Over the years I have heard many speak critically of "Have it your way" churches. Churches that try to be all things to all people like Burger King does with hamburgers. Churches where the congregant complains that the music is too loud, too soft, the service too long too short, the preaching not feeding them, people unfriendly, seats uncomfortable, and a hundred other complaints. That people want church THEIR WAY.
God doesn't want a church that is our way. It would be too weak, too powerless, too ineffective in a dying world. What carnal and unredeemed people want in a church is not what God wants.
God wants it HIS WAY. We need to stop saying to people, you can have it YOUR WAY, and start saying to God, HAVE IT YOUR WAY.
Here's what I heard the Lord Say:
My desire is for you. Whatever it is that will bring you to ME is my desire. I have done everything to break down every wall for you. There is no barrier. There is no distance except that which you erect. Come to me, in Spirit and in Truth as you know it.. and I will show you great and mighty things that you did not know.
IF we are going to fashion ourselves after what God wants, let's see if we can find clues from what HE SAYS HE wants in the Word of GOD (hover over the verses to see what HE says from the word):
I AM a Spirit, and if you would worship ME, you must do it in Spirit and Truth for that is what I want from you when you worship. John 4:23-24
Faith is what I am looking for. Faith for My move among you in demonstration. Miracles, Healing, Supernatural Knowledge and Wisdom, the Oracles of my word among you in Prophecy, The capacity to know what is and is NOT ME. Without faith it is impossible to please ME. Hebrews 11:6
I want Love, true love that overflows for ONE ANOTHER. Not the kind of surface love that lacks engaging one another, love that goes deep. Patient and Kind Love. This love must be genuine and even sacrificial. I commanded you to love one another that your joy would be full. I want a church filled with JOY and LOVE to the full. Don't try to fake it: dive in and LOVE one another without condition and I WILL BE THERE. John 15:10-17
I want to see your desire to imitate ME. You have My word, you have My Example as I walked among you, you have those who have imitated ME and presented themselves to you saying Imitate me as I imitate Christ. Look to those who imitate, and learn from them. Let them speak to you of how to become like ME. Become a Disciple, of the Disciple who imitates ME. Don't settle for less than the one who is humble and contrite in spirit, one who trembles at MY WORD, ready to be least among you, who is then in imitation the greatest. 1 Corinthians 11:1 Mark 9:35 Isaiah 66:2
I want a church that does good works, designed by ME. Your Purpose. Those predestined for each saint I call. Those driven by FAITH alone and not by program. These good works must be done with FEAR and TREMBLING. It is a way that you express the great gift of Salvation given to you. It is your obedience in service I look for, not obedience to MAN but to the call I placed on you. It is reasonable service. When it becomes duty and drudgery, there is no more FAITH. Good works not driven by Faith is dead. Philippians 2:12-13 Romans 12:1-2 James 2:20 1 Corinthians 2:3
I want a church were all who want to come are welcomed and when they come they will hear only a proclamation of the Kingdom of God and of JESUS. I want that done without hindrance from the fear of man, tradition, denomination or human reason. I want BOLDNESS as the Kingdom and the KING is proclaimed. Acts 28:30-31
I don't want pageantry, external holiness, foolishness and ceremony. If it's predictable, It offends ME. I don't care how good the worship band is, if it's not truth and spirit, it's noise. When you make a big show of prayer, I'm not impressed. When you bring your offerings to be seen by all.. I don't want it. Keep it simple and pure. Spirit and Truth. Tradition and ceremony no matter how well meaning is man made religion.
Amos 5:21-23 Isaiah 58:1-14 Colossians 2:23 Isaiah 1:10-15
I want truth spoken, but not truth given at the hands of those who will not hear from ME by the spirit. That becomes absolutism. Certitude. When you hear someone say this or that is not "Biblical" that should raise a spiritual red flag. That means someone has made the decision to tell you what is truth without using MY measure... ME. I AM the truth. "Don't let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths" Colossians 2:16
I want there to be authority in leadership but not authoritarianism. When any man, or group of men, claim to be the designated instruments of MY authority and attempt to express such authoritatively, especially in an autocratic or totalitarian way, you then have the authoritarianism. This goes against everything I taught you. It is man made religion. It is the worst kind of church and one I will never visit says the Lord. I cursed it on the earth then and curse it still today. Matthew 23:5-39
I want my church active, but not activist. When you take my WORD and distort it to your ways it becomes the worst form of Religion. It is ACTIVISM. Doing things in MY name without MY Mandate. I am an active God, but I want you to act in expression of my character. When any man, or group of men, claim that they are the directors of MY activity and that they have discerned what I want to do in you, how I want you to act, beware of religious activism. This is perpetuated by the desire of people. People want a sense of meaning, a sense of purpose, a sense of belonging, a sense of identity, a reason to be. These are God-given desires. Religion offers a false-fulfillment of these desires. Religion repeatedly encourages people to become more involved, more active. Involvement, commitment, dedication, consecration -- these are the "passwords" of religion. Religion fosters a fixation, a compulsion, an obsession, an addiction to religious activities, explaining the absolute necessity to be thus engaged in the activities in order to please God, and for the good of the whole -- never admitting that it is primarily for the good of the religious authorities! AVOID ALL FORMS OF RELIGION WITHOUT ANY POWER. I will never visit such a place. 2 Timothy 3:1-5
That is the kind of Place FATHER is looking for. A place of HIS habitation. A place where he can be found. A place that is made to order for HIM.
A place that says to God, "Have it YOUR WAY".