[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h4″ looks_like=”h4″]I have heard people say to me through the years that they were on a journey in life to simply find a place where they truly belonged. They had absolutely no idea where that place was, and it frustrated them. And these people were empty people, who even though they had no answers for themselves, would rarely listen to those who did know the answer to what was missing most in their lives. And because they wouldn’t listen, their fruitless journey continued. However, I hope that you will hear and receive the answer to where you belong today.[/x_custom_headline]
When I have thought on the people who found themselves in this situation, some of the most common denominators I discovered about them was the fact that they were overly critical, or were easily offended. Either of these two things, or a combination of the two, will poison every opportunity to grow deep roots anywhere. And because of this, these people miss the will of God for their lives, which in turn only leaves them more empty and hopeless.
It is with this in mind that I want to share with you the place God has prepared for you, the place you truly belong. And to be clear, I am not referring to Heaven right now, but to God’s plan for you right here on the earth. So let me begin by sharing this scripture with you, and then I will explain further.
[x_blockquote cite=”Psalm 68:6 KJV” type=”left”]“God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.”[/x_blockquote]
Notice from this verse that it is only those who choose to stay rebellious who live in dry places. Everyone else has a family God wants to place them in. And if you haven’t guessed it by now, the place you belong is the God-created, God-ordained local church, where you are to become part of the “family,” and where God has raised up a pastor especially for you.
The local church is a family because everyone there fits. If you feel like the odd man out, then it is a good indicator that you are spending way too much time sitting on the sidelines watching, or are still only as committed and as involved as a first time visitor. Or, this odd man out feeling could also mean that your thoughts are too locked in to your own needs, instead of focusing on the needs of the rest of the church family getting met. If you will get that straightened out, your needs will get met, too.
However, you will never feel as though you belong until you realize that you have a part there. But each part has to be connected, including yours. So you have to connect and fit in your place, and not just attend. Or to use another term associated with getting committed, you have to put some skin in the game.
Okay, so having established that, let’s now look at this important verse from Hebrews the tenth chapter.
[x_blockquote cite=”Hebrews 10:25 KJV” type=”left”]“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”[/x_blockquote]
The Bible says that we are to assemble together. In other words, until you become connected with the rest of the members of the local church family, you won’t ever feel like you fit in, because you are like a loose part leftover in a box. But that isn’t the will of God for you at all.
[highlight]The most frustrated Christians I know are those who are never involved with a single thing that goes on in their church.[/highlight] And although they are often quick to complain that no one does enough to reach out to them, the sad truth is that they are often distant with everyone, and keeping them at arm’s length. They refuse to participate in anything, and usually don’t even show up to work days, fellowships, and all of the other opportunities to meet people and lock in. And that isn’t the church’s fault, the pastor’s fault, or the congregation’s fault.
When I go to a sporting event for example, I have noticed the team members are high-fiving each other, not climbing up three levels of seating in the stadium to back slap with people in the nosebleed section. Get out of the nosebleed section, and get your uniform on. Get in the game with the rest of us, because that is a major key to being where you belong. (Now if that comment offends you, please refer back to the second paragraph of this blog, and you’ll see why you need to stop being so easily offended if you ever want to have a place where you belong.)
[highlight]And another thing: Stop trying to pastor yourself![/highlight] There isn’t a single verse in the Bible that allows you to do that. Those people who hop from one church to the next are usually among those who attempt this very thing. They are not submitted people, and refuse to follow the man of God that He has assigned to them. And so their emptiness, frustration and feelings of not belonging are only amplified because of this. But this doesn’t have to be the case with you at all.
Now in closing, here are a few guidelines for finding a solid local church to connect with:
First, make sure the pastor preaches the word of faith (Romans 10:8), and not some watered down message filled with excuses for God, and statements about things having passed away with the apostles, two-thousand years ago. That’s garbage! In these last days you need a bold pastor, whose messages build faith in you and equip you for living in these perilous times. So don’t be disturbed if he is strong and confident in the scriptures, and bold about making you into a true disciple of Jesus Christ, and expects you to live a holy and pure life, and to act on the Word of God you are being taught. Because that is exactly the type of pastor that you need.
And you should also be sure to steer clear of the motivational speech type pastor, who every week brings an, “I’m okay, you’re okay” sermon, that simply leaves people in their compromise, sin and disobedience. You need a man of God who is a true commander in the Kingdom of God, and not a weakling who only seeks to make everyone happy even if he has to compromise the Bible to do it.
Next, your church should be unashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This means more than just people getting born again, it also means that there is teaching on healing, and the sick have hands laid upon them. People should be living in freedom from old habits, and being delivered from the weights and sins that had them bound.
Also, a true church resembles the book of Acts, and the Holy Ghost is welcome to operate there. It should be normal that the pastor and the congregation pray in tongues, and that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are in operation. It should be a house of prayer, and a place where the diligent reading and study of the Bible is always encouraged.
There is a place where you belong, and it is being plugged in to a church like the one I just described above. It won’t be a perfect place, nor will it have perfect people. The pastor and his family won’t be perfect, but then again, neither is yours. It may be a large church, or it may be a smaller church that needs you to get involved to help it grow. Either way, there is that place that you belong, so get there.
And once you get there, stay there and stay involved and stay submitted until Jesus comes. And if you do, [highlight]you will never feel as though you don’t know where you belong ever again.[/highlight]