Do you sometimes go to church and feel empty and bored? Or do you feel encouraged and glad you went to Church? Do you prepare to meet God in the sanctuary? Where are your thoughts? In this church series, I am exploring unhealthy beliefs and the path to spiritual fulfillment. My first post covered why we should go to church. In my second post, I explore navigating offenses and how the church prepares you to meet God.
In my last post, you learned that we are saved sinners who are being made holy as God is Holy. Hebrews 12:14 states, “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.” When we become offended, we often become depressed or contentious, then bitter. Note that verse 14 says that no one will see the Lord without holiness. Becoming holy is the process of transforming sinful thinking with the truth of God’s Word (Romans 12:2).
If you think about it, Heaven is going to be one gigantic eternal church service for all God’s children. So if you don’t like to go to church now, seek God to show you why. Exchange your false beliefs with His truth. One false belief is that the church is there to serve me. The truth in Galatians 5:1 is we are to serve one another in love. You might believe the members are hypocrites. Yes, you are right, we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. Believers are Jesus’ handiwork and are hopefully transforming wrong thinking by reading their Bibles. I covered how to deal with messy people in my last post. In this post, I want to share how to get the most out of going to church, despite the messy people.
Be one spirit with God to understand the church service.
First, we need to repent of sin, receive God’s forgiveness, and make Him Lord of our lives for the church service to be meaningful. Second, join your spirit with God’s Spirit. We become one spirit with God through believing in Jesus as the Son of God who was sent by God the Father to pay the debt for our sins by shedding His blood on the cross.
1John 4:13 states, “By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.” Also, 1John 4:15 says, “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” And 1Corinthians 6:17 tells us “But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.” When we are not one spirit with God, we cannot comprehend God’s Word, and the preaching is meaningless. 1Corinthians 2:11 states, “For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”
We need a humble, repentant heart to meet God at Church.
I found that church was unfulfilling when I had sin in my life. Remember, sin is anything we think, say, and do that is not obeying God’s instructions. The church is where we go to corporately fellowship with other believers and to learn how to live a holy life that is pleasing to God. Leviticus 19:2 states, “Speak to all the congregation … and say to them, you shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.”
When sin is in our lives, it separates us from God until we confess it and repent. 1John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Unconfessed sin also blocks our prayers and our relationship with God and His people.
Self-centered pride is the most prevalent sin and the one sin we don’t see we have. Sin prevents us from having meaningful relationships because we fear people may confront our sin. So we live a lie that we are righteous, and everything is okay, but God knows the truth. People who refuse to repent when the Holy Spirit convicts them of their sin inevitably leave the church. Continuing in our sin is not worth spending eternity in torture, agony, separation from those you love in the lake of fire.
Bring an expectation to hear from God.
Another reason you may find church unfulfilling and boring is because of unmet expectations. Examine your beliefs and ask God to show if your expectations of the church are unrealistic and nonbiblical. You should expect that the Church teaches the Bible and believes the Word of God is truth and that Jesus is the Son of God who shed His blood to pay the penalty of sin.
An example of a nonbiblical church: My husband and I visited a local church and the Pastor had the parishioners call their dead loved ones up to take communion with them. It mortified both my husband and me. The pastor pointed us out and said we can take communion too, but we didn’t move. Have you ever heard of such a thing? True story. We never went back to that church.
I can name many unrealistic expectations people have that leave them disappointed, but ask God to show you the unmet expectations you may have. Many people leave the church because it does not meet their expectations. The church is where we go to
―corporately worship God
―pray with other believers
―hear the word of God to increase our faith
―fellowship with other believers
―and meet the needs of the church body.
The church is not about what the Pastor can do for you, the carpet color, how nice the Pastor’s wife is, and so on.
Prepare to meet God at Church. Where are your thoughts?
Do you only go to church for social interaction? Or do you go to church to hear from God and encourage others in their faith? Do you read your Bible and pray throughout the week to prepare to meet God during the weekly corporate worship time? You may read a Bible Passage God wants you to share with someone to encourage them. Reading the Bible sanctifies you, that is, makes you holy. Jesus tells us in John 17:17 “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”
By praying all the time, you are obeying God’s instructions in Ephesians 6:18 and Romans 12:12. If you are praying at all times, God can drop a person’s name in your mind for you to intercede for them? When you pray all the time, you are not complaining or speaking an unkind word.
What are your thoughts during the week? God wants to be a part of every aspect of your life because someday, we will stand before Him and give an account of the things we did while on the earth. Ask God to reveal unhealthy beliefs about the church that causes you to be disengaged with the service and the people. Romans 1:21 states, “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Are you daily giving thanks to God for His love for you and His goodness, and so on? Do you rejoice always about the things God has done and for His promises? Do you think about how you can please God? Our thoughts direct our beliefs and our beliefs direct our feelings. So, if you feel bored or disengaged at church, ask God why.
I hope you found this post helpful and encouraging, though I could have written more. I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences. The church is fulfilling when you expect to hear from God, have the right heart attitude, read your Bible and prayed, and are one spirit with God.
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