Wednesday, April 10, 2019

"MY CHURCH IS SICK!"


Prophets are called to deliver God’s messages. Very often, God will also require His prophets to live out those messages through humbling and sometimes painful circumstances and events. In essence, they become living parables that parallel the messages they are asked to deliver.

There are many examples in the Bible that demonstrate this phenomenon however there are none that impress upon me more than the life of the prophet, Hosea. In Hosea 11, Scripture describes the pain God feels as He continues to love His people with compassion in spite of their constant unfaithfulness:

“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and I called my son out of Egypt. But the more I called to him, the farther he moved from Me, offering sacrifices to the images of Baal and burning incense to idols. I Myself taught Israel how to walk, leading him along by the hand. But he doesn’t know or even care that it was I who took care of him. I led Israel along with my ropes of kindness and love. I lifted the yoke from his neck, and I Myself stooped to feed him. But since My people refuse to return to Me, they will return to Egypt and will be forced to serve Assyria. War will swirl through their cities; their enemies will crash through their gates. They will destroy them, trapping them in their own evil plans. For My people are determined to desert Me. They call Me the Most High, but they don’t truly honor Me. Oh, how can I give you up, Israel? How can I let you go? How can I destroy you like Admah or demolish you like Zeboiim? My heart is torn within Me, and My compassion overflows. No, I will not unleash My fierce anger. I will not completely destroy Israel, for I am God and not a mere mortal. I am the Holy One living among you, and I will not come to destroy. For someday the people will follow Me. I, the Lord, will roar like a lion. And when I roar, my people will return trembling from the west. Like a flock of birds, they will come from Egypt. Trembling like doves, they will return from Assyria. And I will bring them home again,” says the Lord.” Hosea 11:1-11

Hosea’s life was used by God to express the anger, sadness and weariness God felt as He dealt with the failures of His people. As a response to it all, God required His prophet, Hosea, to marry and continuously forgive a prostitute who chose to remain unfaithful to her husband in spite of the love he showed for his bride. Hosea's life was a reflection of God's heart played out for all His people to see. An up-front, hands-on perspective is more personal and will always deliver a more effective message that is passionate and heart-felt.

I have had this happen to me on several occasions. A sign to me that God is speaking through my life is usually when something happens out of the ordinary that cannot be explained through normal circumstances. For example, I am usually a pretty healthy person. Although it happens, it is not commonplace for me to get colds, infections or the flu. However, recently I came down with a strange illness that resembled a cold, a migraine, a sinus infection, a respiratory infection and the flu - all combined. It was not the flu and yet this mystery illness caused me pain, zapped my strength and took my ability to breathe freely. I was confined to my bed for more than a week and felt horrible. My husband anointed me, we prayed, I took medication and yet nothing seemed to help. The mystery illness just continued to affect me. Finally, I asked the Lord what was going on. “Have I sinned? Am I being judged?" I complained. "Why am I sick?" I asked. Then I heard the Lord respond in my spirit, “My Church is sick.”

Upon realizing what the Lord was doing, I began the process of formulating this message. Only then did I begin to feel my body recovering.

God is not pleased with the ‘health’ of His people. Many in the Church are weak in their faith. They are powerless and useless to the body as a whole causing the Church to barely function. The spiritual eyes and ears of many in the Church are closed for they have stopped listening to the voice of God. Some are allowing their head knowledge and what the world is teaching them in the natural to override God’s Word and what Jesus is teaching them in the spiritual. Many have lost their voice. They are no longer sharing their testimony that speaks of God's goodness and refuse to give witness to the gospel truth. Many in the Church have lost their resolve. They are neither hot nor cold which is detestable to the Lord therefore He vomits them out of His mouth. Many are at risk of dying for they are not living for the Lord.

There is no medicine or cure for what ails the Church body for it is a spiritual disease. Yet, there is a miracle remedy that is guaranteed to work... Drink in deeply the healing water from the eternal fountain of God for It, alone, will forever quench your thirst. Then rest in the peace of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

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