SCRIPTURE: Joshua 2
They said to Joshua, ‘The LORD has surely given the whole land into our hands; all the people are melting in fear because of us.’ [Joshua 2:24]
For the spies, the fact that the people were responding in fear to them (or to God with them) was evidence enough that God would give them the victory.
What does this say about the church today?
When God is present, the people respond (either in fear or in faith).
Hmm, how many people are responding to God because of what they see in the church today?
Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. Many people, because they had heard that he had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet him. So the Pharisees said to one another, ‘See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!’ [John 12:17-19]
Again, the crowds respond… and so do the Pharisees… in faith or in fear.
The evidence of God at work in Jesus impacted those who saw it.
The same is true of the early church; their gatherings impacted those who saw them [see Acts 2:42-47, also Acts 5:11-18].
What would it take for people today to notice the church like this, to be so impacted by the evidence of God among us.
Lets be honest, how evident is God among us?
Is there that much difference between our church gatherings and other religious or social gatherings?
I am not saying that God is not at work, but I am not convinced that we are allowing Him to do what He wants to do among and through us.
Our gatherings are controlled, tame, unimpressive, structured, predictable, safe.
No supernatural help is needed to do what we do on Sundays, or through the week.
Harsh? Or just honest.
I am speaking to myself.
The key is not that we have to change how we do worship, or how we structure our services – that’s just more human manipulation.
We need to change our posture, to open ourselves to the supernatural, to plead for fire from above to ignite our hearts, to surrender ourselves to the Lord’s agenda and let Him do His “greater than we can ask or imagine” among us.
Do we expect the miraculous, do we want it, do we ask for it?
I am not asking for God to strike fear in the people we meet, but to melt their hearts with His love, to impact them with His presence, and to gather the crowds by His power so that today, as then, “the whole world has gone after them!”
Lord, melt our hearts, then melt the hearts of those around us – melt us with the power of Your love.