Against the Grain Part 1

ATG_Definition_1

Against the Grain Part 1

So what is it that transforms the church into a place where life happens, transformation happens and natural growth happens?  We are that transformation…or at least it happens through us.  Part of this is a focus on the priority of the church and that is Christ and Christ alone.  I know we all have great programming and great abilities but if the church takes a step back it will see that the focus on Christ will change more hearts and minds. It will change things way more than great vision or mission statements, more than programming and even more than money in the bank. 

This is not an easy thing to do but what is it that the church is in a desperate need of and what is it that has caused other great churches to grow and flourish?  It is a focus on the Almighty.  The leaders can have the best set of plans, been to all the training or conferences in the world and unless the church and its leaders are in a place where the focus starts on their knees and asking God to move in the church and those in the church then the church will lose the importance of the Gospel message. Growth beyond any threshold (100, 200, 300 etc.) will stall or not even happen until the priority is in place.

2 Chronicles 7:14-15 says this; “4 …if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.” 

I keep hearing this resounding sound of the first part…”if.”  If my people.  In this we are called to do multiple things.  It all starts around the call of humility.  We are not greater than anyone around us, we are not greater than anything in this world, in fact the Gospel calls for us to be less.  My HE increase so that I may decrease.  Be humble, pray, seek HIS face, and turn (repent).  Amazingly this is the call or honestly the cry out to the church.  It is a call to get back to the roots of seeing Christ as the greatest and biggest thing in this life and in our own churches.  Then it is a time to seek the face of Christ and pray.  If the church can’t do this, then the church will not succeed in the calling that has been placed upon it.

Verse 14 then continues with the word “then.”  “Then” God will hear from heaven, “then” He will forgive their sin, “then” He will heal their land.  I love the ‘then” statement but that statement can’t happen until the “if” things are in a process of motion.  Verse 15 then states “NOW” My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.  What a great promise to the church once it beings to take the focus off itself and to a place where it focuses on the priority.  It is a season and a time to focus on Christ, hit our knees, repent of our selfish ways, seek HIS face and let’s change the world for the name of Jesus.

 

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