Think what you may, some churches in the world are better off financially than others. Does that make them more in tune with God? I wondered this as I left my daughter and her friend off at Vacation Bible School this morning at a brand new sanctuary here in Naples, Florida. The church property occupies a whole city block here. I felt like God was really blessing them.
They are putting on a major production for an entire week involving multimedia and props; dozens of volunteers. They give each child a pretty nice tshirt and are using a check-in system that rivals the Philharmonic here in town. It is downright cool to see how God has blessed this work.
When driving away from the church this morning I felt in my spirit that it was because God’s anointing was on this congregation. He was blessing them now. And having grown up amongst churches my entire life I know that some struggle BIG TIME. It is such an issue that many churches split membership over where the money should be spent.
Interestingly, God doesn’t need our money at all. And maybe that’s the key right there. He needs and craves for our obedience much more than He wants us to go without so we can give Him an offering of some sort. Saul was wondering why on earth God didn’t like his fancy sacrifices and Samuel laid it out to him pretty plain:
1 Samuel 15:22-23
New Living Translation (NLT)
22 But Samuel replied,
“What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.
23 Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”
It becomes even more clear to me that these churches take more time to listen to what God has planned for them instead of designing some great mission, though noble, but not following God’s will (obeying.)
And like with Saul… God takes away all the goodies – Hey, Saul – you selfish egomaniac (was me, not too long ago) – guess what? You’re no longer going to be king of Israel because you listened…but you didn’t obey. And, yes the chapter gets kinda gory but the end is even more sad where God says He was sorry He ever made Saul king of Israel in the first place. Yikes!
What are your thoughts on this? Is your church in tune? Or do you think I’m way off-base?