Saturday, June 16, 2012

I Love Church

Psalm 27:4 (NIV)  "The one thing I ask of the Lord - the thing I seek most - is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life."

I truly believe that there's not many who love to attend church as much as I do!  As a child growing up, we didn't attend church as often as I wished.  We weren't members of any one church, but attended here and there, mostly revival meetings and oh those wonderful open air tent meetings!!  I have memories of my grandmother, my mother and I going to those exciting revivals in tents.  Mother would bring me a couple of toys and a book to draw in or coloring book with crayons, a thermos of something cold to drink and snacks, usually consisting of cheese and crackers, cookies and maybe a sandwich.  There would be wood shavings on the ground and Mother would lay out a small blanket (a pallet, she called it) on top of the shavings and I would play or eventually lay down to sleep.  I loved the singing and the boisterous praises that people would shout to God.  I would try to imitate them and sing along, raising my hands and shouting, too.  It was in one these type of meetings that I went to the altar at age eleven and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  My favorite aunt, Dorothy, was with us that night.  She was a mighty prayer warrior and led many to meet Jesus.  She went with me to kneel before the Lord and led me in asking Jesus inside my heart.  I was on such a heavenly cloud that night that I wished I could live in that church service from that moment on.  I can just imagine the Psalmist David feeling the same way as he penned this scripture.  It's the desire to remain in the presence of a Holy God.  A church building or structure is nothing without God's presence.  Sadly, this is the state of many localities where God should be present.  Sure, it can be nice to learn and hear about God, but to experience Him is so much more.

I believe that the largest amount of God's presence that we can feel only pales in comparison to what it will be like in heaven.  There, God's presence will be fully felt with nothing withheld from us.  Our human bodies would not be able to experience His fullness here on earth and live.  In Exodus 33, Moses was on the mountain with God to receive the commandments for His people.  Moses begged of God to see all of His glory.  God told him that no man could see His face and live, but there was a place near Him where he could stand on a rock and when He passed by, He would put Moses in the cleft of that rock, cover him with His hand and after He had passed by, he could see His back.  Since everything in the Old Testament is a type and shadow of things to come, then I believe that the rock God is telling Moses about is Jesus who is near to God.

Oh God, hide us in the cleft of the rock, that we may see you!!  We long for Your presence, for in that presence is joy and peace, healing and deliverance, salvation and love.  Truly, one day in Your house is better than thousands elsewhere!

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