"... I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing ..." (Rev 3:17)
I was at a High School baseball game last night, and as I was looking around at the crowd, I noticed how many people were fat. Not just "beefy" or "heavy", but plain ol' fat!
This is not an isolated scene, but is endemic across America. How'd we get so fat? I don't remember it being like this when I was growing up, or even as recently as 20 years ago. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention, but regardless, Americans have lost that image of being lean, mean, tough, and hard-working. At some point we were paying attention to something else that captured our attentions, and we became soft and fat.
Our physical condition is a perfect reflection of our spiritual condition. A generation or so ago, our pastors preached a different message and our congregations were much more vibrant with a solid spirit to them. But now, our preachers have turned into nice guys and our churches have turned to mush. We've become soft and fat and lazy.
I'm sure lots of church-oriented people will object to that, just as those who have given up looking for a good church will probably agree with it.
I have just returned from Africa where the people are desperately hungry to see the power of God working in their church – so much so that they will walk for 8 hours, sleep on the floor of the church, and be content with rice and beans just so they can hear the Word of God preached under the anointing of the Holy Ghost. Americans are not that hungry, neither are they willing to pay that kind of price for anything.
As a result, in Africa, souls are getting saved, getting supernaturally healed, and getting ignited with the Fire of God. Churches there are being transformed from sleepy little country churches to on-fire Spirit-ignited soulwinners. Revival is beginning to break out in Africa ... but not in America.
I've noticed that almost everyone in Africa is skinny. Hmmm.
We used to be just like them once upon a time. What happened? Did we get so comfortable that we no longer needed God? Did our blessings kill us?
Did our fat plug up our ears so that we can no longer hear the reproof of the Word of God, and so instead of snapping out of it, we justify our religious institutions, our spiritual slackness, and our decided lack of the Fear of God. We have plenty of alternate theologies to explain away our spiritual laziness and justify our apostasy. Our leaders are all graduates of theologically correct institutions and are armed with libraries of scholastic credentials, so they must be right ... aren't they?
But our ears are plugged with our fat, and we can no longer hear the searing reproof of the Word of God. We have become scorners who are deaf and can no longer repent.
"And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed." (Isaiah 6:9,10)