We sing His praises, then we head back out into the world, we pray to Him, then we go back to living our lives. “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.” (Isaiah 55:6)
I wonder how many people believe He is near when they have never even known Him outside of what they have heard about Him. It is called a “personal relationship” to the Lord, it isn’t a “meet Him at church” relationship, it isn’t a “I’ll call when I need you” association, it is a “I will never leave you or forsake you” lifestyle, He never goes away.
Those who have the Holy Spirit within them have the Almighty God of all creation living inside of them, not some “third entity,” not a being who reports back to God about your life, God Himself dwells within us. The things of this world, the continuation of our sinful nature, evil, are an extreme burden, or at least they should be, for what other reason would the Lord tell us to take His yoke? (Matt. 11:29) Far too many have not only determined to just “make the best of it,” but have decided to live in this world while at the same time professing Him as Lord, He is an obligation to them, a professed necessary part of their lives only with their lips. Jesus Christ is the burden to these people.
Many try to make their own path and call it the one that He has laid before them, they place self, those they love, their family and friends, wants and desires above Him, they seek His face when it is time to according to the day, or the time on the clock, but the rest of their lives are devoted to themselves. These paths are not the path of the crucified life, they are instead ones watching Him being crucified, and by witnessing that event, they claim to know Him. They will listen to the accounts in the Scriptures and believe themselves to be as they are because they saw Him from afar.
They sit in the pews, they sing the songs, but when He looks down at them from that cross of shame and suffering and says to them, “Now, its your turn,” they run and hide into the false security of the “Christian” life they have invented.
To stand before those they meet and profess His name is not part of that devoted life they claim to have, and we have regressed to a point of calling them “weaker brothers,” (1 Cor. 8:11) so as not to hurt their feelings.
How many pastors would retain their congregations if each Sunday morning there was a short questionnaire on the seats of every pew that asked how many people did you speak to that week, how has the Lord used you specifically for His glory this past week, and asked everyone to fill them out, sign them and put them in the plate as it went past? That is exactly what the Lord is going to do on your day of accounting (Romans 14:12) not only will He give you the opportunity to explain to Him how you were available to Him during your entire life, but He will show you all that wood, hay and stubble. (1 Cor. 3:12-15)
About one thousand years after that day, the rest will be brought to the Great White Throne of Judgement and will be given the same opportunity, then all of them will be cast into eternal darkness. (Rev. 20:11-15)
There are no rewards in heaven for good intentions, the gold, silver and precious stones are the deeds and words that we did solely for the glory of God here, and I fear that many will be accepted only after the fire has revealed just how little they truly served. There are few that are truly on the path. (Matt. 7:14)