Yesterday, church was amazing. We felt the presence of God as we worshiped and felt convicted by His Word. Truthfully, I learned more than three things, but as the old saying says, "We would be here awhile." So, in the interest of time and because this is a blog and not a novel, I will keep it brief.
1. There is no place I'd rather be David wrote that he had "one thing have I desired of the Lord" (Psalm 27:4). For many of us, we could whip out a "Christmas list" of things that we wish that God would give to us. Do any of these prayers sound familiar?
- God, that car that I drive is a little too old. Yes, God I know it drives, but it sure would be great to have a new one.
- God, change my husband (or wife)...
- God, could you please give me a new job, my boss is persecuting me...
David did not give a list, but his desire was to be "dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life." When we prioritize God through our faithfulness, God gives us the help that we need. David continued to write...
Psalm 27:5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
Psalm 27:6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.
2. God demands unity Our Assistant Pastor, Rev. John Tarnovska, preached so beautifully at our Downtown Fredericksburg church about having another Pentecost. He preached about the infilling of the Holy Ghost, but his message centered around the unity that God demands to have revival.
On the Day of Pentecost, Luke wrote that the 120 in the Upper Room were in "one accord". The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Phillipi...
Philippians 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
I do not believe that this unity is demanded for each local assembly, but for the entire body of Christ. Pastors must work with pastors and churches with churches to fulfill the true purpose of the church of seeking and saving that which is lost.
The Psalmist wrote...
Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Psalm 133:2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;
Psalm 133:3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
3. Church changes me It is common to see and hear churches say, "Come as you are." We say it to, but we should follow that with "leave changed". There have been many times that I have walked into church in a "bad mood" as I fought the flesh, but left changed. Why? Because you cannot remain the same when you are in the presence of God and hearing the preached Word of God.
The Bible is filled with those that were changed in the presence of God including the sick healed and possessed delivered. A great example of the life changing power of God is found in the story of Legion.
Luke 8:26 And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee.
Luke 8:27 And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.
Luke 8:28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.
Luke 8:29 (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)
Luke 8:30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.
Luke 8:31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.
Luke 8:32 And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.
Luke 8:33 Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.
Luke 8:34 When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country.
Luke 8:35 Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
When I go to church, I need God to change me. I do not ever want to leave church the same way that I came. After a week of fighting the devil and my flesh, the presence of God that dwells in the praises of His people his sweet relief.