It’s Sunday, Red Alert

I do not believe in the advice, “Fake it till you make it.” I feel following this advice would be an act of hypocrisy and that it can create a false path preventing one from achieving true illumination.

I did not go to church this morning. Let me correct this statement. I got up, went to church, and then left because I was tempted to, “fake it till I hopefully could make it.” Such a temptation would have only increased the emotional and spiritual challenges I face, increased my sense of isolation and guilt, and (in my thought) been insulting to God. True worship beings in the Spirit and I was not being led by the Spirit of God but the spirit of the world.

I did not sleep well (this is not an excuse for bad behavior). When I finally woke up, I found I had less than an hour to get ready for church. This is where I made my first mistake, I got in a hurry. All being in a hurry accomplishes is to set one up for frustration, impatience, and anger. It did not take long for all three of these hindrances to a healthy soul’s preparation for worship to take control of my emotions and behavior. This “being in a hurry” also produced a relational tension of my own creation that only made things worse.

It is not that God was not trying to help me. Several times during this episode of foolishness I felt the tug of the Spirit to choose differently, but I did not listen. I chose not to be discerning. This is never a good choice. Even when I got to church and was surrounded by others who wanted to worship God, I was too busy having my own “poor me” party to allow the energy of other worshippers to lift me up. So I left.

My loss.

Jesus told us several times to be alert. Jesus did not do this just to hear himself talk. Jesus was serious. I know this, yet I was not alert to circumstances and situations that should have set off a warning that the enemy was gaining ground in my life. While serving as a pastor I usually was prepared for challenges on a Sunday, why should that change now that I am a church member?

My takeaway, always be alert. We are engaged in spiritual warfare. Our enemy does not honor truces. Our enemy is always trying to deceive, delude, or defeat. If our enemy can damage our ability to worship all means at the enemy’s disposal will be used.

Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him 1 and be firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world. (1 Pet. 5:8-9 CSB)