Weekly Church Devotion from Pastor Haydn Sennitt –
How to be an Awakened Church
Around the world at the moment, there is much church growth. Asian, African, and South American churches in particular are taking off at the moment, full and vibrant. Prayer is a core, powerful part of their services, and they are starving for God’s Word. The Spirit is powerfully at work, with prayers being answered. Services can go on for hours because they simply love, as a corporate body, assembling in God’s presence. Those churches are often a powerful taste of heaven (Revelation 5:9). Even the ones with small numbers are phenomenal.
The flip-side with other churches today – all throughout the west in particular – is that they continue existing and may have a reputation of being alive; however, they’re like a body with barely a pulse after losing much blood: there is still life, but only just. This was the case in the Sardisian church (Revelation 3:1-16). This church had some people who had kept themselves pure (3:4) but many had gone off the rails into sin … or to sleep! Like a hospital patient, who has developed bed sores and atrophied muscles from lying in bed all day, this church is on death row (3:2). This church is to repent of its sloth, get up, wake up, and do the things that it was first instructed to do (3:3a, Hebrews 12:1). If it doesn’t listen Jesus will descend upon it like a thief in the night (3:3b); if it does, Jesus will confess them before the angels and God (3:5b)!
In his book ‘The Discipline of Grace’, author Jerry Bridges observes that we can easily drift into ‘cruise control’ Christianity, whereby we attend church, do the bare minimum, and even have a reputation for being true, but our hearts can be far from God – and from one another. We then barely pray and when we do and our prayers are answered, we don’t offer heartfelt thanks or grow in our trust, or take big risks for God. The question is: is this us? If so, then we have to repent! God wants to do big and amazing things through us, but how can He if we rarely pray or read His Word and grow? Where is our hunger? If it has diminished, let us fast and pray, seeking God’s face and feed on Him to satisfy out hunger.
~ God bless, Pastor Haydn.