Looking back, I was always angry when my sisters and brother asked me money for assistance. I was angry of the pictures of lack and the reality of poverty. I was mad when they asked my help financially because I had nothing to give and it looks like I was doing nothing at all. I was insecure and filled with so much fear that I thought my life will be forever trapped in the four walls of a restricted religious organization brain washing me that I was doing God’s will in my life but left a family with almost nothing to eat. I looked so glamorous on the outside, smiling from ear to ear but my heart was torn down and broken for my inability to lift my finger to do something for my very own family who sticked with me in my worst times. I was super blinded with religion, too discipled like a Pharisee but too far from Christ. I was molded to become like my leader more than me becoming like Christ. I was more loyal to a person more than I was loyal to Christ defending them as if they died for my sins, as if they shed their blood for me and saved me from hell. I was coached again and again and again that the voice of the man of God is the voice of God – well, if the message is to lift up the name of Christ then that’s the sure voice of God.
The Following Are My Personal Suggestions Before You Commit To A Local Church:
1) Check If The Messages Point You To Jesus Christ. Local church is a community of believers whose passion is the Lord Jesus. Will you have an encounter with the reality of the goodness of God? Did the leader lead the people to Him instead of pointing the people to be loyal to them? If it’s more to themselves and what they have done in people then please pray.
2) Check If The Bible Study Center Around The Goodness And The Presence Of God. It’s nice to be in a small group but if the gathering is only to grow in numbers to impress others, then consider it as a red flag. More so, when you gather and feast about someone else’s life and make it as an excuse for prayer then that’s not a healthy group to belong. Small group is a place to be refreshed in His Word with no pressure to increase because you are told. It will naturally grow when the presence of God is there. Remember Jesus? There was no tarpauline to advertise His coming but something so different being in His presence that crowd flocked around Him.
3) Check If There’s More Of Condemnation Than Conviction. When you attend a local church, did you feel convicted or did you feel condemned? If you feel condemned because you failed to join a bible study, or you miss attending church, or you are so stubborn for not joining a connect group then that’s a fleshly message. Conviction on the other hand is you have heard about the goodness of God that you become so much encourage to do what He said in His Word. Condemnation kills but conviction gives life. So, are you dead after the church service or you have been fueled to become like Christ?
4) Check Your Bible Yourself. The moment you receive Jesus Christ, His Spirit lives in you. That Spirit is your teacher and He will teach you in all truth. How many times have I read the Bible and repented because of His truth. Consider this, preachers may preach with personal goal in mind not out of God’s personal goal for His people. So if the church drive is evangelism, they tend to preach anything about evangelism and force you to bring someone in church the next week because that is His will. Yes, that’s what’s written in the Word but if it’s not driven by His Spirit then you can hear it in your spirit. Don’t just trust your personal relationship with Jesus from someone else’s personal realization. Also, some will just go to sermon central for a sermon instead of hearing from God or just watch a podcast and preach it to the people. Be discerning.
5) Aspire To Hear From Jesus Yourself. Listen, if God talks to you about something, He will let you hear it, see it, and watch it until you catch up with it. Take time to listen to His Voice Yourself. Don’t rely on televangelists. Don’t wait in Sundays untill you hear from God. What if the church drive is buying a land and you attend there wanting to hear from God only to find out that you have to give sacrificially but you are so emotionally broke, you will go home disappointed.
6) Check It’s Fruit. Can you see Christ in leaders? I admit that people wasn’t able to see that in me in the past. What they saw was a mean spirited me which was totally in contradiction of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22 says, But the fruit of the Sprit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. We won’t display this fruit overnight but it will eventually be shown as we constantly fellowship with Jesus Christ.
7) Consider Praying Before Saying Yes. Don’t just commit because the leader is so charismatic or because you have nothing to do at home. Hear from God. Does He really want you to commit or does He wants you to get to know His Ways and Character?
Let me tell you that you are where you belong. Make sure that where you are will shape you to the focal point of Christianity -Becoming Like Jesus Christ.
In short, will people see JESUS in us at work, at home, with our friends after our association with the Local Church or they’ve seen the resurrection of the Pharisees in us. If that’s the case, back track a little bit and go back to the basic – JESUS.
So going back if I still get mad if I have to help my family these days, then YES if I will follow my hormones but at the most, GIVING HAS GIVEN ME SO MUCH PLEASURE.
It must have been so much of a pleasure to our Heavenly Father giving us an option to say YES His Son Jesus Christ so we will be reconciled back to Him amd it must have been Jesus PLEASURE TO SEE US CALLING HIS DAD AS OUR DAD though it cost His blood amd life.
Jesus is our best option.
Will you say YES to His Love and start a relationship with Him? I pray that you will say YES to a love that cost His very precious blood and life.