The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is…Follow the Spirit. Sounds so simple, right? Simple and true.
I recently read a friends blog about her and her family’s struggle to find a church. I wanted to share that advice with her and others.
My testimony is nothing special. Raised in church. Saved young. Was a fairly decent person. Of course, I am not without sin by no means.
My paternal grandmother was pianist for years. Played by ear. Later on my mother was pianist for years (until her stroke). Played by ear. NONE of us kids inherited that gift unfortunately! I took piano lessons but I had to memorize everything cause my fingers and brain won’t work that fast together.
I still go to the same church I was raised in. We’ve had good times and bad times. Good preachers and “bad” preachers. Which my husband says one should never speak bad of a preacher. Easier said than done at times. And yes, I’ve read James concerning the tongue. Anyway, even with the bad preachers I weathered it out. After all, it was MY church. I’m the one who had been there all my life, not this preacher.
Just before Katrina, a new pastor started at church. After just a few short months, he almost destroyed our church. I won’t even begin to tell you all the things he did that turned people away from the church. I’d be typing forever. I’ve never met anyone like him. Our church dwindled down to almost nothing. I’d go to church and cry all the way home. I’d sit at my desk at work and cry about it. It was one of the most gut wrenching things I’d been through. I missed my church family that had left. I missed the way things used to be.
And it finally hit me. The Spirit of the Lord was no longer there. Even with the bad preachers from the past the Lord had never left us. But this time I just didn’t feel His presence anymore. At all. Some may say that was my fault because he was still there. Maybe so. But I knew it was time to go. I never thought I’d be leaving. Never. But I did.
Searching for a new church was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. What an awkward feeling when you walk into a new, strange place. I tried to “make” myself feel comfortable at the first church we went to. We went for several months but it just wasn’t right. Don’t get me wrong, it was a loving congregation and pastor that always welcomed us. I just never could get comfortable.
We tried a second church. It was much smaller, more intimate, but it was a totally different denomination from what I had been raised in. They had a wonderful pastor. Wonderful spirit filled worship services. An awesome song leader. It was almost perfect. I just struggled with some differences in beliefs. I emailed a very dear friend for advice. He told me, Follow the Spirit. I did. I stayed at the little church and enjoyed it until I felt that tug to go home. Back to my home church. The last pastor had been gone for some time. The new pastor was young, refreshing, understanding and preached the bible. The Spirit of the Lord was back. We went back too.
So follow the Spirit. He will place you where you need to be. To glorify Him. And I’ve got a feeling you’ll be happy where He leads you.