I have noticed an ever growing number of Christian ministries everywhere I go. I cannot question their call into the ministry—whether it was self-appointed or heavenly mandated.
Neither can I question their passion and motive too—whether they do what they do only to prove a point or they’re truly compelled by the love of CHRIST. After all, who am I to judge another man’s servant? But above all the self-styled ministries cropping up each day and the charismatic zealotry we see in this generation, is a genuine lack of tears.
Our churches and their leaders have pursued everything that makes it feel good and comfortable, but have shunned the ministry of tears. This isn’t about the tears that come from a person who is emotionally unstable and cannot get a grip on himself or herself.
The tears I talk about in this article is when the heart of a believer is so moved in a way that he begins to feel what GOD feels and cannot help but expresses this pain outwardly through tears.
Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” The mourning here is not as a result of the death of a loved one. But this word is used to describe the inconsolable sorrow that fills a believer’s heart because he can’t wait to see CHRIST fill all things. If you’re still wondering what I’m up to with this topic of tearlessness in our churches today, don’t write it off as unfounded yet. Let us take a look at some of the people whose tears stemmed from a genuine passion for GOD.
1. Paul’s tears for perseverance in the faith. Acts 20:31, “Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.” The Apostle Paul was not a man who was emotionally weak. Remember, he was present when the first martyr of the early church, Stephen, was stoned. He looked on as this gruesome atrocity took place.
And with vehemence, he persecuted and imprisoned those who refused to renounce their allegiance to CHRIST. This was his track record; a man who was hard-hearted and merciless. But after his encounter with CHRIST, he begun to share GOD’s burden. He laboured to preach and win souls for CHRIST. Subsequently, he warned the church with tears to continue steadfastly in the faith.
2. The Priests’ tears for the power of GOD. Joel 2:17, “Let the priests, who minister to the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar….” Are our preachers troubled about the state of the church today? There are so many dry eyes behind our pulpits. The manifest presence of GOD has become a rarity in our services, and the purging fire has gone out in our pulpits.
Where are the preachers whose sorrowful heart desires the naked demonstration of the power of GOD to revive our dry services and barren pulpits? The absence of the convicting power of GOD has made the church another place of entertainment for the impenitent soul. We take consolation in the growing membership, the resounding applause, the good oratory, the magnificent building, the breathtaking decorations and forget we still lack HIS presence in our services.
Hannah was not appeased by the gifts of Elkanah, which served as a cover up for her barrenness. In her anguish, she wept as proof that it wasn’t gifts that she wanted, but a child (1 Samuel 1:4 & 5, 8-11).
3. The veterans’ tears for a generation that will strive for a greater glory. Ezra 3:12 & 13, ” But many of the priests and Levites and heads of the fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes. Yet many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard afar off.”
The older generation who had seen the glory of Solomon’s temple wept because the glory of the new temple was nowhere near Solomon’s. But alas, the younger generation celebrated with an ear-splitting shout. Like Rehoboam, we have replaced the gold in the temple with brass (2 Chronicles 12:9 & 10). We experience one degree of the glory of GOD and we never stop celebrating. Young ministers have become so complacent when we see a little manifestation of the SPIRIT of GOD in our lives.
Is there no one to tell us there still remains very much lands yet to be possessed? Where are the teary eyed veterans of the cross who, amidst the celebration, would draw our attention to this higher dimension.
4. JESUS’ tears for discernment. Luke 19:41 & 42, Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.” Even JESUS could not hide his pain of seeing a whole city who were spiritually insensitive to discern the season.
HE told them they were defenseless to resist the attack of the evil one because they didn’t receive HIM (verse 43-44). In our generation, many professing Christians are out of sync with GOD. We cannot tell the seasons and the times. We do not know we have to receive in one season in order to expend in another season. And the ones sent into our lives by GOD are often despised because they look ordinary.
We have to build our faith, gather knowledge and pray to be empowered in a season of rest; eventually, another season will demand the use of the power, knowledge and the experience we accrued in the previous season. In so doing, we will be able to stand against the attack of our enemies and not faint (Proverbs 24:10).
William Booth, the Founder of the Salvation Army, received a telegram from some of his officers in a mission field as they communicated their frustration after doing all there is to do but still remaining fruitless. William Booth sent back a telegram to them, that bore only two words: “TRY TEARS”.
When they did, they experienced GOD and witnessed all that they had ever wanted to see in the mission field. Mr Preacher, has your heart ever been moved by compassion for lost souls, pain for the lack of power and hunger for a greater glory in the Body of CHRIST? A heart of an unquestionable passion for GOD easily identifies with this kind of sorrow and tears. Try tears in your closet.