3 Ways to Ruin a Church Service

I was at a service last night that actually started before anyone entered the building. My heart was stirring most of the day as I prepared for the service. I felt the Spirit moving when I stepped inside the building. By the time that service started my wheelbarrow was already filling up! That’s a reference from the church Pastor, Darius, last night. He said that “people can be blessed a thimble full or a wheelbarrow full, it depends on how prepared you are to receive it.” Oh, that stirred me. I came in with an empty wheelbarrow. No thimbles for me! I don’t take those kind of services for granted because they are for certain not an everyday occurrence or not even an every church occurrence. It’s not that they couldn’t be. And for me, it may have nothing to do with the church or service, but it might be that my heart isn’t right. Life takes its toll sometimes.

So how can you ruin a church service?

Come Preoccupied

The cares of this world can take their toll.

Matthew 13:22 says it like this:

He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

Not only will the cares of this world prevent someone from being saved, but they can suck the life out of those who are saved! I sometimes think I need to wear a shirt that says, “Please, don’t ask me and I won’t ask you.” Everyone’s got struggles. Some may seem petty to someone else, but when it’s our problems, it’s not petty. The struggle is real… very real. And if I enter a service with the cares of this world on me to the point that my mind is preoccupied with nothing else, the preacher will be hard pressed to bless. So what’s the answer? Prayer’s a great place to start. Prior to last night’s preaching, the Pastor opened the altar. It was lined with praying people. What did they pray for? I don’t know, it wasn’t any of my business. I went to the altar to do my own business with the Lord. And that few minutes of time were honored by God.

Come Presumptuous

You want to leave a service as empty as you came in, come anticipating nothing. You’ll get exactly what you came for. Presumption is nothing short of pride. It’s saying that you already know what God is going to do. It’s an easy mode to get in, I’ve been there on more than one occasion. We go through the motions of salvation.

Romans 9:20-21

Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

Coming into a service with the attitude that it’s going to be “just another service,” is a prideful way of saying that God doesn’t have the power to make it an amazing service. Just stomped my own toes there…

Come Pretending

Church isn’t just an obligation, it’s a necessity. And coming to church for the purpose of checking that off your list is pretending, not serving. My wheelbarrow was filled last night because I ask God to fill it with what He’d have me to hear. I heard one thing, someone else may have heard something entirely different from the same message. The gospel is exclusive and inclusive. It’s for everyone (collectively), and for every one (individually). But pretenders seldom get anything from the Word of God because the second it starts to make them uncomfortable they turn the preacher off like a bad radio station.

2 Timothy 4:3

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

The truth hurts. It convicts and sets a soul in search of rightness. It’s not for pretenders.

I will confess that I can be all three of my bullet points. Last night was the exception because I needed to hear what God had to say and I ask Him to say it. I ask Him to leave me out of it. And just give it to me straight. I came expecting Him to rake me across the coals for failed Christianity. But He rather soothed my troubled heart like Daddy does. Abba. Father. God.

He knows me. And praise God… I know Him.

John 4:23

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

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