WE'RE BEGINNING TO REALIZE the information we accepted as true from news outlets, social media platforms and from many of our leaders in all spheres of life has been full of corruption and lies. It's so disheartening. But what if the Lord is at work to bring Light into the darkness?
What if 2020 is the year when darkness turns to Light, by God's Grace and Love? What if the Lord is saying to us "The Truth Is...It's Time for a Reformation of MY Worship in the American Church?"
"Dear Church, you've been stumbling around in the darkness of your own ways but now it's time to walk again in the Light of MY Presence and Ways!"
Wickedness, deceit and a powerful evil grip of control has been ruling us for so long. Maybe we've sensed this large overarching spirit, but the extent of the abuse is finally coming to light through truth. It's not only been in politics, but in academia, our work places, sadly the Church and nearly every sphere of dominion believers were supposed to have in this world.
We desperately need a transformation of darkness to Light! For so long, so many of us did not fully discern what was happening and did not #standup. We were not strong ambassadors for the God-given foundations of our lives. We bought the peddled sideshows and soothing narratives as wickedness grew, as well as the wealth, power and agenda of a very few. I'd suggest for quite a while the Church has been asleep. It's likely why so many congregations followed the mandates of the world and shut down without much thought this past spring. Could it be we had already long ago forgotten we exist for the purpose of worshipping and glorifying the Lord? That understanding must again be first! He commands us not to abandon worship of Him! (Hebrews 10:25)
Not all may agree on this particular assessment, but certainly we can see we have gone our own ways and the darkness is real. We're feeling it and seeing it. Prayerfully a desire to repent and turn back to the Lord as our ONLY source of Light and Wisdom is igniting in our hearts. Prayerfully the Church is awakening. Prayerfully the foundations of Christ's true Gospel are going to be rebuilt.
As part of a modern day awakening from darkness to Light, I believe we need a reformation of worship in the American Church. It must begin with repentance for the misplaced visions and priorities we've had. We've often sought to keep our hands on the ark of the presence of God...moving and directing it as we saw fit.
"We repent, O Lord, for trusting in the ways and kingdoms of this world. Forgive us for our sins, Jesus, of building church kingdoms based on gatherings to appeal to non-believers and not first to simply worship, glorify and be with YOU, the Risen Lord. We need You as our foundation of life and the Light to dispel the deeds and kingdoms of darkness. We turn back to You for no other will satisfy. Our pursuits of greater numbers and bigger programs at the expense of your rule and reign over us have led us astray. This we seek: that we may dwell in Your presence and gaze upon Your beauty all of our days! Be our Light, our true Guide and Salvation we pray in Jesus' name, Amen!
As the light of truth exposes the darkness around us in these coming days, many will be craving truth and righteousness. Yet the Church has to know what truth is! The relativistic nonsense we bought and sold to ourselves and our kids is being quickly blown away as the empty lie it always was. We will be looking for salvation again, for a foundation of faith and life that can be trustworthy and doesn't shift to suit those in powerful positions. There is hope in 2020!
If you're a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, we know a sure foundation! Jesus Christ is our Lord, our Foundation for Life, Our Savior, Our Living Hope.
If you don't know Jesus, he is a Good Shepherd and CAN be trusted! God IS Love and saves us through faith and trust in Jesus Christ! It's that simple.
When the darkness confronts us, Psalm 27 reminds us "The Lord IS our light and our salvation! Of whom shall we be afraid?" This song from the Getty's includes some of the truths of living in and with Christ.
Psalm 37 also reminds us "Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong, for they will soon wither away. Rather, trust in the Lord and do good. Take delight in Him and He will give you the desires of your heart."
As part of a Worship Reformation in the America Church, we must trust in the Lord as our Light and Salvation. He does satisfy us with Himself and with good things. But we must seek Him first (Matthew 6:33). For too long we sought lesser things and relied on our own wisdom to build the kingdom of God. That's when we slipped into watering down the gospel to not offend anyone and began using the sacred worship of God as a marketing mechanism for church growth. Forgive us, O Lord.
A Reformation of Worship will involve hard, active work for restored truth and righteousness. It requires solid belief based on the Word, conviction and boldness. If we're to be Light agents for the Lord, we must stand up and count the costs. He will take care of providing the rest, even the opportunities to speak up for Him and to serve Him. Psalm 37 reminds us He is the Lord of the Harvest. He'll bring the desires of our hearts as we obey Him and walk in the Spirit with Him.
To help restore the Light of Jesus in our day and bring about a #worshipreformation, let's Do Good as Psalm 37 commands.
Let's testify about the goodness of God in our lives through our worship and testimonies! We need to be vocal about Jesus being Light in our darkness. His ways and kingdom are good and loving! We do not need to fear His Lordship in our lives or the costs of obeying Him! He's good! Isaiah says in Chapter 60:1
"Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
2 See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
3 Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn."
The Lord IS Here and able to save!
2. Let's #standupChurch for truth and righteousness and be worthy light-bearing ambassadors for the living God through prayer, word and deed. Darkness thrives in the absence of light, so our calling in Christ is clear. We must BE the Light and seek first the kingdom of God in ALL things (Matthew 6:33). No short cuts! The presence, glory and reknown of God is our all in all!
We must know what delights the Lord's heart and work for the same. Evil ways and distorted agendas should not thrive in the presence of God and His people. Old pursuits must be left behind. If others are asleep to the realities of darkness and misdirected intentions, we must speak the truth in love. He gave us the Holy Spirit to equip us for the job. He's desiring more from the people of God because we've often abandoned our first love - Him and His people - Love of God and love of one another! It's the first two commandments we're given to live.
For the sake of the Glory of the Lord and for our kids, it's time to #StandUpChurch for a #worshipreformation where the glory and presence of God is desired above all else. It's time for #righteousness to reign in our government. It's time for #truth to be furthered in our schools and pulpits. The opportunities for the Light of Jesus to shine are all around us. Let's #standup for Him where fruit can be cultivated and the Light of the Lord can shine brilliantly!
3. Let's #pray for the salvation and transformation of our souls and that of the nations. The prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective and we have the Holy Spirit who intercedes on our behalf even as we pray. Hallelujah! Praise our Lord Jesus!
4. Let's Dive into the Word! Learn from Him and be with Him! It changes us from the inside out. From experience, when I'm not with the Lord in His Word, I have suffered from malnourishment. That's a real illness, if you're wondering. If you need encouragement from time to time in small doses, each day the psalms are part of my daily food from the Lord. Various verses jump out to me as helpful for me personally, so I share them on my psalms page with links to the chapters. Perhaps they can be a blessing to you as well. That's the prayer. https://www.rosestevens.com/psalms
5. Lastly, Let's Dwell in His Presence Together. Here's a practical, easy way a few local, congregated believers can shine the Light of Jesus through the gift of music.
On December 5 and 6, 7pm Floodgate Church and various musicians are gathering to share a Christmas Concert Celebration in southeast Michigan. We will be sharing Jesus Our Light at the end of this unforgettable 2020 year. Though we felt darkness in 2020, Jesus our Light will win and we want to be part of His Light! Plan to come join us those nights.
As background, Floodgate sought the Lord's heart at the beginning of COVID and heard the Lord tell them to stay open in obedience to the Lord's command to always gather for worship (Hebrews 10:25). They obeyed in faith and the Lord has blessed their obedience. We're keeping the light of Jesus shining through Christmas to dispel the darkness of this present age.
Please also feel free to join the concert rehearsals as part of the choir or orchestra. The kids will begin rehearsing soon as well. We rehearse together every Monday night at Floodgate, 7pm. Email me for more info at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May the Lord bless and keep each of you, and continue to shine in our lives for all the world to see! He alone dispels the darkness and brings us into the Light! He can help us recast our eyes on Him for a radical #worshipreformation in our day! We no longer are deceived to accept lesser things.
Enjoy one more song of encouragement to keep our hearts and minds on Jesus The Light of the World. ~ With love and blessings, Rose
In John 14 Jesus says, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. I am the way, the truth and the life!" You can learn more about Jesus from all the chapters in the book of John through biblegateway.com. In Chapter 8:12 He is described as our Light and Life - Hallelujah!