Many years ago, I used to attend a certain denomination. I knew God had led me there for a season, then certain things began to happen and I decided to leave.
I was going to church out of duty – and because you went to church on Sundays – but I didn’t enjoy it. It was dry, boring, had too many (unnecessary) programs, the preaching was monotonous, the people were few…you name it.
I wasn’t the only one complaining, so I knew I was justified in how I felt.
There was another church I used to attend, particularly when they had programs or conferences. The pastor was/is an amazing teacher of the Word, and anytime I attended the midweek services, I always left ‘full.’
So I would go to my own church on Sundays and other service days – then in the middle of the week, I would attend this much larger church…and the disparity was glaring.
I left one dull, dry, eager to get home – and I left the other full of the Word and of the Spirit, most times praying in tongues until I got home.
That’s how charged I would be.
There is an annual conference organized by this church, and that particular year, I attended as usual – and it was glorious.
Coincidentally, my church was holding its usual monthly prayer vigil on the last day of the program, so I decide to go from the program straight to church.
Oh. My. Lord. The last day of the conference was mindblowing. After it was over, people sat down, not in a hurry to leave. (This, by the way, is usually one sign of God’s presence.) I sat down there, just basking – and dreading to go to my own church.
Well, I got to my own church for the vigil, and the blandness and disparity was so obvious, I just knew it was time to leave.
So, I told a few people I would be leaving, informed my amazing pastor, and started to make the arrangements.
But I didn’t have peace.
My head and logic was screaming, “Go. You are not being fed here. You are not growing here.”
Most people I discussed with encouraged me to leave – it actually made much sense to.
But I didn’t have peace.
I gave God all the scriptural and logical reasons why I had to leave this church and go to that one – and He didn’t say anything.
Well, silence means consent, right? So, it further solidified my decision.
But I didn’t have peace.
After sometime, I couldn’t sleep. My head and something inside me was warring so bad, I couldn’t concentrate. I began to experience a slight twinge of fear when I thought of leaving to the new church.
Finally, one day in the bathroom, I was talking to God, exhausted and frustrated. I told Him over and over, “You know I don’t have half-measures. You know I don’t have half-measures.”
You see, I have a tendency to be very intense about things I feel passionately about. I tend to pour myself into those projects – and prefer not to get involved with those I don’t.
And I was struggling, really struggling with the church, so I kept repeating, “I have to leave. I’m not growing – and You know I don’t have half-measures. You know I don’t have half-measures.”
And, finally, the Lord spoke (it is one of the very few times I have heard the audible voice of God) and He said,
“Deborah, I don’t have half-measures either.”
The Bible says, “God has spoken once, twice I have heard…” (Psalm 62:11a)
That day, I realised God can make one statement – and they can mean many different things.
In that single statement, He told me four different things with four different meanings about certain areas of my life.
One meaning pertaining to my decision was that I had to go back – and give my full measure.
You see, even though I had been physically present at church, I hadn’t been fully committed – in my heart, in my actions, and in my service.
I hadn’t been giving my very all.
That statement was like a death sentence to me.
So, I had to stop attending my ‘dream’ church for that period – and I went back to my local assembly to ‘die’.
That was how it felt like.
I had to die to my own desires, what I wanted in a church, or what I thought I needed in a church.
I died to the opinions of people, the deficiencies of the church and its leaders, or how I thought a church should be.
I just chose to ‘die’ – and I poured all of myself, giving my very all, not caring about the outcome or my gain…
…and like a seed planted into the ground that dies, decays – and resurrects…
In that seemingly ‘small’, ‘boring’, ‘dreary’, ‘dead’ place…
I found myself dead-center in purpose.
I developed unknown spiritual muscles.
I discovered another cadence in my voice.
I came under a God-ordained covering.
I experienced various, hidden layers of my calling.
I forged lasting and divine relationships.
I got hooked up to unbelievable connections.
I prospered all round – physically, spiritually, financially, socially, mentally.
I became an oak tree.
I once asked as I filled out a professional form, “What is your favorite place?” – and I almost replied, “Church.”
That’s how much I had grown to love the place.
Why am I sharing this?
Because there are certain individuals who are thinking of quitting their God-ordained relationships or places who are reading this.
You know God put you in that position or relationship (what keeps coming to mind is marriage), but you currently hate it and want to get out. There are other seemingly more ‘fascinating’ options that are even scripturally and logically justifiable…
…But God wants you to ‘die’ where you are.
He wants you to shut out and shut down every other option – and ‘die’ where He has placed you.
He wants you to:
Serve there as if there’s no other place to go.
Love them like there’s no other person to love.
Pray for them like everything depends on it.
Give to them as if you will never run out.
He wants you to die to comparisons, your flesh, your pride, your desires, your needs, what you want – and pour your very all into them, not looking for a reward or reciprocation…
…and you will be amazed at how – from that dead, decayed flesh of your seed – an oak tree will come forth.
Who knows? Maybe even a forest.
(Do you have a prayer request? Send it in. We will DEFINITELY be praying.)
(Testimonies? Questions/Topics you want discussed? Suggestions on the blog? Drop a note. All private and anonymous. We will share only if requested.)