As you go through this study you might want to open your Bible to Deuteronomy 6 and 7 and give it a quick read through as well. We’re going to be talking about obedience for the next couple of blogs; It’s pretty important to the life of faith.
Moses uses the word “obey”10 times in Deuteronomy 6 and 7 and several of those uses link obedience with loving God and Him loving us in return. So what’s that’s got to do with raising the spiritual temperature of the church? Let’s find out:
excerpted from sermon notes 8-1-11
We are talking about raising the temperature of the church today. I have to tell you, that is a thing sorely needed. A spirit of lukewarmness is descending, trying to put out the church’s fire. We must not let it! Further we do not have to let it! We do have a choice because the Bible declares, “Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.” I John 4:4
Satan doesn’t have any more power to make us lukewarm than he has power to knock God off the throne of Heaven. The difference between us and God is that when Satan came and tried to kick God off the throne, God fought and won. He used His power.
Too many times when Satan comes and tries to cool down the fires of the Holy Spirit in us, we sit down and say “Cool down? No problem. Just don’t hurt me.” We don’t rise up with the power of God inside us and fight.
It’s time to raise the temperature of the church and we have a say in that brothers and sisters!
I want to tell you how to raise the temperature. But first I think it’s important that we look at some things that will not raise the temperature:
More People in attendance at church will not raise the temperature. How do I know that? Well because a lot of people attend Lady Gaga concerts. She’s attracting more and more people every week but it doesn’t matter how many people go to her concerts even as repeats the spiritual climate of those concerts is still going to be ice. Because Holy Spirit is not invited there!
More money will not raise the temperature of the church. Money is not bad. It’s a tool. As such it has no more spiritual temperature than a hammer and we would never think of saying “More hammers will make the church more on fire for Jesus.” That would be ridiculous.
Greater fame or approval in the world system will not raise the spiritual temperature of the church. In fact raising the temperature of the church usually makes approval of the world system go away. You don’t believe me? Let’s talk to the fastest growing church in the world in China. Declaring yourself a Christian doesn’t gain you approval there…. It could get you sent to jail though.
Benchmark success will not raise the spiritual temperature of the church. This is a big trap for us. This is the mind-set that says “Set your goals for attendance and reach for them. Raise up excellent programs and the spiritual temperature will rise”.
I can tell you right now that won’t work. Setting and meeting goals will make us successful and if we get good enough at it we might become as successful a church as McDonald’s is a restraunt. Maybe we’ll even be able to hang out a sign that says “1.000.000.000 served communion” but bench mark success will not raise the temperature of the church.
Don’t get me wrong more people, more money, fame and approval, success all nice things but they don’t raise spiritual temperature. They are by products of a rising spiritual temperature! They are like the carbon emissions from the tail pipe of your car. When the engine is hot the fumes pour out. But too often the church has been guilty of confusing spiritual temperature with the fumes.
What raises the spiritual temperature of the church then? It’s the RELATIONSHIP THE PEOPLE OF THE CHURCH HAVE WITH THEIR GOD!
The problem today is not with our programs, our money, our popularity, or our cultural relevance. What kills the temperature of the church is our individual intimacy with God. The church goes into revival when its people live in revival by getting into relationship with God! Until that happens the church can get grants, build buildings, and offer programs and services but the temperature will only be lukewarm. It will remain so until the people stop going to church and start going to Jesus!
Now you tell me what do you think we need to do to grow in intimacy with our God?
Hello Pastor J,
I truly enjoyed this post! It was a timely message, indeed! As I scrolled down, I realized that you and I agree on what will raise the spiritual temperature of the church! The only way to raise the spiritual temperature of the church, is to raise the spiritual temperature of each congregant in the church, from the pulpit to the door! A praying church, is a church on fire for the Lord. When I was growing up in the church, one night out of each week was designated for prayer only, and we had several weekly prayer meetings along the way, as well as shut-ins, or overnight prayer meetings. Coupled with many of the prayer meetings, was time set out to fast corporately. That meant along with fasting, turning off the television, skipping a few social outings, etc., and spending time with the Lord, studying His word, and praying in our secret closets. The Bible tells us, that some things come but by fasting and prayer. Today, the church has gone away from these types of services, and they have been replaced by various programs that build up social networking, but not services that raise the spiritual temperature of the church! I use this phrase often; much prayer, much power, some prayer, some power, no prayer, no power!
God bless you, Pastor J. Thank you for sharing.
A-men Paulette! Spurgeon said “the church moves forward only on its knees!” Many think if we spend more time in prayer we will stop doing the social work of the gospel but history has proven that the most effective social outreaches of the church have been birthed out of prayer. The church needs and awakening that can only come from the prayer closet! Thanks for commenting!
Thank you for doing this series, Pastor J. Praying and believing that it is going to impact the temperature for Jesus. I have to look at myself and not everyone else. So for me, there seems to be a sense of busyness, of too much to do. And I lead a very simple life compared to most. But, that is what pulls me away from Him.
God bless you and thank you for helping us with this!
p.s. loved Paulette’s comment too!
As I thought about this, God brought something else to me. We (I) need a deep humility to grow in intimacy with Him. Thank you so much for getting me to think and pray about this. I’m so glad to be back to reading your blog and everyone else’s that I can, in order to learn and grow. 🙂
THanks Deb! I appreciate the encouragement! Humility is an important part of our growth in Christ. Without it we cannot repent and without repentance we cannot even begin to move in His direction.
Thank you, Pastor J
“The church goes into revival when its people live in revival by getting into relationship with God! ”
Our church teaches that “Relationship is everything”. The horizontal ones are affected by the one we have with Him. As a matter of fact, one spills over to the other. If we aren’t living right with God, we can’t expect to live right with others. Our base is important.
We miss the mark when we spend time on the things that don’t add up. One of our pastors tweeted “It’s time to get off Facebook and get your face in The Book”. If we honestly add up the times we spend on the social scene and compare it to the time we spend seeking Him, will the scales balance?
The revival will start when we start giving Him first place in our lives. We can preach like Paul or sing like David but that won’t help a thing if our motives are off. All we do hasve to be to His honour and glory and must be approved by Him.
I agree with Paulette’s point on where we’re spending our energy. While it’s good to have social services, those will be of no help to someone whose soul is not resting in Him. Time to put things in perspective and really ‘raise the temperature’ !
It is so true. I am praying everyday for men and women I know to find the deep intimacy with Jesus I am discovering in my walk with Him. So many I know are content to “do church” rather than follow Jesus. But our real power lies in relationship with Him not in the strength of our programming.