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 (NIV).
“What should the church be doing, Lord?” Given some of the realities and challenges facing the church today this may be the single most difficult and complex question to answer – certainly in the flesh. So I do not presume, in and of myself, to be able to suggest an answer. But I can draw your attention to what I’m gleaning, what the church is learning or re-learning, and what the Holy Spirit is drawing to the attention of those who have ears to hear. Here are 5 things we must do:
Remove the idols. Money (the love of), sex and power are the three primary counterfeit gods in our culture today. Why are they such a big problem? Because we rely on them more than we rely on God (that’s what makes them idols) and until we get rid of them the church will only be luke-warm at best. God says, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived” Colossians 3:5-7.
Return to prayer. Many Christians don’t attend church prayer meetings. God says, “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.
Renew Bible engagement. A text in Amos 8:11 recently caught my attention: “‘The days are coming,’ declares the Sovereign Lord, ‘when I will send a famine through the land – not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.'” Sadly, statistics indicate that there is a famine in the Western world of hearing the word of the Lord. One study indicated that only 11% of Christians regularly read God’s Word. Another study stated that there’s a direct correlation between weekly church attendance and Bible engagement. Renewal in the church begins when we start meeting God daily in and through His Word.
Revitalise evangelism. Evangelism has fallen on hard times. We find preachers and teachers in the churches, but very few evangelists. Churches talk about sharing the Gospel, but conversions are few and far between. Evangelism should be a priority. “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?” Romans 10:14-15.
Rest in God. The church must stop doing things in its own strength. To attain spiritual objectives we must walk in the power of the Spirit. Here are three injunctions to guide us: “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this” Psalm 37:5. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” Proverbs 3:5. “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” Psalm 27:14.