I have been in the ministry now for over 36 years. Like they say, “time flies when you’re having fun.” It is interesting to me how much times have changed. I have always loved history, but now it seems that I have lived history having experienced a cycle of profound change in the world. Through my prophetic insight, I am fully prepared for the changes I see God orchestrating in a spiritual sense. However, I am caught off-guard by the change in thinking our culture has adopted and especially how Christians are influenced without even realizing it. When we first started Mt. Zion, we lacked resources and elaborate programs, as would be expected of a startup church. I have discovered that people who pioneer must be people of faith, people who believe the things “that are not as though they were.” People of faith are able to see beyond immediate limitations, knowing that it will all come together in time.
Someone Make Me Happy!
In our infancy as a local church, we often had visitors who were looking for the ways that we would be able to minister to their children. Proverbs 22:6 says, “raise up a child in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from that way.” It made sense that people were looking for developed ministries to help them fulfill their purpose as parents. It was difficult to build the church and try to encourage people that God will make up for the lack. Many people chose not to stay. It was so exciting when the finances were finally available to start these ministries and have something to offer parents as a help in their fulfillment of a God-given mandate. In recent trends, I have noticed something I find very disconcerting. Over time, people were not looking for ministries that would help them in their God-given purpose, but they were looking for a ministry that would make their children happy. I guess the idea is if the kids are happy, they will stay in church. Unfortunately, not everything a ministry does can be motivated by the need to make people happy. As a matter of fact, just the opposite is the case. God can’t be an option in the pursuit of a “happy life.” God must be the pursuit of our lives if we are to find a satisfying life. The influence of society and culture are so strong we don’t even realize the impact it is having on the Church.
How did Consumption Sneak In?
Since the Garden of Eden, mankind has sought to live independent of God. The story of the Garden is we “need God.” We need to understand God isn’t an option in life; God is a requirement for true life. You were created with a need for God! We need a relationship with Him and we also need His guidance through His word. In America, we are a consumer-oriented society. Maybe you have noticed the most successful efforts to get the economy going have been centered upon motivating people to spend more money. If they have nothing to spend, give them lower interest rates so they can spend on credit. A lot of people are gloating in the success of our efforts for easy money but what will be the long-term effect? Christianity has also become a consumer-oriented business and we have yet to see the end result of our efforts. Many churches have had a temporary success so they have become the models for everyone else who wants this same success. But what will be the generational cost?
Let’s Resist Culture and Pursue God
It is time to listen to what God is speaking and resist the pull of popular culture in our lives. If we will live our lives with the intent to fulfill His desire, we should keep asking ourselves about the roads we are traveling to confirm we are staying true to His purpose. Staying true for His purpose will produce the satisfied life and bring forth the best in our children, too!
I am inviting you to make a change in any area of your life that is being influenced by the consumer mindset and know that His ways will produce lasting satisfaction.