Friday, February 25, 2011

Strongholds in the Church: Unbelief

The Lord must lay bare the strongholds in our churches. Unbelief dries up the futures of congregations.

The person or thing our church fears losing is our idol. Fear of people, fear about finances, fear of offending big-donors, preoccupation with keeping up the numbers, fear of losing a leader, fear about our reputation in the community or the denomination, fear of “losing” a family or a person, fear of “losing” our old church the way it was, etc. (Psalm 34:4; Isaiah 54:14; 1 John 4:8).

Fear cripples congregations, and then it is a short step to a kind of arteriosclerosis, a hardening and constricting of the life-blood of the Holy Spirit’s ministry, leading to corporate death.

Seek to know the holy, reverent fear of the Lord (Proverbs 14:16, 26; 31:30; Isaiah 11:3; 33:6). Prayer puts a church on God’s agenda. It moves a congregation from unholy fear to the life-giving resources of the Throne.

A prayer-saturated church gains God’s perspective on circumstances and the future. It sees ministry from God’s perspective rather than the world’s. A congregation into knee work will not be weak-kneed when the challenges and opportunities come.

Give no honor to intimidation (Nehemiah 4:1-9; 6:1-19). Fear no person, no organization, no power other than Jesus (Psalm 76:7; Isaiah 35:3-4; 41:10, 13; Revelation 14:7).

When we have no fear but God, we break the yoke of the adversary off our church (Isaiah 58:6).