God wants to bless his churches, but he isn’t going to send the rain when things are out of order. What are some practical things we can do today to get things back in order?
One of the great things about God is there is so much of Him, and it would take lifetimes to really get to know him. I don’t think if we had all the lifetimes in the world, we would really get to know God. That’s why the angels in heaven surround him in praise, and yell to one another, „holy, holy, holy.” They get another glimpse of who he is, and fall down to the ground. What is sad though is that most of the church today is living at a very low standard. People try to get some great experience with God, but they put little effort into actually going after Him. His house is broken down, neglected, and treated like a common club. What is worse is how some pastors out there are treated. A lot of us that aren’t in the ministry don’t know how much pastors and leaders sacrifice privately. We don’t know the attacks they receive in the spiritual realms, and the natural realms. For those of you who wish to be pastors, remember this is not an easy job at all. It is the only job in the world that makes the darkness tremble. So what is common in most churches, God’s house is in ruins, and the pastor is not honored. Where I come from we have a different attitude, and it is an attitude of the Kingdom of God. It is a rare attitude, and it sets us a part from any other place. We have learned the attitude of raising the standard. We not only show our pastoral staff great honor, but we also as a group honor other leaders that come to visit. Some pastors that visit us are in shock, because they’re not used to be being treated with such respect. When our pastors ask us to do something, even something small, we do whatever it takes to get it done. When our pastors ask us to give more, do more, or sacrifice for a season we do it. Why? Because it’s an attitude of raising the standard, and honoring God. When we stretch ourselves to do something that puts God first, it honors God, and He is pleased. We’re not just doing this for our pastors, we’re doing this for Jesus himself. When we put him first in our lives, he takes care of our needs. It’s an attitude of raising the standard, and making God’s house an uncommon place.This attitude can be taught, and is completely biblical. We should want God’s house to taken care of, and have an attitude of raising the standard in our churches.
When we raise the standard in God’s house, it shouts to heaven, „WE HONOR YOU GOD.” It shouts „WE ARE PUTTING YOU FIRST, AND WE LOVE YOU GOD.” God cannot resist that demonstration of love towards Him, and he begins to increase His valuable presence in His house. God actually has a promise for his people in the book of Haggai concerning this principal. In chapter one He says, „consider your ways, go build my house so that I am pleased, and honored. ” Because people in God’s house didn’t have an attitude of raising the standard, God withheld the rain from His people. Things were out of order, and God was getting their attention. I believe God not only withheld physical rain, but also the ‚rain’ of his presence from them. They spent a lot of time taking care of their own lives and houses, but gave no thought to taking care of God’s house.
Today God is withholding his ‚rain’ of provision and presence from his own people in many churches, because they are not taking care of God’s house. They let God’s house remain in ruins, they don’t honor the pastors or listen to them, and they live for themselves. They are comfortable with a low standard, and think that God is somehow pleased with that. In reality God is not pleased with his house not being taking care of, and his leaders not respected. God wants to bless his churches, but he isn’t going to send the rain when things are out of order. What are some practical things we can do today to get things back in order?
- Is there a need at church you could take care of? Will that mean making a sacrifice in your schedule, or stretching yourself to put God first? Yes! This is right, biblical, and you will be blessed greatly for doing the Word of God. Be bold and take a step towards becoming a doer, and taking care of God’s house.
- Are you a tither and a giver weekly? If you haven’t made the jump to tithing the first 10% of your income before taxes, you should really consider it. When you do, you show God that you trust him, are in covenant with him, and are serious about your relationship with him.
- Are you showing up to every service (except for sickness, holiday, or business)? Our attitude should be, if the doors are open, I’m there no matter what. It shows that you’re a person who puts God’s house first. Attendance is big to God, he talks about it a lot in his word. When we are faithful to attend, it pleases him.
- Find ways to honor your pastors and leaders. When they ask you to do something, anything, respond with a willing heart. They have been placed in your life to do you good. Let’s make their life easy by listening to them, and doing what they ask us. It honors them when we respond with a right attitude
These are some practical ways we today can get God’s attention, and raise the standard. However, there is something I need to mention. God doesn’t mind if individuals are doing this, but he wants the group to do this. God does not come down to individuals, he comes down to the group. When this letter of Haggai’s was written, it was written to the group of Israelites. They as a group began to take care of God’s house, raise the standard, honor the leadership, and then God sent the rain. If we could do this in our churches today, God would surely send the ‚rain’ we are crying out for. It’s time to raise the standard, because we need more of God!