Is age just a number?
- Japan has an aging population. They have marketing campaigns targeted towards elder care.
- The median age of Malaysian politicians is around ~68 years old and there are no ‘firm’ plans to pass the baton to the young yet.
- Donald Trump (70), Hillary Clinton (69) and Bernie Sanders (75) who are gunning to be the US president are in their twilight years.
- Churches are finding it hard to transition and relate between generations. The quest for relevancy is driving divisions.
I had in the very recent past been the listener of 2 incidences where the differing opinions of how one seeks to ‘worship God’ exposed the frayed relationship of the young and old in church.
As I listened to both incidences, I have come to this one conclusion; the churches have lost their 1st love. They have lost their way, infighting instead of looking out.
Jesus Christ is no longer at the centre. It is worrisome. They say He is, but is that true? Are you sure it is not the battle of egos?
As I pondered on these troubling events last night, my heart burdened, my mind distractedly wandered toward the wisdom of 2 Chronicles 7:14. God, in His creepy coincidental ways, decided to confirm this by allowing this very verse to appear first on my timeline. The wisdom of God reads,
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. – 2 Chronicles 7:14
Yes, I was shocked. Yes, I was amazed. Yes, I was wondering about my extra sensory perception (ESP).
What does it mean when ‘coincidences’ happen? I shall have to leave this to another day.
When a body of Christ starts to bicker amongst themselves, they forget that they have a role to play in different ways.
When ‘church growth’ is about size, hype, relevancy, popularity and community rather than saving the lost souls, we are playing church. If we focus (1 Thessalonians 4:11) on spreading the Good News, on building our identities in Christ, then God will bless us with what we desire; a vibrant, spirit-filled, hungry and service-oriented church.
In the 2 incidences, the 1st
- is too focused on 1 day that they have lost sight that everyday is more important.
- They are trying to control the sails instead of move with the ‘wind of the Holy Spirit’. I love how Chinese this expression is.
- They want people to fall into line, to do as their told, and to work. Not as a ‘service to the Lord’ but to do tasks for man.
- Where is the love? There is no heart, no love, no God in the process.
- Heavy handed leadership.
- is struggling with insecurity and boundary issues.
- They want to prove themselves, to be the front runners but instead of running their own race, they look left and right, front and back and then stumble and fall behind.
- They feel they have the capacity to do great things ‘for God’ (or is it for themselves?) but fear man.
- They consider themselves too compliant, like doormats, and have grown resentful of their position and place.
- They blame everyone but themselves, avoiding responsibility for their own actions. There is no heart, no love, no God in the process.
- Weak leadership.
Repent! Why should I?
In both incidences, they have no empathy.
They put themselves at the centre instead of God. They think they are doing it for God but are they really? It is a sin to presume so.
It takes humility to realise.
In the 1st incident,
- the hijack was so evident that remorse over what transpired was expressed shortly after.
- Apologies were exchanged.
- Will self-reliance return? With some certainty, yes.
- Their faith is weak.
- Do they mean it when they say they believe their God will do great things?
In the 2nd incident,
- there is still no remorse in sight.
- They feel wronged instead of seeing their own folly.
- Their hint of arrogance does not bode well and I can only ask that they quit pointing fingers and just create structure and plan their goals.
To be honest, as I look at these 2 incidences, I see myself in both of them.
- I see flaws, similar to mine, on a grander scale.
- My self-reliance and lack of faith that my God is bigger than my problem.
- I look jealously at others, blaming everyone but myself. Like the elder son in the Prodigal Son.
- I have forgotten the need to seek forgiveness always, to repent of my own ways and to put God first.
- Forgive me, God! I have changed a lot.
- I used to think apologies and/or seeking forgiveness will solve everything but over the last few years, have stopped saying sorry and instead claimed to be so much better than I really am.
- What have I become? A hard-hearted person?
- O God! What does this mean? Time to think.
- I can only vaguely recall my spirit at the time, when I felt I had to apologise on everyone’s behalf, even though I was not at fault, so that rifts could heal and reconciliation happen.
- Gosh, what a time! What a different person I was! I was a much better person then. I don’t think Dr Henry Cloud would approve.
My intention was to write about what I had discovered about
- the young and old. This battle is everywhere. How the young want to do it their way because the old have been in power too long. Yet the old fear relinquishing power because they do not want to be forgotten or deemed useless.
- I wanted to display my insight, my ‘prophetic’ wisdom and discerning gifts except God has revealed my own weaknesses that I need to seek His grace for.
It is funny how tables turn. God knows best. God is in control. I need to believe again that Jesus Christ is the reason that I can stand secure in my future.
I have little faith because I fear what that means. To surrender my life to Jesus? But… that’s like freefall!
I was in dismay last night when I heard whispers in my spirit that I assumed was from God. Instead of embracing, I promptly brushed these whispers aside because the demands were too much. You want to set me apart? You want me to abstain? What, why?! Before I can even entertain the thought, my lack of willpower and discipline trumps these whispers. God, show me.