at other times during the week, even in homes. A prayer movement is arising throughout the world. Some of these gatherings are connected with particular local churches, but many are not. They don’t have to be. The Church is not confined to official buildings. It is present in power wherever God’s people gather, formally or informally. Perhaps God is even calling you to lead a home prayer group. If so, my book, House of Prayer ~ House of Power, can help you get started.

Next time, we’ll talk about the local church as a healing center.

What Should the Church Look Like? (Part 1)
Part 2 — We Are Family
Part 3 — We Are One Body
Part 4 — We Are an Army
Next: Part 6 — We Are a Healing Center

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start a prayer group

 

 

House of Prayer ~ House of Power,
by Lee Ann Rubsam