You held on to your integrity. When the trendy shortcuts to having a big church were offered to you—the Holy Spirit told you to stay out. Somehow, you never had a stomach for big screens, skinny jeans, and fog machines. Silly you! You wanted to keep singing some of the old songs—songs about the Blood!
The devil tried to make you feel like a fool. You poured blood, sweat and tears into a community for years. Along comes a slick marketer who creates a buzz. Overnight, they get a crowd. The enemy attacked you and said, “they are blessed, and you are not!”
Let me be so bold as to appropriate Psalm 73 to describe the emotions you faced:
Psalm 73:2 “But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; My steps had nearly slipped.3 For I was envious of the boastful, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” The evil one said, “if you had left out the negative verses like they do—if you’d finish in 12 minutes—if tell people to quit raising their hands—if you”…well you know the spiel.
Suddenly envy tries to grip you and these words from Psalm 73 fit your turmoil and temptation:
Psalm 73: 2 “But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; My steps had nearly slipped. 3 For I was envious of the boastful, When I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 For there are no pangs in their death, but their strength is firm. 5 They are not in trouble as other men, nor are they plagued like other men. 6 Therefore pride serves as their necklace; Violence covers them like a garment. 7 Their eyes bulge with abundance; They have more than heart could wish.”
But these are the words that apply most: “13 “surely, I have cleansed my heart in vain, And washed my hands in innocence. 14 For all day long I have been plagued, And chastened every morning.” The devil said “what have you got to show for all your diligence and integrity? All your prayers, all your faithful preaching of the Word of God no longer works. You have stayed pure for no reason.”
Then people you’ve known for years turned on you. Like the Israelites who begged for a king—prominent people in your congregation told you they want the bells and whistles of modern church marketing. “We want to be like all the other churches.” When you wouldn’t change, they left and took their tithe with them.
It all became too much. You and your family’s heart were broken. Still you did not say your feelings out loud. Verse 15 says “If I had said, “I will speak thus,” Behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children.” You thought about the young pastors coming up. They can’t hear us saying the Word of God no longer works!
It has all become too painful! How you can try so hard for so little result while those who cheapen the message boom. Here is the Word of the Lord beloved pastor: 16 “When I thought how to understand this, It was too painful for me—17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end. 18 Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction.”
Hold on man and woman of God! America is changing! A nightmare of anxiety and emptiness is changing appetites! When a nation gorges on sin they begin to yearn for purity and cleansing. Nothing can protect the sin sick soul from disgust, nausea, and the unholy hangover.
A convicted heart can reach the point where a slick church concert, outfitted with lights and fog, or a canned motivational spiel, can repulse them, just as much as the sin they are trying to escape.
A soul soaked in the sludge of our time, can yearn to collapse at a simple wooden altar, sob deep tears of remorse, and welcome the warm hand of a true pastor on their shoulder.
In fact, at this moment, heaven is releasing power for miracles, words of prophetic might, and great resources to do the work of God. Those who have kept their integrity–and labored in obscurity not seeing results—will receive great power and multiplication.
Americans will want to come in from the storm. They won’t feel safe in a shallow church. In a hurricane you don’t rush to the flimsy building. Many man-made worship centers will collapse like a house of cards. They are the slippery place that God said. They will be too easily damaged by the coming storm.
Daniel refused to change…even when they threatened his life. When magicians and false seers were all the rage—Daniel held his convictions. Then King Nebuchadnezzar has a nightmare and loses his appetite for half-baked entertainment. Now he desperately needs an answer…and so will America.
The most attractive force on earth is about to flood your church building: THE PRESENCE OF GOD! It not only attracts better than entertainment…it does something infinitely more valuable—it brings people in for the right reason! They will be disciples! They will not be fickle looky-looks…the kind that leave as soon as they find something more interesting.
The same preaching that the devil mocks today will be the right preaching in the coming hour! Don’t change! The way you pray, the way you love people, the way you raise holy hands and worship the Lord now…everything they make fun of now will be perfect for the coming harvest!
Hold on! Hold tight to every promise God gave you! Tell the devil he is a liar! Confess to your people, “God has His hour of power and it is even at the door!”