Having served in the U.S. Navy for 6 years, I have lots of colorful memories. However, one calls to remembrance an experience which probably no military endears. It’s the sound of reville, the loud bugle tune which says “Out of bed, now!” Usually it was very early which is a shock in itself. It is the military demanding, “Up and at ‘em. We’ve got a job to do!” When we see how ineffective the church of Jesus Christ has been in a world of over 7 billion people, quite possibly it needs a wake-up call. The Church has been lulled into believing that it is just one of the many religions. It is ill-equipped to assert itself in a lost and dying world. Where is the conviction? Where is that matchless relationship? Where is the understanding that Jesus Christ didn’t pay for our sins on a horrible cross just to maintain our comfort weekly in a gathering appearing as churchianity.
The world-wide body of believers simply must understand that Christianity is not a religion. It’s a Person, and His presence revealing His way of life. This is evident inasmuch as He is the Son of the Most High God, the all-righteous Creator and Sustainer of all creation! Hopefully you can see how this well over-shadows mere practices, vestments, chants, etc. which are earmarks of so-called religious practices. We must never forget it was the religious people who pressured Roman authorities to execute our Jesus. Our God is not impressed with religion. He is looking at our hearts, not our liturgy. He is looking for His born-again children who are committed to being His salt and light. He’s looking for His children who are more interested in their relationship with Him than in mere sociability.
Recent events speak of commitment and spiritual understanding. Remember 9/11? People, saved and unsaved, flocked to churches for about 2 to 3 months. Then what happened? With the trauma passed, the attendance faded. Back to normal, no more urgency. This is a clear picture of a void which was temporarily affected, a wound which was momentarily treated. Once the scab from the alarm was done, the anesthetized consciousness of the event reduced the need for treatment. So much for religion they would say. And, they are right! Religion is no substitute for the one-on-one relationship with God through His Holy Spirit. Even today too many are satisfied playing church. Serious children of God are feasting on His presence, seeking the Holy Spirit to lead, reveal, empower, strengthen, anoint, etc. Religion, isms, chants, postures and more don’t hold a candle to a vital relationship with our Creator, Sustainer, and Savior.
Wake-up time? Long past due! Salt does nothing if left in the pantry. Light does nothing if never switched on and utilized. Both should be doing their reason for being. Salt needs to be where it can be tasted. Light needs to be where it is useable and receiving power. What about it, Christian, follower of Christ? Your world is waiting on you. The Lord Jesus is waiting on you.