This testimony may help explain the often reported exodus from the Church of the college-age children of believers. It also challenges each of us to consider if we have what is needed to be effective intercessors today.
In the natural, malnutrition is caused by a lack of nutrients. Malnutrition can occur as a result of one’s choosing not to ingest enough of the right nutrients. It can also occur when one has a condition or ailment hindering the body’s ability to absorb nutrients.
The former is voluntary, the latter is not. Both are detrimental, and without intervention, both lead to the deterioration unto death of the physical body. In the spiritual, our malnutrition results in spiritual death that has eternal consequences.
Experience in the organized Church permeated my entire precollege life. I was born, christened, and raised in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion denomination, regularly engaged with the black Baptist church (as was the norm for weekly revival meetings in our town and throughout my early adulthood), and often exposed to the pentecostal stream — specifically, the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), by a wonderful man and woman of God during my teen years. For many years after, I was active in large, nondenominational congregations outside of the black Church. Despite this, I now know that my ancestral and traditional churchgoing experiences amounted to nothing more than dead works — all form and no function, temporary emotional responses, rather than being made alive in and living for Christ, a form of godliness that denied and rejected His power.
How could this happen? How could I go so far astray from the Bible I was spoon-fed as a child? There is no one person or organization to blame, because at some point in my adult life, despite a lifetime of church exposure, I made a choice. Rather than immerse myself in Scripture, seeking God for myself, I chose membership and fellowship in congregations whose doctrines and traditions quenched the Holy Spirit. I chose to continue eating from the trough of scraps, settling for a proxy relationship with Christ. This despite experiencing a slow and painful death in my spiritual and personal life, when no amount of income, professional advancement, serving, and giving to churchdom was sufficient to do what only God by His Spirit can do.
To fit in, I deadened myself and tried all manner of religious, material, and eventually godless things to feel alive. I chose to spiritually starve myself, and having chosen to continue eating empty calories, I became mal(under)nourished. Young people who are chasing fulfillment and meaning through drugs, self-cutting, orgies, ethnic hatred, gender denial, and transcendental religions are experiencing that same malnourishment. They don’t know it (yet), but only their surrender to the one true God will fill their emptiness.
Why would I and so many others who identify as Christ followers ever choose to starve ourselves of Him or to ostracize the Helper, whom Yeshua promised He would send? I attribute my choice to ignorance, initially. Then, it became something else. I wanted to fit in and was lulled into believing that a form of godliness was good enough. We were kind, generous, serving people who sang moving songs; we were — it was — good enough for heaven.
We don’t serve the gods of religious “good enough.” Right now, before another sun sets, ask God if you are in a Holy Spirit–quenching, seeker-sensitive, Universalist, or interfaith-accommodating congregation. If you are, and being there to speak truth and to expel demons is not your God-given assignment, take heed. You will likely not have enough spiritual strength and nourishment for the coming battles. You certainly will not be ready to make disciples of the lost for whom God has especially called you. Matthew 24:24 warns that if possible, even the elect will be deceived by false prophets and false messiahs. In 2 Thessalonians, the apostle Paul warns about a great falling away of those who once confessed Yeshua as Savior and Lord. Both of these scriptural references address those who had once heard, accepted, and followed Yeshua. What a sobering consideration it is to recognize that those who will fall away originate from having once been inside of God’s house. Having considered the truth of the falling away prophesies in the Bible, we are well-equipped to avoid being among that group if we choose the narrow, more challenging way.
LORD, today we recommit to receiving the Holy Spirit as our God-gifted, Yeshua-sent Teacher, Counselor, and Guide. Today we recommit to the truth of Romans 8:11, declaring that He is the same Power living in us who raised Yeshua from the dead. Cause us to discern and to reject any strange fruit and every doctrine of demons.
If reading this is challenging you to seek deeper sanctification, share your thoughts and prayers below.
Mavourene Robinson began in full-time ministry in 2014, campaigning for the Howard County Public Schools’ Board of Education in 2017–2018, and for the Maryland Senate in 2022. A lifelong learner about the intersections of faith with international relations and domestic policy, Mavourene is actively engaged in intercession for family, government, education, and religion. She releases prophetic insight at Judgment Begins in the House. Photo by Gianna Bonello on Unsplash.