In my spiritual walk, I have come to discover that Christianity is not about religious denominations, but your personal relationship with God. Whether you are a Catholic, a protestant, an SDA, we all make one body of Christ and what matters is not which church you go to but which part of that body you are, and what you are doing with what you are.
Sadly, very few people know their Spiritual gifts. When you go to church, the Shepherd is busy telling you: ‘You will prosper! Financial breakthrough is coming your way! You will buy that house! You will get married tomorrow!’ and rarely will you hear something like: ‘You will speak in tongues! You will heal the sick! You will prophesy!’ This is why we are not fruitful. Jesus Himself taught: “…seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33).” So as you desire all that prosperity, remember to begin by doing what you were called to do for “every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into a fire (Matthew 7:19).”
Today in a village somewhere, somebody went to church for the first time this year. Perhaps they will go again on 1st to usher in the New Year, after spending the entire year chasing after the wind. Still today, a regular church-goer will go to church but leave empty, just as they have all Sundays.
The problem is that some people think that peace and rest will come to those who go to church. When something bad happens to them, they go looking for the Pastor or other congregants. Some, after church, still worry about where they will get their next meal, toss on their beds every night for lack of sleep, stay up late trying to make more money, fear walking on some streets that have been labeled ‘unsafe’, fear causing accidents … and the list of worry goes on and on. Some even wonder why after going to church all these years, fellow congregants backbite them, engage in sexual immorality, lie and do all sorts of evil.
The truth is, you cannot find rest and peace in church! In Matthew 18:28, Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Therefore, if you need rest, you have no choice but go to Jesus. And you will not find Him in church, no! The biggest temple is your body. And God wants to come and dwell in you, only that you have to invite Him, make room for Him, repent and live in righteousness because He cannot dwell in a dirty house.
If you wonder why evil things happen in church, you haven’t read your Bible. Jesus promised that He would let the wheat and tares to grow together, and so you should not be shocked to find that the head of worship is a devil worshipper. All you need to do is dwell in Jesus and He will guide your ways.
While answering the Samaritan woman about the right place to worship, Jesus said: “A time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks (John 4: 23).” Paul also taught: “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else (Acts 17:24-25).”
You see, God is not confined by walls. Neither is He limited by denominations.
The best church you will ever attend is the one at your own home/house. You have to decide for yourself and your house who you will serve. Every day, you have to worship God with your family, giving Him praise and feeding on His Word before you go out to serve Him. When you meet in church, His radiance should be seen in you. His rest and peace should be seen in you, for only God can grant you these. But the mistake some of us make is rush to church to get solutions to our problems, when the people we consult do not even qualify to be priests.
According to the Bible, a priest ought to be compassionate, humble, have knowledge of God, be spiritually mature and able to teach. In the book of Leviticus, we see that certain defects disqualified one from serving as a priest. Citing from the KHP Leadership Training Manual, the factors that disqualify one from being a priest today include:
- Stranger – One must be born again
- Blemishes – this signifies lack of repentance and reveals weakness in one’s character. Blemishes also speak of mixture. Godly character should not be tainted with the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes or the pride of life.
- Blind – to be spiritually blind means that one cannot perceive the will of God
- Lame – when a person is lame their walk is uneven, unbalanced. This means you have the eyes to see and have great understanding concerning the scriptures but you are unable to walk in what you see and know.
- Flat nose – a nose is used to smell. Spiritually speaking, a flat nose is a sign of lack of sensitivity or spiritual discernment.
- Superflous/deformed – without balance or sound Christian knowledge. Distortion of the Word of God through doctrines, traditions, creeds, theology, thoughts, likes and dislikes, opinions e.t.c.
- Broken feet – deviation from the truth leading to compromise. When this occurs one becomes unfaithful, unreliable, and is unstable in all his ways.
- Broken hands – in the natural, when a hand is broken, it is unable to protect, feed, clean or minister to the body; and it is unable to work. Always seeking to be served rather than seeking to serve.
- Crooked back/hunchback – this area of the body speaks to us concerning stability, strength, and uprightness. This type of blemish means that one is unable to carry a load or handle any kind of pressure.
- Dwarf – stunted growth, failure to grow to maturity and full of potential. The difference between a priest of the Lord and a child of God is development and maturity into the deeper things of God. A priest of the Lord must be fully equipped for every good work.
- Blemish in the eye – this talks of one’s ability to see properly and also speaks of one who is a faultfinder. This one has the ability to see, but it is in a limited form. They are not able to see the entire picture that is before them, therefore their judgment is clouded and distorted. To have partial vision is to be lacking in understanding and knowledge.
- Scurvy – disease caused by lack of essential nutrients (malnutrition). It is a life of misery because of having the wrong diet spiritually.
- Scabbed – someone who has been injured but is not healed completely. Walks in bitterness, unforgiveness, jealousy, envy and other destructive emotions. Guilt, condemnation, bitterness and other things come to keep the wound from healing.
- Broken stones (male reproductive organs) – in the Spirit, this person can function in the office of a priest, but he cannot reproduce the life of God. One may be able to produce numbers, but the true life of God is not there and it is not lasting. A priest must be able to reproduce life, be able to feed that life and help facilitate its growth.
Most of the churches springing up especially in the city are not aimed at nurturing your spiritual gifts or growing you spiritually. They are a business opportunity for some, and this is why they teach what you want to hear. They feed you on grit instead of the pure milk that is the Word of God. In all ways, they display the defects above, and we keep going back there to find rest and peace.
Today as you celebrate Christmas, I challenge you to invite God to dwell in your house. I challenge you to honour your body as His Holy temple. I challenge you to be come a priest in your own house, and work towards feeding on the living Bread that will grant you eternal life. Seek, before anything else, your Spiritual gifts as they define your purpose. The moment you start drinking from the River of life and live according to your purpose, you will find rest and fulfillment.