What could have happened to Mary and Joseph that they missed Jesus from their lives? Remember, that Mary carried Jesus for nine months in her, womb. She stayed with Jesus for 12 years. How could they have missed Him and not know it? How could you that have been a Christian for some years now (if you really are), "born again" (so to speak) several years ago, still miss Jesus? How could the reality of Jesus, the reality of the Christian life, and the reality of the power of God, dissipate from your life and you will not know it?
Is it possible to continue in church and religious activities, going from one meeting to another, and from one conference to another, yet in reality be a backslider: bereft of any tangible heavenly and Spiritual reality? Is it possible that with all the big religious titles, positions, reputations, and privileges around you, Jesus is already missing? These are issues for us to consider.
Now, what are the remote and immediate pointers that one is about to, or is already out of tune with the Master?
A. When genuine spiritual experiences degenerate into feasts and customs! The Word of God said: "... His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover." The first pointer unto missing Jesus I want to draw your attention to in the passage under consideration is - The Passover became a feast! The Passover, when it was instituted was an experience. It was something that changed people's lives.
In the Old Testament everybody knew that he actually passed-over from the dominion (kingdom) of Egypt, out of bondage at the Passover. Passover meant deliverance! It was the foundation for all other spiritual encounters! It meant coming out of the tyranny of darkness into the light, under the cloud of the presence of God.
But at this particular time in question, people that never had the real experience of Passover only attended it as a feast. A Christian loses Jesus from his life when the experience that changed many people's lives in the past becomes an ordinary feast to him. When church attendance is no more to encounter, or to have an experience with God, but an ordinary feast and entertainment to a man, he will soon lose Jesus in his life.
Do you know that singing: choruses, praise worship, hymns, etc. for instance can become a feast? It can degenerate, as indeed it has done in several of our denominations today into mere frenzies and jamborees! It has actually become nothing but mere "musical concerts", embellished with all kinds of beats and instruments borrowed from Babylon, though these songs are usually spiced with gifted soprano voices that come from unbroken and fleshy hearts!
Is it not a common knowledge that several of our so called 'Christian albums' are nothing but 'Jamaican reggae beats' covered with Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley voices? Is it any wonder then that when we now sing such songs, our lives do not bear the same fruits and results as those saints of blessed memory?
Dear Man of God, instead of the bogus, and carnal launch of the N12 million musical instruments accompanied with prayer and fasting, you have plunged your congregation into, you should first in your own life, and then with your congregation do a
'spiritual launch' for the recovery of the Holy, consecrated, Spirit-filled, and obedient life that was once delivered unto the Saints!
Again, let me remind you, church activities and indeed, every religious activity for that matter can become an ordinary 'feast' when it carries no spiritual experience in your life again. Even prayer as spiritual as it is can become a 'feast'. When prayer-time is no longer a genuine fellowship with God, but a routine of vain repetition and meaningless words, or even in the name of 'speaking in tongues'! Or worse still, when your prayer time with God instead of bending your self-will and writing eternal characters in your life becomes only an avenue for using God to advance your selfish ambitions. When it is no longer a place of receiving God's will and the grace to do it, but rather, a routine of "God give me this", "God do this for me", "God destroy all those who are standing in the way of my blessing and promotion". Examine yourself, friend...
Akanni, who lives in Gboko is a teacher of the Word. He holds an inter-denominational fellowship which attracts Christians of all backgrounds