Updated: Jan 30
June 23, 2012 For many years I have listened to the heart felt cry of believers who long for more of God's presence. When this cry first came to my ears it was in the early 1980's. Now close to 40 years later...I am heart broken to admit, that I am still hearing that same cry today. Many of God's people are unfulfilled with their worship and disheartened with churches due to agendas, pastors and leaders dominating meetings, and the basic needs of God's people not being met. Yes pastors and leaders listen up... People are not hungry for agendas, more teachings, or...what you think you need to preach. The people of God are hungry for the very presence of God Himself!! Why is it that so many people do not care to attend churches? Believe it or not, it's not about them not wanting to serve God. It's about the serious lack of the presence of God within the churches. Why are so many Christians running here and there to various churches and having a hard time being devoted to just one fellowship? They are hungering for the very presence of God. I hear many "talk" about desiring more of God...but there also MUST be a willingness to "walk the talk" and give up everything that has been hindering our progress in attaining...More of Him. The Lord has sent me to many churches over the years that have been asking Him for more of His presence and His glory. I get there...and they are praying fervently, crying out ot God, calling down Heaven...but when it comes to giving up things that are hindering and quenching the Spirit...many times there is an unwillingness to repent and make the necessary changes. Many times leaders care more about their reputation and have a false interpretation of building the Kingdom of God. They are more concerned about building a building...than meeting the needs of each person that is already there. Building the Kingdom IS NOT about how many people you have in your church. Building the church IS NOT about obtaining a bigger building. Building the Kingdom IS about meeting the needs of the people...one by one. This takes incredible patience and without the very presence of God, the very foundation will be "off" and your work will be in vain. A thought for pastors... Why is it that God only gives mothers and fathers a few children with their ages staggered? Because God did not equip man to handle 150 infants all at once. Could you imagine what that would be like? 150 INFANTS We would be pulling our hair out and be utterly exhausted. Why is it that we think we can handle 150 families in a church? If we do not know each of those people "intimately" and are actively helping to meet their needs physically and spiritually...we are neglecting God' people.
Let us ask ourselves honestly...How many can we really care for well? Would Jesus want you to have a few that are well taken care of? Or "many" with their needs unmet? As leaders, if we do not have the time to spend with each person in our church....we have too many. Here is wisdom...Why is that Jesus only chose 12? It is imperative that other leaders (especially pastors) are equipped to minister to the needs of the people so that everyone's needs are met. Just let go!! Plain and simple if we want more of God's presence: The idols must go and we must pursue Him with everything within us!! Look at your life and ask the Lord to reveal any idols in your life. Pastor/Leader...Have you made yourself an idol to the church?? Personally I would rather ask Him now...than stand before Him in that day and feel His displeasure! Back to worship.... True worship is not something that can be faked... God sees the heart and will not be manipulated. True worship in the spirit that is pleasing to the Father...is about worshiping God in the beauty of Holiness (Ps.29:1,2). Worshiping Him....just because He is worthy, not to get something from Him. When in true worship....We should be experiencing the Holiness of God. Coupled with holiness...is the fear of theLlord. Are we experiencing the fear of God in worship? If not, something is wrong!! The result of true spiritual worship is a holy, heart purging, utterly humbling encounter with God Himself. (2 Chron 5:13,14, 2 Chron.7:1-3) A lifestyle of true worship...is a one on one, ongoing relationship with the Lord of which the fruit of these holy intimate encounters and relationship is...true repentance, humility and if pursued, a walk of holiness coupled with the fear of God, true spiritual maturity and Christ-likeness. The more we spend time with Him, the more we become like Him. And pastors...you wonder why some within your fellowship are not growing like they should? This is very simple...One cannot spend time in the presence of a Holy God and remain unchanged. As God's leaders we should be provoking each believer towards an ongoing personal intimate relationship with the Lord Himself!! This should be the passion and goal of every living Christian!! The more we spend time with Him...the more we will absolutely detest anything that desires to exalt itself above Him, especially our flesh. His presence is completely and utterly satisfying and death to our flesh...becomes addictive. Without personal encounters with Him, we are only "hear-sayers" and not "true witnesses". We must witness "Him" for ourselves. Our testimony comes from our witnessing first hand, the One True Christ and what He has done for us "personally". Our first priority as believers must be our "first love" relationship with the Lord. Is this not His first commandment to us?? We must seek Him in the spirit as "God is spirit", seek Him through His Word (which the two will never differ because "He is the Word") and then spend time with those of like precious faith. The priority much of the time in believers lives is to go to church on Sunday and then NOT spend time with the Lord in our homes during the week. As leaders we should never be encouraging believers to lean on us...but pursue the Lord first! The church must be taught! In worship, we must be willing to be patient and learn to create an atmosphere where the Lord can have "His way" in complete freedom, first in our personal lives in our intimate pursuit of Him, and then in the midst of other believers. Our goal should not be just to experience a visitation from God...but to prepare and dwell with God in continuous "habitation". He longs to dwell with and within His people...we are His temple, our individual hearts are His desired dwelling place. Sunday church services are not conducive for true worship. Why? Because there are other needs. Most often the Spirit of God gets quenched because of time constraints. God is not happy when His Spirit gets quenched and that is exactly what happens when the flow of worship is interrupted. There is much more to God's manifest presence than what is being experienced in even the most of the "seemingly" anointed charismatic churches today. There is a tremendous need for ongoing practical teaching on how to worship in a way that is pleasing to the Father if we desire to experience Him in His holiness, majesty and splendor. The Holy Spirit desires to teach us to worship, but the emphasis must be placed on seeking Him with fervency with our "whole" being, and when in that place of worship...we must learn how to follow Him in the spirit and this my friends...takes time.
As God's people learn to minister to Him in worship, the seeker is quickly transformed by His passionate, unfailing, holy love into a bride that is truly lovesick for her Beloved. As the Lord is given the freedom to move as He wills...all the needs of His people are met as He Himself is allowed to minister to His people as the Great Shepherd of their souls. Then as we continue pursuing Him in worship...He leads and teaches us to minister one to another through the gifts that He has given to His body for edification and then through practical, down home, earthly service to one another. When this takes place....The result is "no lack" in the lives of the believers within His body. (Acts 4:32-37) Discerning God's presence... In this day and age believers MUST learn to discern the presence of the Lord to keep from being deceived...and this only comes through spending time with the Lord and His word!! So pastors if you truly care about God's people...you will push them towards Him!! As leaders we are going to be held accountable before God whether we have made disciples of Christ...or disciples of man. Jesus is alive and well and wants us at His feet....learning from Him! NOT JUST FOLLOWING A MAN! NOTE: I am not saying by any means that we need to throw out the leaders in God's church. Please use wisdom here!! Part of the hindrance in the churches has also been...the misrepresentation of the Ephesians 4 gift ministries. These were never meant to be controlling, dominating, "soap box" positions, but gifts of service to the Body and ministered through a spirit of humility as a functional gift, not a position of domination and hierarchy. This desire for exaltation comes from Satan as we see when he declared he would "exalt himself above God" and got booted out of Heaven. You may not like this, but that's okay, it's still the truth, it would be wise to embrace it by asking the Lord Himself if you have fallen prey to this subtle deception. We are to be like Christ and He is a servant of servants. He is the King of Glory and yet He came to earth as a servant clothed in humility. There has been a tremendous need in the body for leaders who will just simply allow the Lord to lead and completely have His way with His people. If we are ever to see The Lord move in our churches they way we desire Him to...we MUST allow the Lord time to minister to, and lead His people. We can only teach what we know...and far too many leaders have been unknowledgeable and/or unwilling to pursue their own intimacy with the Lord themselves. This lack of experience in intimacy with the Lord has left these leaders to seek their own agendas to fill the void, and this "lack" in ministry is incredibly unfulfilling to the truly hungry, seeking believer. Why is it that believers have been leaving churches in droves?? They are hungry, incredibly hungry for more of God. Because the Lord has not been allowed to minister to His people in the way that He longs to and needs to...the result has been tremendous immaturity, lack of healing, lack of deliverance, confusion in identity, insecurity, jealousy, hypocrisy, and overall lukewarmness (just to name a few issues) in the Body of Christ. The church has been living in Ezekiel 34 where the shepherds (pastors/leaders) are more interested in feeding themselves, than feeding the sheep. The current leadership hierarchy within many churches today (which is actually idolatry)...MUST CEASE!!! Leaders you are going to be held accountable whether you are making disciples of Christ (pushing them towards a personal relationship with the Lord Himself), or making disciples of man (hoarding them for yourselves). If you are not provoking them to a relationship with the Lord first...you are encouraging them in adulterous ways. Is the word "harlot" making a bit of sense here? You will stand before the Lord and have to give an account for this!! Like I said before...the tremendous need for the Lord to have His way and the cries of His people to just "Worship Him" in freedom...is something I have carried in intercession for over 35 years. As a watchman in the Lord's house...through Spirit-led intercession I have seen the church grow closer in relationship with the Lord. I am encouraged as I have seen growth in this area over the years...but there is still much change that needs to take place. The revelation of "soaking" is a step forward, but is still lacking in the area of "ministering to the Lord" in true Zadok (priestly) worship. Because of the lack of true intimacy with the Lord, there is a lack of discernment (which I might add...only comes through practice and exercise) Hebrews 5:14 "...that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." there has been a spirit of deception that has crept into many churches and is subtly keeping the church from the truth. When we have an intimate encounter with our spouse, is it always the same? Hopefully not. Love relationships are meant to be reciprocal. We must learn what pleases the Lord in worship and be continually led by Him. Each and every time we spend time in God's presence, it should be different, but we must be willing to follow...as He leads. He is Spirit and those who worship Him MUST worship in spirit (with and through our spirit) and in truth (His desire, His will, His way). With every God-given revelation...the demonic has a counterfeit...and we are seeing a huge demonic influence in worship, evangelism, as well as complete church structure and function. Trying to come up with new ideas and not being obedient to the very moving of the Spirit of God...Is manipulation....and is witchcraft. If we are trying to come up with new ideas.....to try to get people to worship, or to get people to come to our church, to evangelize the lost we have entered into witchcraft. These ideas are fleshly inspired dead end agendas. They don't work and never will because God is a jealous God...His desire for His bride is to humble herself, repent, seek His hearts desires first, and walk solely in obedience to Him!!! (Acts 5:29, Matt. 7:21,12:50, John 14:23) God is a god of order...and His ways work! We MUST do things His way if we want things to work and to be truly pleasing to the Father!! The vast majority of God's leaders have walked away from looking to God's word and being led by God's spirit as their guide! We must get back to God's way of building His church!!! We must go back to the foundational truth of...Relationship with Him!! Without the foundation of a first love personal intimate relationship with Him...the whole foundation is "off"!!! Pastors and leaders...look at the fruit of your ministry...if you know something is missing...this is your answer!! Too many of God's people are seeking signs and not God's heart...spiritual pride and deception is at an all time high. The church has been the habitation of demons. The lack of spiritual discernment has been completely evident in the amount of leaders that we see falling into sin. Believers are supposed to be discerning the work of the enemy (before he manifests in the natural), casting out demons, not living with them because they don't know how to get rid of them. (James 4:6-10, John 8:31,32) Many express the desire for greater intimacy with the Lord...and the desire to just worship without agendas...but when it comes down to walking out that desire...many have refused to let go of their soulish ties in their current churches, then end up entering into compromise which is actually lukewarmness. (Rev.3:14-16) The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom...yet what we see today is not even close to a real fear and reverence of God. What we see is the result of leaven (sin) that has corrupted the church through deception and carnality and it has made light of the Holiness of God. (2 Cor. 7:1, Heb. 12:14, Heb. 12:25-29) The church is to be holy, and this means purging out the “leaven” from its midst. The Lord is restoring holiness in the Fear of God to the church. When we truly encounter the Most High...we encounter the fear of God. “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD Of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.” And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts”.
If the motives and intents of the hearts are not being revealed in your worship services...something is wrong!!! The Bible is filled with encounters where those who were in the Lord's presence fell down in fear and trembled at His presence. Is that happening in our worship services today when we think we are encountering the very presence of the Most High?? Plain and simple: Jesus reveals hearts, He reveals sin. He is light, when He shows up, every bit of darkness is exposed. Are hearts being exposed in your church services? In your ministry? If not...I would ask the question: Where is Jesus?, because he is not being allowed to operate in your midst.
1 Cor.14:24 But if all prophesy [giving inspired testimony and interpreting the divine will and purpose] and an unbeliever or untaught outsider comes in, he is told of his sin and reproved and convicted and convinced by all, and his defects and needs are examined (estimated, determined) and he is called to account by all, 25 The secrets of his heart are laid bare; and so, falling on [his] face, he will worship God, declaring that God is among you in very truth. Is this type of prophecy happening in your services? I will give you a warning...God is bringing His holiness back to His church! Once again...His church will be feared because they carry His glory! Will you be part of this? Or will you be envying someone else's walk? Just because you have received prophetic words regarding this or that...does not mean you will see them come to pass. God revealed His desire for you and your church through those prophetic words. BUT in order for you to see them come to pass...You must walk in obedience!!! When the Lord's people gather and the worship is cut-off, controlled by man and we are not experiencing the Holiness of His presence and God is not allowed to minister one on one to His people... Listen and listen again...the Lord is sorely grieved! (Eph 4:30, 1 Thess. 5:19) I heard someone recently say that they have witnessed angels cry when worship is cut off. I can attest to this...as an watchman/intercessor... I feel the pain in the heart of God when this happens. Seeing the needs of the Lord's bride unmet...is extremely troubling....troubling beyond words. If leaders felt the heart of God in this...they would never again attempt to quench God's Spirit. This my friends is likened to Uzza in 2 Samuel 6:5-7 when he attempted to steady the Ark...his attempt to "save the ark from falling" resulted in his death. This was a prime example to those who witnessed this act, that obedience takes precedence over our "good intentions" no matter how well meaning they seem when dealing with a Holy God. The desire for intimacy with God MUST supersede anything and everything in our life. God can and will speak to our unseen ties that are binding us to a lukewarm lifestyle...but we have to be willing to move from familiarity. We have to love God enough that we are willing to pursue Him with everything within us...at any cost... and give up and flee from every hindrance that would seek to keep us from pursuing Him with utter fervency and ultimate freedom. Jesus paid a precious price for us to be restored to intimacy with the Father, but we MUST ask the Lord..."How" to worship. We must ask Him what is pleasing to Him in that moment, and every moment changes. We MUST learn to follow Him in the spirit and we MUST obey! If we truly love Him, we will be willing to listen and obey Him at every cost. Remember our fruit will be seen by all, whether the fruit is good, bad, or non-existent. The fruit of our true motives are always seen whether we acknowledge them or not. We would be wise to put on our seat belt, close our mouth, and ask what other people see in us. It is usually those in the back pews, the strangers, the quiet ones, the undetected prophets, mothers of fatherless children sitting in the back rows who will give us straight answers. Leaders it's time to stop assuiming we are pleasing God in everything we do just because we are in the ministry....It's time to ask!
Pastors and Leaders...
I challenge you to ask the people in your church, without knowing who wrote what...ask them to write down how they really feel about church. Then brace yourself when reading the answers. Commit beforehand that you will humbly take to heart what you read and seek God to help you make the changes. Remember, If we as leaders are crying out to God, He will send us the answer. Sometimes the answer comes in a way we are not expecting. Has God sent someone to you and you have not discerned or sought to "know" them that labor among you? If not...God will send them some place else...and you...will be held accountable. God designed the entire Ephesians 4 gift ministries to work in a team. If you are a pastor and are not working alongside the other ministry gifts, you are not functioning according to the Word of God. God did not intend pastors to be lone rangers. It's easy to call on someone from afar that is walking in those gifts...but here is wisdom according to God's word. The Lord desires the gifts to be used "within" the local churches.The Lord will send you someone already seasoned and walking in the gift, but He also wants you to discern and raise those gifts within the body. Both of the latter, take much more patience and most often leaders do not want to exercise the patience required. If our spiritual ears and eyes are open, and if we are listening to the words of the prophets... we can see that time is extremely short....the coming of the Lord is very near. (Eph. 5:6-17) Upon His return....let us be found as a bride that has turned back to her first love, living as "one" within the true family of God, laying down our lives in sharing and caring for one another in the fear of God with all humility. (Acts 2:38-47) Let us be consumed with a passion that burns fervently as a lovesick bride living and breathing in His tangible presence while waiting and longing for His return. Remember... God is not seeking just a visitation with us...We are His temple....His desired dwelling place. (Eph. 2:22) He is seeking an abiding habitation within each and every one of us. He desires his glory, His presence and His power to be revealed through us...to the world. When the bride's heart turns back to the bridegroom...when her heart is purged by the fear and holiness of God...we will then see the glory of the Lord fill the earth. His Bride...as He destined her to be...utterly consumed by His glory! Shalom & Blessings, Zanild Tsadak Kohein Ramah Ministries Int'l
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