Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tired of the church?

In his classic work called The Glory of Christ, John Owen asks the question: "Have we been weary of God?" Actually, the way he words the question is interesting in itself. The complete question is, "Have we been weary of God, when really we ought to be weary of ourselves?" That statement alone points to the underlying truth of the issue. Nevertheless, Owen continues with the subject at hand.

Owen discusses some of the ways in which we show we are growing weary of God; finding no joy in religion, giving up holding family devotions, and neglect in attending public worship. Specifically on public worship, he writes, "You show your weariness also by neglecting attendance at public worship. You used to find public worship a joy, but now, what a weariness it is!"

John Owen thus makes a connection that we too often do not have the courage to make either when it comes to ourselves or whether we are considering our brothers and sisters in the faith. Owen equates weariness with the church with weariness with God. "Things [including weariness with public worship] show that you are indeed getting fed up with God."

We don't often make the connection that Owen makes. We get fed up with the church and we blame the church for the problem instead of diagnosing that the problem may very well lie in our own hearts. Does the body of Christ tire you out? Are you wearied with the Lord's bride? Take heed of your heart and ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern whether in actuality you have grown weary with God.

Next week I'll share Owen's remedy for weariness with God.

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