I heard a preacher say recently, “What do you expect when you come to church?” I challenge us one and all to ask God not to let us have ‘church as usual’, each time we meet. Let us worship and praise our Heavenly Father by His Word and in spiritual songs!
Many folks come to church nowadays and expect the service to be the same, (in fact some get rather uncomfortable if it isn’t). The music always the same, the sermon to be from the Bible, but not too weighty. You know what I’m talking about, “Preacher make sure you tell those ‘other’ people how to get right with God. I’m doing just fine!” But are we doing ‘just fine’ with things being the same? I hope you say no.
It is my desire that each time we meet as a congregation we come expecting God to interrupt our service with His presence and do a holy work in the hearts of His people which will be beyond our finite explanation. Our prayer and personal expectation should reflect this while we are on our way to church. If we ask God to move among His people, believe we will get what we ask.
Probably one reason we at times don’t see great things is because we ourselves have become a bit dull to this truth. This can lead us to a place of unbelief. What I mean is, we pray for God to bless the service, and we ask for people to be saved, but we aren’t really expecting it to happen. Now, don’t think that a few decisions for baptism is what I’m talking about. We thank God for those saved and baptized, but I am saying we should expect a moving of God’s presence among us where we are literally awe-struck. This expectation will affect our attitude in worship. You can tell some folks don’t expect anything more by how they respond towards the end of the service. The preacher is wrapping up the message and people are closing their bibles, moving around and getting ready to leave. Some leave during the invitation, and beloved that is the most important part of the service! That is when God takes His word and draws souls to the cross.
We are exhorted by Paul to be ‘Sober minded’, to be of ‘sound doctrine’. God did not call us to be ‘Diplomats’, we are called to be ‘Prophets’, proclaiming the good news to the world that Jesus Saves! The message we preach to a lost world is not a message of compromise, it is an ultimatum!
My friend, if you are tired of ‘service as usual’, I challenge you to just four things:
1) Search yourself and see if you have unconfessed sin;
2) Seek the face of God and don’t give up until God has shown you something new of Himself and about you;
3) Sanctify yourself throughout the week by His Word and be in preparation to worship when you come to the House of the Lord;
4) Surrender, this is absolute surrender of all you are to all of Him. When you come to church with this attitude of expectation that God is going to be there and meet His people in presence and power. You can’t help but be encouraged and expect to see great things from our living Lord.
The Bible says that God is perfect, there is no need for Him to change, “I am the Lord God, I change not”, but we are to be in a constant state of change. The Father wants to change us to be like His Glorious Son Jesus. My encouragement to you is to: expect change, welcome it, and embrace it. So, from now on, when we come to worship, let us come prayed up and with an expectant hope that God will meet, and we will see ‘Great and Mighty Things that we Know Not.’
Be encouraged brethren, Jesus is coming soon, are you ready?