This question… “How do you enter God’s presence?”, is so beautiful and has been asked of me many times lately. The answer from God’s Word is so refreshing…
1. Be still. Get quiet to allow Him to lead you.
“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
You lead me to streams
of peaceful water,
and you refresh my life…
You are with me…
Your kindness and love
will always be with me
each day of my life,
and I will live forever
in your house, Lord.
2. Enter His gates by giving thanks, giving praise to Him, singing for joy!
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs…
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
(Helpful hint: Try this… Get alone somewhere quiet. Start by listing 3 things you are thankful for. Say ‘thank you’ to God. “Thank you God for…”)
“Usually I’m really good at skimming over great spiritual truths. But for some reason when I read that sentence from Tim Keller’s Counterfeit Gods, it stopped me in my tracks…”
Read… Your Religion Is What You Do With Your Solitude | Cru Press Green.
I am meditating on this passage this morning in my day of prayer…
“Let the name of the [Lord]
be praised now and forever.
From dawn until sunset
the name of the [Lord]
deserves to be praised.
The [Lord] is far above
all of the nations;
he is more glorious
than the heavens.
No one can compare
with the [Lord] our God.
His throne is high above,
and he looks down to see
the heavens and the earth.
God lifts the poor and needy
from dust and ashes,
and he lets them take part
in ruling his people.”
(PSALMS 113:2-8 CEV)
“Worship is the believer’s response of all that he is – mind, emotions, will, and body – to all that God is and says and does. This response has its mystical side in subjective experience, and its practical side in objective obedience to God’s revealed truth. It is a loving response that is balanced by the fear of the Lord, and it is a deepening response as the believer comes to know God better.” – Warren W. Wiersbe
In our current culture and confusion over worship, this was refreshing…
Read… 7 Things That Worship Is | The Resurgence.
“As we enter the sanctuary, let us “come on the lookout for God and leave on the lookout for people.” Come with a quiet passion to seek God and his power. We will not be an unfriendly church if we are aggressive in our pursuit of God during the prelude and aggressive in our pursuit of visitors during the postlude.”
Read… Take Heed How You Hear! Ten Practical Preparations for Hearing the Word of God on Sunday Morning – Desiring God.
It’s very hard to not let others’ pessimism affect you while in ministry. This has been one of those years for me. Those who are slowly dying in their faith and trust of a Big God can slowly paralyze you too if you’re not careful. You ask for prayer for families in crisis and they don’t believe God can deliver. Sadly, you too can get caught up in a faithless journey. All the more reason to rest in God’s Word, love and serve others, and pray with those whose faith has stood the many tests.
I love spending time with those who’ve walked this path, who are prayer warriors and who refuse to rely on their own talents and skills to get the mission done. They refuse to see church as an entertainment complex but they see it as a family who loves each other, is committed to each other and who worships a BIG GOD together. I love hearing stories from those who HAD to do this in times of desperation. I love hearing how God came through and so often it’s not how they originally pictured, but God is bigger than our selfish plans. God wants to show up in our lives but so often we don’t invite him.
Today we live in a fat and happy world for the most part and we don’t really know what it means to come together in a time of crisis and be completely committed to each other. Haiti, Pakistan, Thailand – more and more are finding out what true community is all about. I wonder what God will send us in order to wake US up?
Sadly, we are people who when things get too tough, we quit. We quit our jobs, our marriages, our churches… and yet He is faithful and promises to never leave us. God is a Big God who refuses to quit on us. For that I am hanging on. After all he hung on a cross for me.