Why do you go to church? Is it because you love the pastor and you want to hear what he has to say? Maybe you really love the music or is it the donut fellowship? Free food always seems to gather people at church.
Those are all nice reasons to attend church but it is not reason you should go. What happens when the music is not so great, the message was mediocre or they ran out of donuts? Would you still go?
There is a larger reason to go, but before I jump there let’s consider the previous suggestions.
Who are all those suggestions centered on? They are centered on YOU!
I did not grow up going to church. I went here and there with friends growing up but there was no consistency. Mostly, I sat in the back of the church with my friend painting our nails.
I started going to church after I had attended a church ski trip with some friends. A few months later, I received Christ as my Savior. I was 19 at the time. From then, up until about four years ago, church was about me and what I could get out of it.
All that shifted when I kept hearing God speak into my heart, “Your life is not your own.” At the time, I had started training for a half marathon. It was a transitional time in my life, and God was moving my heart like never before.
I really had no idea what God meant by that statement but I did a search in the bible to see if it appears. I found it in 1 Corinthians 6:19:
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.
There it was, as clear as ever. I belong to God. I don’t belong to people. I don’t belong to what they think of me, what possessions I have, or by whether or not I’m accepted by them. I BELONG TO GOD!!!
So what happens when someone living from that space shows up to church? The Spirit within you shows up and “YOU” stays home.
“YOU” (your flesh) is selfish and ask the question, “What can I get today?”
The Spirit is about service and asks the questions, “What I can I offer today?” Big difference!
So what if we all showed up on Sunday in the Spirit rather than in our flesh?
- What lives would be changed?
- What drama wouldn’t exist?
- Who would be reached for Christ?
How would the church service be different when we come to serve rather than be served?
Here is a suggestion that helps me shift into this place as I roll up into my church each Sunday:
Pray and ask the Lord to open your eyes to the needs around you. Acknowledge that your life is not your own and you are there to serve His people. When you ask to be used like this, your experience at church will be so different. Your compassion for others will spill over. You will let go of needing to be accepted by “those” people and really just “BE” with people. You won’t care whether so-and-so invites you to their home or not because God may need you somewhere else that day. You are open and that is a powerful place to be.
So here is your challenge: This Sunday, leave “YOU” at home and allow Jesus to shine through instead.
“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:14
- How else can this be applied in your life?
- How different would your life be if you showed up like this at work or at home?
I’d love to read and respond to your comments.
Michelle has written a book called It is Finished, Coming to the end of you so God can do something new where she takes you on a journey through the book of Nehemiah to rebuild the ruins in your life that have kept you stuck, not getting off the starting line. Her message will inspire you to get up and move forward towards your own finish line of hope and healing. Between the chapters, read real life transformational stories of the women that participated in Michelle’s event called Weekend of Wins.
Michelle is offering her book FREE on Amazon Kindle August 15 and 16.
Go now to download your copy now.
- Michelle blogs at I Woke Up Yesterday.
Interested in building confidence and being transformed by a race experience? Then visit her event website.
Michelle Howe resides in Stuart, Florida with her husband Mark and two children. At the beginning of 2011, she started writing on a blog called iwokeupyesterday.com with her friends, Jenny Price and Tammy Werthem. Their goal is to lead others to more – community, freedom and growth – through their different retreats, conferences and coaching services.
Michelle is a certified leadership coach and has been leading others in the areas of personal development, team building, event planning and marketing for the last eighteen years. Her ultimate passion is to see people finish and encourage them along their journey.
- Michelle can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook or Twitter @MichelleDHowe
- Learn more about Michelle’s transformational event and book at www.weekendofwins.com