What's It Going To Take To Make The Church Thirsty For God?
"Those that are sensible of their spiritual wants, and the insufficiency of the creature to supply them, shall have abundant satisfaction in God." - Matthew Henry
"It is almost unavoidable that those who are rich in this world's goods should feel that they have need of nothing." - Barnes' Notes
"Water shall be poured out to those who truly desire spiritual blessings above all the delights of sense."
"Those that are barren as the dry ground shall be watered with the grace of God, with floods of that grace, and God will Himself give the increase. If the ground be ever so dry, God has floods of grace to water it with."
- both of the above quotes are from Matthew Henry
"...riches seldom do any good to the churches of Christ, they did not in Constantine's time; and it seems that even at the close of the spiritual reign of Christ they will be of bad consequence, since they will usher in the Laodicean church state..."
- John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
In Isaiah 43:24, we get a glimpse into the true spiritual state of Israel in the time of the Prophet Isaiah. This is what God had to say about them - "Thou hast brought Me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled Me with the fat of thy sacrifices: but thou hast made Me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied Me with thine iniquities." Notice what God said here about His chosen people. He said that they made it so oppressive...burdensome...and wearisome for Him. He could no longer bear with them any longer. They were an uneasiness to Him. They burdened Him with their terrible sins...wore Him out with the wrongs they committed...and troubled Him with their evil ways.
These were the people that He "formed" for Himself that they would "show forth" His praise (Isaiah 43:21). Nonetheless, they didn't call upon Him. Instead, they grew "weary of Him" (Isaiah 43:22). They didn't honor Him with their sacrifices (Isaiah 43:23) but aggravated Him with their countless sins.
In spite of their backslidden ways, we find God speaking of forgiveness and grace in the verses that followed - "I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Put Me in remembrance: let us plead together... Yet now hear, O Jacob My servant; and Israel, Whom I have chosen: Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, My servant; and thou, Jesurun, Whom I have chosen" (Isaiah 43:25-26,44:1-2).
In spite of their stubborn ways, He offered a promise of revival, restoration, and blessing for them and their children. Isaiah 44:3 gives that promise - "For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour My spirit upon thy seed, and My blessing upon thine offspring." Notice that the only condition for the fulfillment of this promise was that the people would thirst for more of Him.
Let's step aside from Israel right now and look at the present-day church. The connection between the two is rather remarkable.
Just like Israel of old, the present-day church is wearing God out with her sins. She is making Him to "serve" her with them. Although she was formed to be His Bride and to show forth His praise in all the earth, she is not honoring Him with her "sacrificial" and "separate" lifestyle but aggravating Him with her worldly and compromising ways.
Just as He did with Israel, God is attempting to woo her back to Himself with His grace. He is promising forgiveness to all those who will repent and turn from the world...the love of pleasure...the worship of the creature more than the Creator...and the making of a lie. He is promising to replace all fear with His overwhelming love. With arms stretched out, He is beckoning His church to draw near to Him in a closer walk.
If she would only draw near to Him, He would draw near to her (James 4:8). In fact, if she would only "thirst" for Him - be zealous in following after Him in righteousness and holiness - He promised to bestow blessings upon her that were outstanding and marvelous - like floods of water descending on dry, parched, desolate earth. These blessings would come in the form of the abundant influence of His Spirit descending on her and her children.
As we look upon our world today - as well as the state of the church - there is nothing that we need more than a mighty outpouring of God's Spirit. Just look for a minute at our youth or our children. They need God in a desperate way. They are facing situations that are mind-boggling, heart-breaking, terrifying, and dreadful - situations that need His help and grace in order to endure.
Here is God offering the promise for a revival to come to the church, but where are those who are really taking Him at His Word? He is promising the Blessed Holy Ghost - the Mighty Comforter and Power of God - for her children, but who is claiming His promise?
He should be bringing judgment on the "house of God" (1 Peter 4:17) because of her sinful, wicked ways. Instead, in His abundant mercy, He is extending a promise of grace to all - to all who will meet the condition. What is that condition? Simply to "thirst" after Him.
Where, oh where, are those in the church who are thirsty for God? Who is crying out for a move of His Holy Spirit to sweep through the church at this time? Who is desperate to see His glory manifested in signs and wonders? Who is crying out from the depth of his being - "Give me revival or else I die!"?
Sad but true - hardly anyone is paying attention to the Lord and His call. Hardly any one is thirsty for more of Him - or to see Him manifest His glory in the sanctuary as He did in the days of old.
Why not? Is it because they are ignorant of His promise? Can they not see the desperate condition of our world and the church included? Or is it because they simply do not care?
Shouldn't a people who are dry be crying out for water? Shouldn't a people who once were alive but died want to be brought back to life again?
Actually, we can find the answer for the church's overall indifference to God's wonderful promise in Revelation 3:16-17 which says - "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of My mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." The reason why the church - even though she is seemingly dead and dry - spiritually speaking - is not crying out for "water" or "floods" is because she is self-satisfied. She bought the old lie that says - "If you have wealth, you have everything." She is rich and growing richer in worldly goods. What she doesn't realize is that riches have a tendency to occasion lukewarmness, vanity, pride, and arrogance - some very deadly things for the soul. Hence, her riches have caused her to attempt to serve God and Mammon...halt between two opinions...be unconcerned about life and the power of godliness...have no thought about the glory of God...and lose interest in Christ and the truth. Little did she realize that spiritual self-sufficiency is fostered by worldly wealth.
She has need of nothing! She has enough of everything. Hence, she feels no stimulus to effort - nothing but ease and comfort.
We have to wonder if some of these Prosperity Preachers really knew what they were doing when they turned the church's focus off of hungering and thirsting for a Mighty Outpouring of the Spirit onto a Mighty Capture of the Wealth of the Sinner or the Abundance of Finances.
Look what has happened to the Church over the past five...ten...twenty years! Hardly anyone shows up for a Prayer Meeting any more. But, oh how the place is packed to capacity when some "Motivational Preacher" comes to town teaching and preaching on "How To Get Rich!" Without realizing it - have these so-called Popular Preachers played into the hands of the devil by producing a church that cannot muster up a single cry for the "water" or "floods" of the Holy Ghost?
What do our children need - more money or the power of the Holy Ghost?
What do you need in your life right now - more money or the power of the Holy Ghost?
What does a spiritually dead church or denomination that once knew the power of God need - some famous "Money Preacher" to come and preach to everyone on how to get rich or richer, or for God to pour out His "floods" on each individual?
Why did God save us? Did He save us from our sins and from going to Hell so that we can see how much money we can accumulate in this world? Or did He save us to "show forth His praise" by being endued with the power of the Holy Ghost?
The reason why the church is not thirsty for God is because she is too preoccupied with her wealth right now! She doesn't see her dire need for Him as long as she is secure in her riches.
One last thought - God gave you wealth not that you would grow lukewarm or indifferent toward Him but in order to supply your needs, support the Preaching and Teaching of His Holy Word, and be a blessing unto those who lack.
On a scale of 1 to 10, just how similar have you grown to the Laodicean Church mentioned in Revelation? That's easy! Just answer this question - when was the last time you cried out to God for the "floods" of the Holy Ghost to be poured out upon you and your children?
Remember - Israel should have been judged, but God was giving her grace through His promise of the Holy Ghost. The church is in the same state today.
What will it be - revival or judgment?
Your money and the love of it will answer for you!
May God Bless His Word.
© COPYRIGHT Connie Giordano - All Rights Reserved