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When God Restores His Church


"The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 2 'Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house and proclaim there this word and say, ‘'Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah, who enter by these gates to worship the Lord!’' 3 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, 'Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. 4 Do not trust in deceptive words, saying, ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’" – Jeremiah 7:1-4

 

12 “But go now to My place which was in Shiloh, where I made My name dwell at the first, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel."

 

Every sincere believer wants to be part of a church where God is moving by His Spirit. We pray for revival in our generation. The challenge is that our perception of what God wants to do can be shaped by our background, charismatic leaders, or the latest church movements rather than scripture.


Our responsibility is to learn to distinguish between messages and ministries designed to tickle our ears versus those from the Word and heart of God.

When the church drifts into practices that no longer represent the Character or will of God, He brings correction and chastening. God will not share His glory with others nor the affection of his people with idols. We see this pattern in Israel’s history. When God's people clung to holiness, His blessings rained down like manna from heaven. When they persisted in rebellion, the blessings dried up under God’s terrifying judgment.


This is the pattern we see in the story of the prophet Jeremiah. In Jeremiah 1:10, God explains his mission this way, "See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant."


Through Jeremiah, God would bring a stirring word of impending judgment. God would use his messenger to root out evil and plant seeds of restoration.


Jeremiah’s message brings insights into how God restores His church and our part in the process.


Lesson #1: God's chastening is meant to restore his church to a place that represents Him. 


God gives Jeremiah a shocking word to deliver to his people.


"But go now to My place which was in Shiloh, where I made My name dwell at the first, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel."

Jeremiah 7:12


After the Israelites received the Ten Commandments, God instructed Moses to build a Tabernacle—a mobile place of worship filled with His glory. This Tabernacle was set up in Shiloh under Joshua's leadership, symbolizing God's new movement among His people.

Shiloh, meaning "that which is the Lord’s." It represented God’s power, holiness, and desire for intimacy with His people. For a time, Shiloh was a place where God’s presence was manifested, and His counsel received.


However, under Eli's priesthood, Shiloh became corrupted. Eli and his sons allowed sin to infiltrate God's house, turning Shiloh into a place of greed, corruption, and immorality.


As a result, God's presence departed from Shiloh. This defilement led to God's judgment: the Ark of the Covenant was captured, symbolizing the loss of God's presence, and Shiloh became desolate.


Eli's grandson was named "Ichabod," meaning "the glory of the Lord has departed," signifying Shiloh's irreversible fall from grace.


In Jeremiah 7:12, God urges the current generation to learn from Shiloh’s downfall. Despite His desire to reveal His glory and perform miracles, the people’s self-indulgence led to their downfall.


Shiloh provides many lessons for Christians who wish to be devout and experience a move of God. One lesson is that true representation of God is not guaranteed by religious buildings or rituals but by genuine faith and obedience. Another lesson is that God’s judgment upon his people can be viewed as a sign of his desire to root out evil so that times of renewal and rebuilding may occur.


Jeremiah gives us TWO safeguards against drifting from God.

 

Firstly: Return to the Word of God.


"Do not trust in deceptive words, saying, ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’" Jeremiah 7:4


False prophets were saying repeatedly, “This is the temple of the Lord,” but God was not there.


Why were the people being deceived by false prophets and fake ministries? Jeremiah 7:28, says, “This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the LORD their God or accept correction; truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth.”


Jeremiah's message was hard to hear but was born out of God’s desire to bring healing and revival to His chosen people.


In Jeremiah 7:7, He says, "If you repent, I will cause you to dwell in this land"—bringing blessings. God’s renewal and subsequent favor were contingent upon their obedience to His word and the same is true for us today.


Secondly; Regain the fear of the Lord. 


“Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery and swear falsely, and offer sacrifices to Baal and walk after other gods that you have not known, 10 then come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—that you may do all these abominations?"Jeremiah 7:9-11

 

God’s people lived in willful sin and then attended worship like it was no big deal. God argues, when did I change my standards? Who told you that you could live in willful sin without consequence?

 

This happens when we lose the fear of the Lord.


The fear of the Lord releases His power, presence, and provision in our churches and individual lives.


"The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them."

Psalm 25:14


 


About Pastor Bob Moya, DMin.

Pastor Bob Moya has served as the lead pastor with his wife Candace at City Chapel in Arlington, Texas for over 22+ years. He recently graduated with a doctorate degree in Spiritual Renewal and Leadership in the spring of 2024. When not serving at the church, you'll find Bob enjoying a good read at Barnes & Noble, sipping a nitro cold brew or black coffee from Starbucks, or spending time with his family.


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