The diminished place in American society that the American church is finally beginning to truly wrestle with is where the church was in many other Western countries many decades ago. As it processes what this means, the American church what it means when “its place” is not the one of honor nor power.
God, however, isn’t as concerned about the church, per se, but about its people. The people (e.g., the future descendants of Psalm 22:30) will still proclaim the glory, mercy, and love of God. How it’s done, however, will be changing rapidly over the next few years. This isn’t the first time.
Much of what Jesus opposed during his time of ministry developed when God was quiet (the time between Malachi and John the Baptist). God was very quiet. Yes, there were pious and spirit-led people during those times. They led the people and helped the people. Sadly, over that same time period, others developed ways to “meet the mark” that resulted in broken hearts and spirits, and not in a good way.
The Western church may be in such a place. On the other hand, some of the Western churches aren’t experiencing decline; they are experiencing revival! While they are the exception, it just shows that God is moving.
There are plenty of Simons in the world. They are successful. They have influence. They have money. Yet, there will be those who, like Simon, will find the message about Jesus to be irresistible and abandon it all.
Like Peter, though, we will still need to disciple them so that they understand what it means to follow Christ. Even in the church today, there are people who bargain with God. Some will give so that God will give them what they think they want. There are a lot of Simons even in the church.
How God will speak, how God will move, how people will respond are all in question at this point. We cannot make any assumptions. Nor can we remain comfortable or complacent. God will act, let’s hope we’re beside God as it happens.
- What changes in church do you see?
- What changes in you do you see toward God’s movement?
- How do you see how you will share about Jesus changing?
- What are your expectations for how God will move?
Lord, as we wait for your movement, help us to be aware of the little movements all around us, so that we may be present when the big movements come. Amen.