Sleeping in church . . . with eyes open. I attended a luncheon meeting yesterday and the keynote speaker was an African-American Pastor. He made a statement that was kind of humorous, even more so because it’s partly true. He asked if anyone knew why Black preachers had the habit of often raising their voice and even yelling while delivering their message. I didn’t have the guts to guess why (out loud at least.) The answer he supplied was that too many people are asleep and he wanted to regain their attention.
Let’s be honest. As Christians who have been immersed in church for years, we’re vulnerable to the temptation of “tuning out” scripture or parts of messages that we’ve heard before and are familiar with.” I’ve heard that. I’ve got that. I know that!” Really? Really? (I thought “one and done” was only reserved for Kentucky basketball.) Hebrews 4:12 tells us “the word of God is living and active” and Isaiah 55:11 says that “the word of God will not return empty.” Do we attend church services for appearances sake or is there a higher purpose like actively pursuing real life change? Do you find yourself cruising over the spoken message or do you hungrily listen for something for you, something you and the Lord can kind of process together until it makes sense just for you?
Hebrews 2:1 says “We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” With the power of the world’s message pushing against us and trying to shape us, we simply cannot afford to squander the opportunities we have to hear, process and apply God’s truth so that we continue to be made more like Christ and that we ourselves even begin to see the difference our “walk” with God makes. Do you “look” the same spiritually as you did a week, a month or a year ago?
Here’s what James warns in 1:22+(The Message)“Don’t fool yourself into thinking you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those that hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.” Stay awake! I’m not yelling. But I’m not kidding. Think About It.