The church is uninspired. It is painful to say, because the statement hits so close to home, but it has to be said. The church of our generation in this country (perhaps I should speak only for West Central Baptists) is not adequately inspired toward a dynamic, world-changing lifestyle of faithfulness and witness. The situation reminds me of what I experience as a parent every June. After about four days off from school, one of my kids will frown at me and say, “I’m bored.” On one level I completely understand. They have had most of their life for the last 9 months programmed for them. Now, they have no schedule to keep and they aren’t sure what to do with themselves. But as an adult, I can’t help but say, “Bored! I don’t get the summers off! How can you be bored when you have the freedom to do anything you want? No assignments. No tests. No waking up early.” It just isn’t right to have that kind of opportunity in front of you and not enjoy it.
But on the other hand, it also isn’t right for believers to be children of the creator, heirs of eternity, redeemed by the blood of Christ, and have no sense of God’s majesty, no zeal to celebrate his wonder, and no urgency to tell other people about how indispensable the knowledge of God is. Consider what the prophet Isaiah has to say:
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not considered the foundations of the earth? God is enthroned above the circle of the earth; its inhabitants are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like thin cloth and spreads them out like a tent to live in. He reduces princes to nothing and makes judges of the earth irrational,” (Isaiah 40:21-23).
Our God is unique. There is no god like Him. He is the sovereign king of the universe. Compared to him, all of the nations are but a drop a bucket (40:15). The great leaders of this earth are reduced to nothing (40:23). He knows every one of the trillions of stars in the galaxy by name (40:26), and He has chosen to use his limitless power to lift poor sinners up out of the ash heap (28-31). After considering such majesty and the greatness of his love, how can worship be ordinary? How can obedience to Him seem tedious? How can we claim that God overlooks our problems? Why do our churches conduct business as if God has not spoken, does not care, and is powerless to change the world around us? Where in Scripture have any of these ideas been suggested to us?
The conclusion is that we are not inspired by God’s greatness. I have to believe that this is what fueled the evangelistic zeal and biblical faithfulness of the church in the New Testament era. We are right to promote solid training materials. We are right to consider effective methods of connecting with people who are different from ourselves. But in the end, having better methods will not motivate people to move outside the walls and tell the story about the redemption our great God has accomplished. We fail to shake up the world around us because we are not inspired by the greatness of God. David Platt explains it this way in his new book, Follow Me: A Call to Die. A Call to Live:
“If Christianity involves supernatural regeneration whereby the God of the universe reaches down his hand of mercy into the depths of our souls, forgives us of all our sin, and fills us with his Spirit, then a spectator mentality is spiritually inconceivable. For people whose hearts, minds, wills, and relationships have been radically turned upside down by the person of Christ, the purpose of Christ will reign supreme,” (page 70).
We are uninspired and there is no excuse for it. We have forgotten how great our God is. Our churches and our witness are suffering because of it.