Now don't get me wrong. As far as churches go this one appeared to be "happening". I'm not criticizing this fellowship of people. I believe their hearts are right. I believe they want God and are seeking Him; and there were moments that I was inspired and moved with emotion. But I want more.
Where is the encounter that transforms? Where is the heaviness of presence that moves worship beyond mere sentiment and feeling? Where is the divine anointing that once characterized the people of God?
The God I have served my whole life; the God I have preached about for twenty years; the God that I want my kids to experience is a God that is so much bigger than what is encountered in the average church service. I want...no, I need to encounter the Healer. I need to encounter the one who spoke the storms away; the one who's gentle voice brought demons to their knees; who's words mastered the un-masterable. I need to encounter the Living God; not the clichéd figurehead that exists in our splintered American religious kingdom.
I'm done with going through the rituals. I'm through with protocol. I'm sick of psychological parlor tricks that tweak my emotions. I WANT JESUS! I want the one who's teachings offended the Pharisees on one hand and brought hope to the prostitute on the other. I want my Lord. What does that encounter look like? I don't know anymore. But I know this - when it happens, my first thought when I leave the parking lot will not be where we should eat.
I'm hungry, but not for food. I'm hungry for that which man driven "religion" has stolen from the Church. I'm hungry for the incarnate body of the living Christ; not this cold, ecclesiastical machine, well oiled by the talents and efforts of man that has taken its place. I want Him!
My spirit echo's Isaiah's when he cried out:
"Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence-- As fire burns brushwood, As fire causes water to boil-- To make Your name known to Your adversaries, That the nations may tremble at Your presence! When You did awesome things for which we did not look, You came down, The mountains shook at Your presence. For since the beginning of the world Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, Nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him." (Isaiah 64:1-4 NKJV)
It's that encounter that I'm seeking for with every fiber of my being. I will not stop or be satisfied with anything less. I don't believe He wants me to.