Summary: Creating An Insatiable Hunger for God
Inside every human there exists a yearning - a hunger for something more than what we have. It can create an ever deepening void of loneliness and uncertainty. It is often mistaken as a need for new things, or new experiences, or new friends. We find ourselves dissatisfied, discontent and unfulfilled in our jobs, our friendships, and even in our faith experience.
We may attempt to acquire more possessions and greater wealth to fill the void. We may change jobs or even think that ending a relationship is what’s needed. Worse still, some may even dare to consider that this emptiness has come from within their marriage.
Within the Church we may try to fill this emptiness by chasing after the latest movement hoping that it is a sovereign work of Holy Spirit even though it may have no biblical foundation or historical precedence. Frustrated and fed-up pastors leave existing churches and start new ones. Hundreds of pastors leave the ministry each week due to burn out. Churches ask pastors to leave because their needs aren’t being met.
The void within gets bigger and deeper every time we try to fill it with anything, or anyone, other than Jesus. Our God is calling us to have an intimate and vibrant loving relationship with Himself. Our learning must be from Him not just about Him. We must begin to work with Him, not just for Him. Our great creator God longs for intimacy with us, His bride!
Here in the United States the Church has convoluted the Great Commission by thinking about what Jesus can do for us, not what we can do for Him. Churches have become convalescent homes for Christians. We seek “new” manifestations of Holy Spirit and flock after "new" teachings. We use Madison Avenue marketing techniques to reach the lost. We “book’ celebrity speakers, musicians and comedians in order to attract a crowd yet the Great Commission is all about leaving the 99 to find the one.
We have filled our churches with programs and not His presence. We start more and more ways to meet our “inner” needs. Self-help groups abound everywhere. We build worship services and sermon series around what people want to hear, not what God wants to say. We are more sensitive to the spiritual seeker than to God. We are trying to give the world a new definition of the Gospel rather than a new demonstration of its power. We spend more time getting our clothes pressed than pressing into God! We want the “power of the resurrection”, but not the “fellowship of His sufferings”. (Phil 3:10) Rather than pursuing a prophetic word from God, we settle for a pathetic word from man.
We exert all our resources preparing buildings and "felt need-how to" messages to attract visitors rather than becoming attractive, taking on the holy fragrance of Christ as we prepare ourselves for a Holy visitation. Our churches are focused more on becoming "healthy" rather than becoming holy, conforming to the will of man rather than conforming to the will of God. We’re driven more by purpose than by His presence.
Throughout the world we are seeing supernatural outpourings of Holy Spirit resulting in record numbers of new believers and church growth. Yet, here in the United States, three out of five churches are either stagnant or dying. More churches close their doors than open them. New churches are being planted daily yet the statistical evidence says that less than 50% will survive. Church leaders are crying out for renewal and revival. Our churches have become weak, emaciated, powerless social clubs. The anointing of Holy Spirit has departed and Ichabod is written across the doorways.