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?