October 22, 2013

Encountering God in Church - Day 22

Today is Day Twenty-Two of 31 Days of Encountering God! If you missed the kick-off, you can go HERE and find the Introduction as well as each days post! (I will be adding every day as the month goes on!

Lights, Camera, Encounter...

This should be a no brainer, right? Encountering God in church... I mean - isn't this why we go in the first place? I mean - is it?  Do we not get dressed and cleaned up... gather the family and load the car and head to church to meet with Him?  Sure - in theory.  Sometimes we actually think about how we may catch a glimpse of Him... how we may feel His Presence or hear something in a way we've never heard it before and it will draw us in... our intentions are good or at least I'd like to assume so! Church can sometimes turn into a lot of work on the Sabbath... it is needy and is often a business that must be run... we need greeters and ushers and worship team and staff for anouncements and video news and childcare (seriously - bless 'em, Lord!) and the list goes on and on and on.  There is nothing wrong with this... and while I would love for the structure of church to be different in some ways - it is not on this day, and so we must press through and purpose in our hearts to do whatever it is we are called to DO to help the whole production run smoothly - but for the love of God and all that is Holy (seriously... for those two things...) let's not forget that Church is all about Him. 

Actually - I believe that Church should be all about Him - and us... His own.  I believe it should be a gathering where we press in together, worship Him in spirit and in truth - for as long as that takes, and we encourage and lift up one another.  We hear from Him through the Word, through testimonies, through others speaking life and sharing real... I believe it is less to do with saving the lost on a Sunday. Oh - if they are there, they should totally get saved - but let's not cater to them, and forget to feed the ones who are hungry and within the fold already!

I won't even touch on all the politics and gossip and ladder climbing in lieu of Kingdom Building that goes on in any given gathering, on any given Sunday (and whatever day of the week you attend a service!) This too makes it hard to grow a healthy Community - one that is more Heaven than hell... one that is growing and thriving and Shining brightly... we have all fallen prey to it... given in to it... been burned by it.  Let's stop the madness and remember that the reason we gather is HIM... and when we look to Him; when we worship Him - we find that we can choose to look for the Gold, or we can call forth the dirt.  I propose that we purpose to live like Jesus - to look for the good, and call it forth! To Speak Life. To Be Love. To Shine On.  
Let's practice it at home and at church and then live it out boldly wherever we go!

What about you? Are you in? Will you purpose with me to search Him out! Don't let the distractions of the messiness and woundedness of past church experiences keep you from Encountering Him in the midst of a worship service, prayer, offering, the message - any or all of it! Don't let the enemy rob you of an Encounter.  

We are all busy... and sometimes, on a Sunday - with someone else setting the stage - that is the only time we have set aside to meet with Him.  Can I urge you - if this is true of your life - whether it is just true this week, or this month, or it's all you have known - can I urge you to not just go through the motions?

I remember years ago reading a book by Tommy Tenney and in it he said that God's favorite part of our church services is our times of praise and worship.  It's the only part of the service that He really gets anything out of! (He's never learned anything new in the midst of a sermon!)  So I purpose to bring Him all of my heart, and I prepare myself to worship even before I arrive. I try to anyway... so at that very first note - I am all in and I am ready to worship Him!  

Because - what I desire most... is to meet with Him! I want His Spirit to Break Out... and for Heaven to Come Down... (Join in, won't you?)

Linking up with The Nester and 1000s of other #31Day Bloggers!

Tomorrow I'll write about how we Encounter God in friendships... how He just cozies right up and shares a bench, and a cup of tea... how He laughs with us and cries with us and encounters us best in some of our closest friendships - both when they are good, and when they are hard!

1 comment :

  1. AMEN. We worship for an hour, sometimes more, every Sunday morning. I cannot imagine going any less. It sometimes takes me a while before my heart is fully engaged. He deserves our all!


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