I believe you must have people interested in growing with a church in order for there to be a growing church. You have to be so interested, that you are there every single Sunday without fail, unless for some reason you are sick. This takes determination on your part. No excuses.
I believe Satan, and self rob us from our walk with the Lord, but I blame self more than I do Satan these days. I see people walking in the Spirit if they have had their quiet time. If they haven’t stopped to pray, and read. They must be tired. Get a good night’s rest for two, or three, nights so there is no, excuse. Then ask God to meet you in the morning at the time you tell Him. I find that from 5:30-8:30 is prime time. I get up when I wake up around 5:30 A. M.
I can’t tell you enough that God has plans for His people, but in order to work out those plans, we simply must be faithful, and steady as a rock. If He is telling you to get up, and study, then practice discipline, and do it. God hasn’t made you afraid of anything, but you are weaker, because you won’t stop to read the Word, and to get in His Presence. I have the same problem, but the difference is that I want God to change me, and if I have to get up early, and study for the rest of my life so be it. This is not church, but I am studying, because when I open the Word of God, I find the treasure I need for the day.
I run the risk of losing followers when I talk about God this bluntly, but you need to know that He is my main focus. I study for two, hours a day, and when I am through I am ready to clean house, wash the dishes, iron the clothes, and put in a wash. I vacuum until Isaac does this for me. I am not bragging. I work after I study, and frankly, I have more energy, because when you are in His Presence for this long you completely rest, spiritually.
Ed, and I went shopping for a new, journal, and it is beautiful. I opened it to copy down my notes from the sermon for today. I should have put it in the “sermon” journal. I will have to get a new, composition book for the next batch of sermons. I write them down, dating the pages, and including the scripture, and his words about it. I know other people can listen without writing, but for me, it is kinesthetic. What I write down goes to my brain, and I remember it better.