I just finished the book, The Naked Church by Wayne Jacobsen. It's got me thinking about a lot of things. A lot of those things make me really uncomfortable.
The one thing that sticks in my mind is a survey that Jacobsen quotes. The survey is of US Christians, and over 70% of them don't expect to encounter God when they go to a worship service. Think about that for a minute. 7 out of 10 people at the next worship service you go to are probably not expecting God to show up.
This brings so many questions to my mind. Do these people ever experience the presence of God? How far is this from the New Testament church, where it seems God consistently interacted with His people? Can a Christian go through his entire life and not feel God's presence in his life? I don't think so.
Granted, God lives in every one of His children. And we don't always feel that truth, even though it is true. But I'm afraid we've lost something that was a part of the early church's life: the expectation that God was powerfully at work in their midst. It was His presence that gave them the ability to preach with authority, see people saved, see people healed, have people give their belongings away, have many suffer and die for their faith.
It was His presence that caused the church's enemies to call some New Testament Christians, "These men who have caused trouble all over world..." Are we causing trouble all over the world to Satan's kingdom? Is evil on the run in our cities because God's people are unified and showing God's power and presence? More personally, am I experiencing God in my life? Is He changing me, molding me to become like Jesus? Is my goal really to know Jesus, and the power of His resurrection?
Maybe I'm not looking hard enough, but I don't see it, either in the church as a whole, or in me. What needs to change?