"the Church as we know it today began with repentance. When Peter preached the cross at Pentecost, thousands came to Christ. This new Church was made up of one body, consisting of all races, filled with love for one another. Its corporate life was marked by evangelism, a spirit of sacrifice, even martyrdom.
this wonderful beginning reflects God's word to Jeremiah: 'yet I had planted you a noble vine, a seed of highest quality" (jeremiah 2:21). The Lord's next words, however, describe what often happens to such works: 'How then have you turned before Me into the degenerate plant of an alien vine?" (same verse). God was saying, "I planted you right. You were Mine, bearing My name and nature. Now you have turned degenerate."
what caused this degeneration in the Church? It always has been, and will continue to be, idolatry. God is speaking of idolatry when He says to Jeremiah, "But My people have changed their Glory for what does not profit" (verse 11).
[[the number-one idol among God's people is not adultery, pornography, or alcohol. It is much more powerful than lust. What is this idol?
It is a driving ambition for success.
And it even has a doctrine to justify it.
the idolatry of being successful describes many in God's house today. These people are upright, morally clean, full of good works-- but they have set up an idol of ambition in their hearts, and they cannot be shaken from it.
God loves to bless His people. He wants His people to succeed in all they undertake honestly. But there is now a raging spirit in the land that is taking over multitudes.
It is a spirit of love for recognition and acquiring of things. ]]
a man of the world said, 'he who dies with the most toys wins.'
tragically, Christians, too, are caught up in this pursuit. How far we have strayed from the Gospel of dying to self, ego and worldly ambition!"
I can't shake this. Wilkerson's words describing God's heart in Jeremiah 2:21 won't seem to let me go."I planted you right. You were Mine, bearing My name and nature. Now you have turned degenerate."
[degenerate]- >>lacking some property, order, or distinctness of structure previously or usually present. <<
>>showing evidence of decline<<;
synonyms: slip, slide, lapse, regress.
"I had planted you a noble vine, a seed of highest quality. How then have you turned before Me into the degenerate plant of an alien vine?" (jeremiah 2:21)
and i'm sobered before the Lord.
because if i lay my heart bare,
i see places where i've declined.
where what was once fiery and passionate, is now a mere ember.
barely breathing warmth.
is it every area? no. is it huge areas of sin and struggle? no.
it is subtle.
and it happens over time.
family starts to come before Him.
comfort seeps in.
growth in ministry overtakes desire for growth in our own Spirit man.
genuine thirst and hunger dwindles and our appetite for His Word, His bread, becomes more easily satisfied with less and less.
the need for man's recognition and definition of success, overtakes our identity and desire to please Him alone.
and the scariest of all for me,
looking back on when He first called me, I first heard Him, we first started walking together.. and feeling like my love for Him then was greater. was hotter. was more overwhelming and consuming.
because routine sets in.
and it dulls.
and the cares of this world come in.
and they dull.
and what was once unquenchable..
and to be honest,
because it's called [lukewarm].
[post to follow].
[a continuation of yesterday's post, Walking in a tunnel]