In 1989, according to Pew Research Center, approximately 4% of stay-at-home parents were dads who cared for the children and sent their wives off to earn the living for the family. Today, that number stands at 7%. While that may say much about our confusion as a society—the radical feminist will not be satisfied until the ratio of stay-at-home parents is 50/50 across gender lines.
From the beginning God has designed specific roles and responsibilities for men and women in spheres of society, the home, and the church (Gen. 2:18—helper). God placed a specific calling upon men to be workers. Although the immature man views work as an unfortunate distraction to his play—work was never the problem from the beginning. Work, far from a result of the curse, was God’s original design for men. If anything—a lack of moderation in recreation will prove to be a distraction to work.
Not only has today’s society at large lost its moral compass when it comes to the roles and responsibilities of men and women—the church today is likewise struggling to understand these vitally important issues as well. The desire for women to lead men (the egalitarian view) is not a new development.  Such role dysphoria originated in the very first sin in the Garden of Eden (see Genesis 3) and the subsequent curse of the entire world has brought a multiplicity of egalitarian, feminist, and humanist positions that seek to dismantle God’s original design for men and women—boys and girls.
Male headship and biblical submission have been under attack from the very beginning—and that certainly hasn’t changed to this very day. The curse led women to have a desire to rule over their husband and it likewise led the husband to have a sinful desire to dominate his wife. Both are the unbiblical fruit of a broken world where women are abused on a multiplicity of levels.
Male Headship Protects Women from Physical Abuse
The apex of God’s creation was not the majestic mountain ranges of this world nor was it the beauty of star clusters that sparkle in the night’s sky. The crowning jewel of God’s creation was humanity—as God created both male and female (Gen. 1:27). As image bearers—both men and women possess the same amount of the image of God and are created equal in dignity and value of personhood. However, it’s clear from the beginning that God has different roles and responsibilities for men and women. That is God’s creative design—not the bad fruit of the curse of sin (Rom. 5:12).
Our culture loves to abuse women. Our culture loves to abuse women because Satan loves the abuse of women (visible in his attack upon Eve in the Garden). Often, it’s those who promote themselves as advocates for women who lead in the abuse. Feminists do more harm to women than good. Feminists lead in the murder of hundreds of thousands of little baby girls every year through the promotion of abortion.
Feminists likewise promote a militant homosexual agenda that ruins women’s athletic competitions and subjects women to physical brutality. Not only do transgender women (aka – men who are pretending to be women) dominate women in Track & Field competitions, but they likewise brutally defeat women in MMA contests. The fact that we have women entering MMA rings to fight in the first place, is itself a sign of a culture that celebrates the abuse of women.
Fallon Fox (a man who went through gender reassignment surgery to become a woman) entered the MMA ring to fight Tamika Brents. In the first round, Fallon (a man who is pretending to be a woman) brutally knocked out Tamika. It was bloody and brutal. It left Brents with a concussion and a broken skull. In an interview, Tamika Brents stated the following:
I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night. I can’t answer whether it’s because she was born a man or not because I’m not a doctor. I can only say, I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right… I still disagree with Fox fighting. Any other job or career I say have a go at it, but when it comes to a combat sport I think it just isn’t fair. 
In the United States, we’re debating the issue of drafting women into military combat situations as a result of a federal court’s ruling in Texas, stating that a male only registration for the draft is unconstitutional. Yet, we pride ourselves as a nation in pursuing women’s equality—but does such role equality lead to the abuse of women? To ignore the roles and responsibilities that God has designed for men and women in the culture, the church, and the home is to dishonor God and abuse women.
Male headship is God’s design. Male headship is nothing to blush about. As a part of his creative genius—God designed for men to be the physical leaders. This means, in the home and society, male headship should bring about the protection of women rather than abuse. It’s not the headship role that abuses women, it’s the abuse of the headship role that leads to the abuse of women. Just as guns don’t kill people—people kill people. The same is true regarding God’s design for male headship.
When men lead properly, it will result in the protection of women. For instance, in the home, when a man hears a sound in the middle of the night in the basement—it could be a result of a home invasion or it could be something as simple as the cat knocking over a paint can on the storage shelf. Leadership requires that he gets out of bed to go and check it out. He doesn’t send his wife downstairs to protect him and their children. When it comes to providing for the physical needs of their home, the husband doesn’t send his wife onto the roof to fix the leak when a roofing shingle fails. Men are called to be leaders and this results in the protection of women rather than their abuse.
Paul said in Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” The ultimate example for husbands to follow is Christ. It was Christ who laid down his life for the church. The husband is called to lead with such sacrificial leadership that if necessary—he would lay down his life for his wife. This loving and self-sacrificing leadership results in the protection of women. Women benefit greatly when men act like men.
Christian men must not use their role as the leader to physically abuse their wives. Such abuse must not be tolerated among the household of faith. Loving church discipline must be engaged in the situations where abuse is discovered within the church and men who abuse their wives and refuse to repent must be excommunicated from the church—and where laws are violated the proper authorities must be engaged. Christians must never tolerate the abuse of women.
Male Headship Protects Women from Spiritual Abuse
Male headship serves to protect women from spiritual abuse on two different levels. First, in the home, the husband who leads his wife as God has designed, will see to it that his wife Is not subjected to spiritual abuse. In short, he will lead his wife theologically. Such leadership takes the choosing of a church and Bible study consumption seriously. Far too often, men sit back without the slightest clue as to what is being taught in women’s Bible study circles which is often filled with aberrant theology and mysticism—even among conservative churches. Faithful headship should see the danger of pornography and unbiblical Bible studies. The husband serves as the gatekeeper to the home. In short, the Christian husband should know the difference between Sarah Young and Elizabeth Elliot. He should likewise be able to say no to Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling while at the same time leading his wife to trustworthy sources like Becoming a Titus 2 Woman by Martha Peace. It is the duty of the Christian husband to possess theological awareness and to lead his wife spiritually.
Biblical male headship within the offices of the church serves to protect women from spiritual abuse as well. While there is an ongoing debate on egalitarian and complementarian lines within evangelical circles—God has made it clear that he has called for men to lead in the context of the church. Not only should women not be elders, they should not teach or exercise authority over men. That involves both the office and function of the office (preaching and teaching the Word of God). Tom Schreiner, in a recent Twitter thread said the following:
But if Paul disallows the function and the office, his view says something about what it means to be a man and a woman. His view on men and women isn’t nominalism; it accords with the created order.
As elders lead in the context of the church—it provides an atmosphere that doesn’t allow for deficient theology among women’s Bible study groups or the physical abuse of women by sinful husbands. Not only will faithful elders who take male headship seriously rightly handle God’s Word—when necessary they will look into the eyes of abusive husbands and biblically reprove and correct them—and when necessary excommunicate them. Male leaders serve to protect women and the church should be a place where biblical manhood and womanhood flourish for the glory of God.
When Paul laid out the biblical boundaries for women regarding teaching and authority in the local church (see 1 Tim. 2:12-13), he had more than preaching sermons in mind. It was the total care of the church—including both physical and spiritual protection of men and women, boys and girls. Male headship serves the church spiritually which flows into the every corner and avenue of life—physically, emotionally, professionally, and more. Without the steady anchor of male headship—not only will the spiritual life of the church suffer—but it will open the doors of the church to the feminist agenda which always leads to the abuse of women.
When the church goes through a role dysphoria—it opens offices and pulpits to women who cannot functionally nor biblically fulfill the role of pastor as God designed. Such a dysphoria leads to dysfunction and eventual death. Just because a church has members doesn’t mean it has life nor does it mean that it has the blessings of God upon it.
Local churches make up denominations. From the spring of local churches flow educational institutions (Bible colleges and seminaries). From educational institutions come local church pastors. This cycle must not be overlooked. The egalitarian ideas and methodologies that are being promoted through a militant social justice agenda are dangerous. Such views must be exposed by the bright light of Scripture and avoided for the glory of God and the good of our churches and denominations.
- Egalitarianism — The opposite of complementarianism. The egalitarianism view suggests that God created both male and female equal in personhood and dignity as image bearers. As a result of this equality—there should be zero role and responsibility distinctions that prevent women from doing anything men do in society, the church, and the home.
- Fallon Fox is a MMA athlete who identifies as a woman. See the details of the brutal TKO of Tamika Brents here.
Congratulations on your recent graduation. You have put in long hours, hard work, and now you find yourself on the precipice of a summer of fun as you look forward to the next step toward adulthood (and not to spoil your fun this summer, but adulting is hard work too).
As you make your plans for the next step in your journey of life, pause for a moment and consider the words of a wise man who once said these words:
Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,
and forsake not your mother’s teaching,
for they are a graceful garland for your head
and pendants for your neck.
My son, if sinners entice you,
do not consent (Proverbs 1:8–10).
Whatever you have planned for the future, remember the words of Solomon. In his own words, he had walked down the pathway of rebellion in this world and tasted of sin. In his own words it was “vanity of vanities” and a wasted life (Ecc. 1).
Over the course of your life, you’ve been warned, lectured, taught, prayed over, counseled, disciplined, and given directions by your mother and father. Don’t despise your training in righteousness—it was and remains for your good.
When you cross paths with people who lack restraint and love rebellion remember your father’s instruction. When you find yourself being tempted to sin and to rebel against your God, remember your mother’s teaching. The season of instruction, teaching, and many prayers around the supper table were not just for formality. They were to prepare you for the season you find yourself entering now. The time spent in the living room reading the Bible was not just to keep you from your video games or your text conversations with your friends. It had a purpose and that purpose was to prepare you for today.
Today you are preparing to leave home. You’re preparing to take the next steps in life and that can be quite intimidating at times. Never forsake the Word of God that was taught to you and that has the ability not only to convert your soul but to lead you and guide you down the path of righteousness (Ps. 119:105; 2 Tim. 3:14-17).
Soon enough you will find yourself crossing paths with a specific crowd of people who love sin and walk down the pathway of rebellion (Prov. 5). They might invite you to join their party. As you evaluate them closely, you will not find the graceful garland or pendants upon them that are marks of God’s Word and the faithful instruction of parents who have loved them and spent time with them in the sacred Scriptures. You should be able to spot such temptation by now. It should appear as bright as a red barn in a massive lush green field. Stand firm (Eph. 6:10-18).
Make sure that you follow the path of righteousness and that you keep your eye on the end goal as you journey on in the faith. Don’t be enticed by the trappings of Vanity Fair—be like Christian in The Pilgrim’s Progress who was fixed on the exit to the wicked city when he entered.
According to statistics—most teenagers leave their church when they leave their parent’s home. Sure they return to visit mom and dad, but they leave church behind. Don’t make that mistake. Remember that the church is God’s will for your life. It does not matter what your plans are from this point forward—keep the local church at the center of your life. No small group Bible study or YouTube playlist can suffice. You need the church (Eph. 4:11-16). You need pastors who will love you and shepherd your soul. Don’t despise their authority (Heb. 13:17). All of those Sunday mornings, evening services, and midweek prayer meetings were not so that you could have more friends or keep membership in a religious club. It was for the good of your soul. You didn’t memorize Bible verses to earn patches on a vest. It was to prepare you for today.
Remember your father’s instruction and your mother’s teaching did not originate with them (2 Tim. 3:16). The wisdom they shared with you and the counsel they provided you through the years came from God’s Word. Keep a warm heart and committed focus upon the Scriptures. It was Jonathan Edwards, who at a young age, penned these words in his list of Resolutions:
Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
You might have gone through a season where you thought you knew more than your parents—but soon enough that season will come to an abrupt close. When you soon juggle insurance, mortgage payments, tax deadlines, maintenance on your home and vehicle, balancing your checkbook, and a hundred other things your parents do each day—your respect level will grow for them for sure. However, in all of your getting in life—get wisdom and instruction from the Lord.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, Get insight (Proverbs 4:7).
Remember your parents. They love you.
Remember your Lord—He has loved you with a love that is unbelievable.
Remember you need the church.
Remember to not waste your life.
Remember to do everything for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31)!
Remember to love the Lord with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30)!
You cannot rightly call yourself a Christian if you haven’t repented. Do you recall the first time you repented before the Lord of glory? No feeling in life can transcend higher and be more satisfying than to be at peace with God. Yet, for many Christians, repentance is merely a thing of the past—something they did when they entered the family of God, but not something they do on a regular basis. Take this opportunity to pause and consider how the child of God should repent frequently—perhaps even daily.
The Privilege of Repentance
We were once enemies of God. That’s what Paul writes in Romans 5:10. Take time to let that thought sink in for a moment. We had rebelled against holy God and rejected his sovereign rule. We transgressed his holy law and walked in disobedience to his good commands. Yet, God graciously came to us and sought us when we were strangers wandering from the fold of God. It was sovereign grace and mercy that granted us the privilege of repentance. In our culture that’s saturated by “rights” that are demanded and expected, we must remember that God did not owe us the gift of repentance (2 Tim. 2:25). In Matthew 3:2, we are called to repent. The word repent is taken from the Greek term, “μετανοέω” which literally means to change one’s mind, to change direction as a result of conviction and remorse.”
Beyond salvation, the privilege of repentance is granted to God’s children on a daily basis. We have access to the throne of God and we have a glorious mediator who is none other than Christ the Lord (Heb. 4:16; 1 Tim. 2:5). Why would we have such privilege and access to God’s throne and forsake it? Has God and his throne become too common and casual for us that we have been tempted to neglect such privileges? What about the responsibility of repentance? Have we simply failed to obey God by avoiding repentance?
The Posture of the Christian Life
When rightly understood, the Christian cannot fulfill the Christian life outside of a proper posture of repentance. A life of pride and self-sustaining knowledge and power displeases God (James 4:6). When rightly understood it will be clearly seen that every area of your life is stained by sin and stands in need of repentance on a regular basis. Repentance is difficult because it requires us to be honest about ourselves and we don’t enjoy being honest about our own failures. John Flavel stated, “It is easier to cry against one-thousand sins of others than to kill one of your own.”
While justification is a one time legal declaration—a verdict that will never be repeated, sanctification is something that is in progress. The forward motion of sanctification demands repentance. When properly understood, even our worship stands in need of repentance. If we’re honest and if we undergo a proper examination, even our prayers stand in need of repentance. The totality of who we are is corrupted by sin.
The proper response to the sins of our flesh as we journey onward in this body of sin—is genuine and honest repentance. Without repentance, it’s impossible to walk with God. A.W. Pink once stated, “The Christian who has stopped repenting has stopped growing.” Who among us can honestly state that they have lived a life of genuine perfection since their conversion? Even the smallest sin stands in the way and holds us back from properly glorifying God and enjoying him forever. We must find ourselves turning to God regularly as 1 John 1:9 teaches.
When Paul found himself held captive once again in the grip of sin—he turned to God. He didn’t look inward to himself or to the outward world of psychology for a self-esteem boost. He looked upward to God. Notice Paul’s prayer at the end of Romans 7:
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin (Rom. 7:24-25).
I once heard a man lament as he was looking at the schedule of a Christian conference. His complaint was that the upcoming session was going to be centered on John 3:16 and according to his thinking, he didn’t need to hear another sermon on that since he was already a Christian. Perhaps we have all been guilty at times of thinking that the gospel was only needed to save us, but it’s not needed to keep us faithfully walking with God. A person who rejects the need to repent is someone who is likewise rejecting their need for God. Without a walk that includes repentance, we cannot faithfully walk with God.
Yesterday, in our series through Romans, I had the privilege to preach the concluding verses (24-25) of Romans chapter seven. As you may know, the seventh chapter of Romans is one of the most difficult passages to interpret in all of Romans—indeed in all of the Bible. There are many questions to answer including identifying the “I” of the chapter and explaining the relevance of the law of God for new covenant Christians.
In the final verses, we see both the crisis and comfort of the Christian life—which was not only true for the Paul, but likewise, for all who follow Jesus Christ in this life.
After a lengthy and raw autobiography of his own struggle as a mature Christian who lives with tension between the law of God and the law of sin—Paul launches into a sincere confession, “Wretched man that I am. Who shall deliver me from this body of death?”
Paul’s crisis is often our crisis. However, Paul provided a true confession of his situation as he refused to sink back into sin or look inwardly for the solution. Paul understood that the answer to the crisis was external—and he likewise understood that he was greatly limited and unable to save himself.
Far too often Christians reach a point to where they become board with John 3:16. They believe that they’ve already cried out “wretched man that I am” at the point of salvation, why would anyone need to do that again? Isn’t that what 1 John 1:9 teaches? True believers, even mature believers, will often need to confess their sin to God and cry out in distress for deliverance. J.C. Ryle rightly states, “A right knowledge of sin lies at the root of all saving Christianity.” When was the last time sin in your heart scared you? When was the last time sin caused you to cry out to God for deliverance?
Paul finds his comfort in the none other than his Savior Jesus Christ. Paul didn’t turn to self-esteem or psychological counseling techniques in order to elevate his opinion about himself or his situation in life. Paul turned to the only true solution for his crisis—Jesus Christ the Lord.
Notice that Paul didn’t simply say, Jesus. He referred to Jesus as the Christ and the Lord. This is critically important because we know that Jesus means “Savior” and Christ means “anointed one of God.” On top of that, we see that Paul references Jesus as Lord—meaning “master, owner, sovereign.”
The exclusive hope for fallen sinners is Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). The exclusive hope for guilt-plagued Christians is Jesus Christ the Lord. He is the sovereign Savior—the one who never leaves us and never forsakes us. That means when we find ourselves in the darkest night and overcome by the most intense guilt and shame of sin—the Lord will come to us as we cry out for help.
How does Jesus provide hope and comfort in this present evil world?
- Present Peace: As we live in this world, we live with the blessed assurance that Jesus has overcome death and that he alone can save sinners. What he began in us will be completed for his glory (Phil 1:6). There will be no drop outs along the way.
- Future Peace: Whether it be through physical death or the return of Jesus—we have the assurance of a future eternal peace as we will be separated from this body of death and will receive a new body at the return of Christ. That’s why Paul could say, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21).
Before we can enjoy the truth of Romans 8, we must first become honest about our struggle with sin and cling to the work of Jesus Christ our Lord as our hope now and for all eternity. We can likewise be encouraged to see that as Paul struggled in sin and found comfort in the Lord, so can we when we find ourselves struggling in our journey of faith.
In the Christian life, it’s not uncommon to hear someone referenced as a stumbling block. However, what exactly is a stumbling block and what is the difference between a genuine stumbling block and a violation of a person’s standards on a particular issue? In order to see the difference between the two, we must examine how the Bible uses both of these situations and compare them to one another.
There is much in the New Testament about how a person should maintain healthy relationships within the church. For instance, in Ephesians 4:3, we find Paul urging people to be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” We should strive to walk together in peace within the church and to value our relationships in Christ Jesus. This is so important, notice what Paul wrote at the end of Ephesians 4:
Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:25–32).
Some of these verses in this paragraph in Ephesians 4 are often used regarding how we treat one another in our home, especially between husband and a wife in Ephesians 4:26 regarding not allowing the sun to set on your anger. However, this entire paragraph is contextually referring to the relationships within the church (although we can make application to how we treat one another in our home). The idea is that we should maintain love and healthy relationships and seek to walk in peace together for the glory of God—not giving the devil an opportunity to divide us and cause us to sin.
In the Bible, we see a few different types of stumbling blocks mentioned. First, we find the stumbling block used in the Old Testament in Leviticus 19:14. That language is picked up and used in the New Testament to describe a person who causes someone to stumble in obedience to God. We see this as Peter questioned the crucifixion of Jesus and was subsequently rebuked for his words. While he was certainly not going to prevent Jesus from going to the cross, he could become a stumbling block, or a hurdle by getting in the way of God’s eternal plan.
Matthew 16:23 — But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
In another sense, the stumbling block can refer to a genuine opportunity to cause someone to stumble into sin. This is a serious place to find oneself. Consider Jesus’ sobering warning regarding those who caused the little ones to sin:
Matthew 18:5–6 — Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me,  but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
Consider yet another scenario where someone once struggled with a particular sin and by observing the actions or choices others—it opened a door for that person to flirt with their past sin enough to fall back into it again. We can see this in connection with the Jews who ate the meat sacrificed to idols while others were offended by it. Paul writes to the church at Corinth and says, “But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak” (1 Cor. 8:9). While the meat itself didn’t contain demons nor was it contaminated as a result of being sacrificed to idols—it was the weaker brother who felt it was a violation of their conscience and could serve as an open door to sin and this is why Paul urged his fellow believers to abstain. Paul was consistently looking for the high road (2 Cor. 6:3) and provided a good example.
The Path of Wisdom
As it pertains to a genuine stumbling block, you may find that you have liberty and freedom to make certain choices, but if it could cause one of your brothers or sisters in Christ to sin—it would be best to not flaunt your freedom. The path of wisdom is a path of love that cares for others and looks out for the immature (weak) who could be harmed unintentionally. The path of wisdom is the high road that seeks to avoid controversy and looks for opportunities to build the church up in the faith as opposed to being a rogue believer who thrives on controversy.
It’s also important to consider the path of wisdom when your personal standards may differ from another brother or sister in Christ. Rather than approaching a situation as if you’re the weaker brother—it would be wise to simply agree to disagree on certain personal standards in order to prevent damaging relationships. Remember, the heart of legalism is the desire to bind someone’s conscience based on your personal standards rather than chapter and verse in the Word of God. Wisdom and love will allow us to pursue the high road.
Seasons of spiritual drought seize the heart and mind of Christians—far too often without notice. It’s often through a busy time of life that a person comes to the realization that they’re spiritually dry and in need of revival. What caused it? Was it the result of a spiritual attack or was it a self-inflicted wound? How can such a state of drought be avoided?
One of the greatest ways to find yourself spiritually dry is by isolating yourself from the local church. It might be through over serving or it could be for lack of commitment to assemble with the gathered church for worship (and fellowship), but either way, you find yourself alone, discouraged, and lacking spiritually. This is one of the greatest tools of the enemy.
God never saved anyone and intended for them to be journeying alone. The Christian life involves community and this community is not a religious club. It’s far more than the gathering of people around athletics or other recreational outlets. The church of Jesus Christ is a body of believers who are united with Christ and as a result—united with one another in the faith. In short, every believer (no matter of age and spiritual maturity) needs other believers for the Christian life. There is a real, raw, and dangerous world that will suck the life out of you and consume you without the support, wisdom, and assistance of the gathered church.
One way to isolate yourself is by not showing up for church services altogether. This follows the pattern that’s condemned in 1 John 2:19, but there are more ways to isolate yourself—even while attending on a weekly basis. For instance, it’s possible to work with children to the point that you have zero interaction with other adults in the life of the church. That’s one form of isolation that you should avoid. It’s likewise possible to isolate yourself by intentionally avoiding everyone in the church by arriving just as the service begins (or a few minutes after) and sliding out just as the benediction is being offered. Such isolation can lead to a spiritual drought. Sometimes such isolation is intentional while for others it could be a total accident. Either way, it’s extremely dangerous for your soul.
Serving without Worshipping
While over serving is always a danger for the zealous Christian who desires to see his or her church reach certain goals, another danger involves serving without worshipping. There are several ways that a person can do this, and one obvious category is over serving. However, it’s also possible to be present in the room with the gathered church for the worship service and to serve through song, instruments, ushers, choir, door greeters, security, and various other ministry outlets within the worship service without worshipping.
It’s very possible to perform a duty or complete a job on a weekly basis while remaining isolated from the church and isolated from worship. We all want to say yes to serving when asked, but there are times when no would be more appropriate. Over serving is often a danger for larger churches, but it can likewise be a danger for smaller churches who don’t seem to have enough people to serve. I can recall a particular woman years ago who served faithfully and worked hard in her area of ministry in the church, but I noticed that she was rarely present with the gathered church body for worship. She was serving, but she was not worshipping. She and her family eventually left our church. This is not a unique example, sadly it’s far too common in evangelicalism.
It must be noted that worship is about us praising God, but it’s also about us knowing God. When we come to know God through his Word, we grow in Christ through the Scriptures. This is critical for all ages and levels of maturity within the life of the church and will be a consistent process until we stand in the presence of King Jesus. Worship is not about feelings and emotions—it’s about knowledge and the consistent pursuit of knowing God. Therefore, how is it possible to continue to pour out in service (teaching or other practical areas of service) without growing in the knowledge of God through His Word? It will result in a spiritual dryness and lethargy that overcomes a person in due time.
One of the most common and yet most deadly ways of reaching a spiritual drought is through the ongoing practice or harboring of sin. The Christian is a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17) and is called to walk in newness of life in Jesus (Rom. 6:4). When Christians continue to harbor sin in their hearts, they become polluted spiritually and often this results in a lack of desire for God and his people (through your local church). People who walk in this pattern often find themselves having a lack of love for fellow Christians and a lack of patience in relationships. This pattern often leads a person to be grumpy and constantly finding ways to criticize leadership or other Christians in the church.
Another element of this problem involves the fact that it leads to isolation. When a Christian is living in sin, he or she often desires to surround themselves with unbelievers and as a result they find themselves having little time for God’s people. This is why it’s so dangerous to allow sin to remain in your life. The Christian is called to a life pursuit of God which involves the mortification of sin (Eph. 4:22-24).
Take time to evaluate your spiritual life and see if you’re serving on empty, harboring sin, or isolating yourself from the church. If so, you must remember that the enemy is crafty and is looking for ways to destroy you. Keep your guard up and draw near to the Lord.