I have always enjoyed driving! I guess that is why when I was blessed with a job about 30 minutes from home, I really didn’t mind. Most of the time I listen to music when I am driving along, but that was not the case today. Silence reigned in the car and I was very deep in thought on my drive this morning when I focused on the road ahead I noticed it looked like mountains in the distance. Now I know there are not any mountains in Southwest Georgia at least not since last Thursday. The clouds were arranged in the sky in a way that made it look like the Great Smoky Mountains in the distance. For a moment in time my eyes were playing tricks on me. My perspective was tainted; I was seeing something in a different way.
In my walk with God, I often see things differently than the way that He wants me to see them. I often view God from the perspective that I have heard others share about Him. When they tell me how God has been working in their life, I get a glimpse of the essence of God’s character. As I get into the Word of God and study His nature, I begin to learn even more. The deepest lessons I have learned about God however have come through experience. When I have been betrayed by a friend, I have come to truly know Him as the “friend that sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). Through brokenness and sickness, I have come to know Him as the Healer. In Financial lows, I have come to know Him as God, my provider. Recently, when my husband went through a health crisis and we almost lost him, I came to know God as the Comforter and God of Peace. People may wonder how I was holding it all together. Well, I wasn’t. God was holding me together. We stand and sing in Worship, “I want to know you(God) more, I want to know you more”, but I wonder if we are willing to go to the hard places and be put in uncomfortable circumstances in order to really get to know God in the way He wants to be known.
Often trials and tribulations comes into the life of the believer. It is the world in which we live it. A perfect creation was broken by man and his sin (Genesis 3). We have been living in a broken world ever since then. God has made a way to restore us back to Himself and it is through the person of Jesus Christ. God wants to have a deeper relationship with you. When we receive Him into our heart and life at salvation, we receive all of God that there is to get. The thing we need to realize is God may not have all of us. We may not even realize there is something we may be holding back from getting to know God more. He wants to reveal Himself to us. Are we ready to let God put us in a tight spot where the only place we can look is up? Perspective sure can be an interesting thing. Thankfully God is willing to take my perspective and turn it toward His way, and walk every step along with me until I am closer to Him than I ever thought possible.
I Peter 5:10-11
||But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
||To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Ok, I’m tired. Maybe you didn’t know. However a lady in the parking lot of Walmart did. I had gotten off of work, and had to pick up a few things, and as I was walking back to my car. A lady stopped me and said, “you are tired aren’t you?” I didn’t realize it showed on my face. A chance encounter came about in a place not expected. I talked about 5 minutes with a lady who was feeling the same. We shared, and agreed to pray for each other in the coming week. I walked away with the realization that God set up that encounter to show me by a stranger’s words that I was loved and cared for by my Heavenly Father.
So often we get in the habit of only talking to God about the big things in our lives. With the world gone crazy and so many hurting in the world, our prayer lives has our focus shifted to things on the grander scale. Wars overseas, cancer scares, government taking our rights away, Missionaries tormented, and countless other things are going on right now. God does care about those things and we should pray for them. I think though that God also cares a great deal about the every day details that only we know about and try to accomplish every day.
In Exodus 25, God begins to reveal to Moses all the details on how the Tabernacle of the Lord was to be constructed. I had forgotten how detailed the Lord was in showing the people how to make each piece that would be going into His place of worship. He took 6 verses to describe the candlestick that would be placed on the table. God is concerned with all the little details in your life too. He wants you to talk to Him about them. I Corinthians 6:19-20, tells us our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Just as God was concerned with the details of the tabernacle, He is also concerned with every detail of our lives. Take time today to share all the little things with God, and let Him show you He holds all of it in His capable hands.
I love the Sunday Worship Services at our church. It is a wonderful blessing to be able to go with my family, and worship our Lord together. As I reflect back on my childhood, A large part of my life was spent in church. My family went to church whenever the doors were open. Most of my closest friends were a part of my church family. We spent time in their homes, and they spent time in mine at least every other week. I am so grateful for a Christian Family,and a heritage of growing up actively participating in worshipping the Lord in his House. I believe this is one of the reasons I accepted Christ into my life at an early age. I would have to say that my church family had a supreme impact on the person I am today. Godly men and women taught our kids classes and took us on activities. In a few years, Youth group became an integral part of my church experience. We were taught Biblical principles, and a deep lasting love for God.
As I have grown older, chronologically and in my faith, I see more than ever before the importance of Worshiping God in my life. I know that there are those of the opinion that worshipping together as a group is not as important as personal worship. Please don’t misunderstand me. We can worship God through praying, reading our Bible, journaling, etc., and we should indeed do these things every day. Daily Worship is important to the building of our faith. However, I strongly feel that some have come the conclusion that it is the only worship we should experience. To me there is something special about coming together to the House of God with fellow believers, and worshipping together as a church body. Through worship, we are able to strengthen each other. I know I am strengthened when I hear other believers share testimonies of what God has done for them that week. I am strengthened by worshipping the Lord through singing praises to Him, and bowing my heart before Him as the sermon from the Pastor speaks to me. One of my favorite times of worship is while the Offertory is being played, and I talk to God experiencing sweet fellowship with Him. Even participating in the Lord’s Supper has become another time for me to worship God as I remember all Christ did for me on Calvary. When my boys were little, I would whisper to them throughout the Lord’s Supper of all of the beautiful pictures we can see in all Christ has done for us. Worship is so much more than just showing up for a church service. It is active participation on our part that if we are not careful we will miss all the wonderful blessings Christ has waiting for us.
Sunday Worship has impacted me in other ways also. I may not have realized it at the time, but Sunday Worship was preparing me to reach out beyond the door of the church. God does not want us to have our Worship with Him on Sunday to end when the church doors close. I believe God wants our Sunday Worship to propel us into Monday-Saturday Ministry. We should take time to pray for those in the community, and reach out to them when they are in need. The methods for getting out into the community may vary from church to church. Our church has had some good success with Block parties in the surrounding communities, and ministering to boys 12-18 at a motorcross track that moved into our community. The methods may be different, but the message does not change. We need to go out into “highways and hedges and compel them to come in.” Our Communities need the message that Jesus saves. They need to know that there is a church that cares about them and loves them. They need to know that Sunday Worship is not the only thing the church does every week.