There’s a well nearby. You’ve probably seen it. It’s in a dusty abandoned town. You wonder who used to live here and why they all left.

Many people have traveled by this well on their journeys through life, but either didn’t notice it, decided not to check it out, or tried it but left for some reason. It doesn’t appear that the well has been used in a long time. You are not even sure if the water is good. The top of the water looks unappetizing . . . . disgusting actually – covered in dust, dirt, germs, bugs and grime. Who would even want to use this well or drink its water? You dip your finger in to just taste it anyways as you realize how thirsty you are, but you only taste the stuff on top. Yuck. You’re not drinking that! But your thirst remains.

You decide to move on. . . . to find something more appealing . . . more appetizing . . . more eye-catching and tasty. You heard there was something better down the road. So you turn your back to the well and head off.

I urge you to come back.

Things are not always what they seem.

There is more to this well than the casual observer and wanderer will ever know.

Let me help you draw up the DEEP water from the well. That is where the best water resides – where the cooler, refreshing, life-giving water is. It is not tainted by the dirt, dust, germs or bugs on top of the water. Nothing has touched this deep water except the bucket and cisterns that are allowed to draw deep into it.

Are you that kind of cistern or vessel?

Are you ready to go deep?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Disillusioned with organized church/religion


These, and many other adjectives, seem to be the buzz-words of this generation.

"I'm not going to church anymore because it's just not alive . . . authentic . . . real. . . etc . . . I'm really discontent and disillusioned with the organized church. I need something more - and I'm not finding it at church."

I hear many similar statements all around me. I, myself, have felt quite discontent over the past few years. It surprised me at first. What was wrong? Was it me? Was it the pastor? Was it the preaching . . . the worship? Was it just this church? Should I go somewhere else? I was ready to leave. I wasn't hurt. No one had stepped on my toes or bruised my feelings . . . I was just feeling really . . . well . . discontented. I didn't like that feeling and I wanted to leave. . . . immediately!

But I didn't. Instead, I asked God - "What's going on here?! Why am I so discontented? Am I supposed to leave this church and move on to another one that is more [alive, fresh, new, passionate, real, authentic, or filled with power, signs & wonders]? What are you saying?"

God showed me a vision of a river. It was flowing nicely - fairly fast - but not too fast. It was still exciting and fresh. The river turned a corner and it seemed to slow down. It turned into more of a lake now. To me it looked stagnant - not going anywhere. It wasn't fun and fresh and powerful like it was before. I don't want to stay here. This is boring. This isn't "me".

I saw a lot of wildlife coming to the water - to drink - to float on - to live in. Little fish were able to grow and thrive in this slower (almost still) water. But they had to be careful of the birds that would swoop down to try and eat the fish near the surface. I then saw down deeper . . . there was a fast moving river down deep below this lake. Down there, the fish were safe from the predators on the top of the water.

There was more to the vision -but what I felt God was telling me was . . . . "Stay where you are. Go deep and stay deep. That is where the river is flowing fast still. Your job is to let others know it's down there. Call them into the deep Lori. Eventually you will leave this lake, but not for now. Stay deep." He showed me that even though the lake seemed to be stagnant at first - it really was teeming with life . . . a lot of new life . . . new life that needed a safe place to grow and strengthen and to be shown the deeper areas. For now - this lake was necessary for the life it was to attract. That made sense. So I stayed. (**That may not be what God tells you in your situation . . . so make sure you listen to Him! He knows you best!!)

However, there is an increasing population of people (the younger generation especially, but I am seeing it in all generations as well) that are feeling discontented with "church". Is this "the devil"? Is this God? Should they quit church? Start their own church? Not "do" church? What should they do? It may be different for everyone - but there is one thing that is constant in this day and age . . .

God is calling to His bride! He is beginning to woo her, love on her, and reveal Himself to her in new ways that we have never experienced before. The atmosphere IS changing, and the discontent that people are feeling is not all bad. It is a hunger . . . a thirst . . . for the deeper waters, the deeper things of God.

But people don't know that. The enemy sneaks in there and starts whispering in their ears (just like he did in the garden of Eden and all throughout history since then) . . . "The church [God] isn't meeting your needs . . . .This isn't what you want . . . This isn't what you need. . . . What you need can't be found here [in the church/God] . . . What you need is somewhere else . . . Why don't you just "try" something else - because 'everyone else is doing it' . . . " He whispers lies that we believe, that cause us to get hurt, that cause us to get angry, that cause us to lose hope that there really is anything out there that can satisfy this discontent, this hunger that we are feeling deep inside.

Ohhhh . . . I hate the devil and his sneaky, wicked, evil schemes! I especially hate it when I fall for them!

But here's the good news . . . . You are HUNGRY! You are THIRSTY! THAT is what that discontent is all about! I know it doesn't feel like it most times. It feels like frustration, anger, disappointment, loss of hope, etc. But why would you have those things in the first place? Because there was a hunger and thirst inside of you that was longing to be filled and satisfied. And I bet it wasn't being fully satisfied by "the church". It never can be. The Church was never designed to fully satisfy you. Religious activities were never designed to fully satisfy. We were led to believe it would [NOT by God though]. . . but it never will. Why not?

Because - there is only ONE thing that will TRULY satisfy . . . GOD . . . and His AMAZING love for us! For YOU! For His Bride!

God is not "the church". Nor should "the church" be exalted to the status of God. The Bride is not the Groom and the Groom is not the Bride. We have been misled. We have been confused. The Bride will never satisfy our needs that only the Groom can fulfill and satisfy! We must be hungry and thirst for the right thing, and we must not put expectations on the Bride that she can never fulfill. (You will only get frustrated, hurt, disillusioned, and . . . . discontented.)

Matthew 5:6 says,"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they WILL be filled."

There are many verses in the Bible about the hungry being filled and the thirsty being satisfied. Go find some! I promise you . . . God WILL (and does) satisfy!

Psalm 107:9 - "For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things."
Jeremiah 31:25 -"I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint."

In fact -go read the whole chapter of Psalm 107! Right now! Click on the link and it will take you right there! No excuses now! :)

Psalm 107 gives several scenarios of how people can, and do, wander away from God - but how God graciously saves them "from their distress" (and blesses them, delivers them, satisfies, etc, etc, etc) WHENEVER they call on Him! He'll do that for you too! It's true! :)

Do you feel discontented lately? Do you feel a longing for something else . . . something more . . . something real and authentic . . . something powerful and passionate?


Then you are in the right place and right frame of mind! You are HUNGRY and THIRSTY! So, instead of listening to the "father of lies" and going "into the desert wasteland" trying to find what you need . . . why don't you come to the water source instead! Come to the river! Come into the deep! Come and drink deep . . . because this water WILL satisfy! There is no water and food in the desert (what were we thinking?!). But there is an ABUNDANCE wherever God is! Come hang out with Him - seek HIM - follow HIM - passionately pursue a relationship with Him . . . because He LOVES to satisfy His kids with "fatness" and the "richest of fare"! :)

Come and drink deep today!
Dive on in!!
I dare you! :)

L :)


Daughter of the KING said...

Today, I was googling, you know just surfing the web looking for pictures or ideas for a women’s conference being put together. The conference is called “How Thirsty Are You?”… Anyway, I came across your picture “Drink from the Deep.” Thought I was just going to pop over and see what your blog was all about. God does have a way of getting us to where He wants us to be, does He? Words can’t say how much this post touched my heart. I became a follower because I want to know how this “Lake” works out in your life.

Linda J

Lori :) said...

Thanks Linda! It's a continuing journey!!
I'm glad God got you where you needed to be! Please "stop by" any time!

Abundant blessings!!

Lori :)

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