Excuses. We all have them. What is your reason for not being closer to God? Why don't you have devotions daily? Why do you make time for hobbies, working out, reading books and visiting with friends but can't give God 5 minutes of your day and one hour on Sunday or another day of the week for Christian fellowship? Have you perhaps turned your back on God? Is He something you sort of add to your resume as 'follower of Christ' and conveniently name drop but really you do not do much more than just say "I believe in Jesus?" It is good to believe in Jesus but He is waiting to spend quality time with you too. Just as a friend wants to spend time with you to get to know you better, so too does God. Has something maybe happened in your life to turn you against God and fellowship with other believers? Why is it so easy to spend 3 hours at a sporting event, concert or play but then not be able to give the Lord one tiny hour of your time on Saturday night or Sunday morning? You work all week and you say you need one day to do what you want to do and unwind and sadly, for many, that does not include spending time in God's house worshipping Him. The lake is beckoning, the bike trails, the home repairs, the yard work, the Sunday brunch, the Sunday paper, the movie theater. If you would give God just those sixty minutes it would surprise you to see you actually may have more time in your day. Sort of a principle of tithing your time. But certainly if you have a cold heart towards God and simply enter church and 'do your thing' for one hour and it means nothing then ask God to change your cold hard heart and soften it and give it a hunger for Him and his word. Find a church that is alive for Christ. Many churches nowadays have 3 or 4 services on Sunday to accommodate busy schedules and one on Saturday nights as well.
Revelation 2:2-4 says "I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first." Why forsake Him? Jesus never did anything to you. He is here with open arms waiting to take you back. He is waiting for you to put him first in his life.
When one of my children was small he would say to us that he loved us 'one less than God' meaning God was first, then mom and dad. Oh, from the mouths of babes. Maybe formal religion and religiosity has turned you off. Religion and legalism turns allot of people off, but a personal relationship with Jesus and being alive in Christ does not. Yes there are 'dead' churches out there so you have to find one preaching the word of God and that is vibrant and exciting and makes you feel like worshipping the Lord. There needs to be a true passion for the Lord. What are you passionate about in your life?
Going to church each week helps us sort of recharge our spiritual batteries to be able to face what we will face during the week ahead. Reading your Bible also equips you to know how to handle and react to things that will come your way. But if you are not in church or not reading your Bible how will you be prepared to face the battles of your week ahead? You will hear the wrong kind of voices and it stands to reason if the Lord is not in your thoughts then the enemy can easily come in to your mind and distract you and lead you astray and get you to believe lies.
Matthew 5:6 says "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." Proverbs 21:21 says "He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor." Jeremiah 31:25 says "I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint."
If you are a parent praying for a child to return to the Lord and claiming Proverbs 22:6 that says "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it" then in the meantime pray the prayer in John 17:15 which says "My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one." Also Ephesians 1:17 which says "I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better."
Sure it is possible to be a Christian and not go to church just like it is possible to go to church each week and not really be a Christian. It is all about where you heart is at and if you have truly asked Jesus to be your Lord and saviour. It is really hard to learn God's nature and character if you do not pick up and open up the word of God on a regular basis though. Try starting with the Psalms or the book of John. Do not let it scare you and make you feel you can not read it as you have not been to a theological institution. Many who have gone to these have not known the Lord. Going to Bible college or a seminary is not a guarantee of knowing the Lord. 2 Corinthians 4:4 says "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."
Each day wake up with the knowledge that God loves you and has a wonderful plan and purpose for your life. He is waiting for you and knocking at the door of your heart. Won't you let Him come in?
PRAYER: My desire Lord is to know you better each and every day. My desire Lord is to be a light for you in a world of darkness and deception. My desire Lord is not to judge and condemn but to love the lost and be a beacon of your hope. My desire Lord is to show your joy to others. Keep me on the path of righteousness and help me resist the enemy so he will have to flee. Help me not be 'preachy' and condemning to others but show your love to win the lost to Christ. In Jesus Name, Amen!
Enjoy this worship song: Give Me One Pure and Holy Passion . Click on link.