Let us gather…

Summers are a blessed time full of fun and exciting events!

Many of us have taken advantage of this season with camps and trips, vacations and adventures.  But often this also means that our full schedules tend to pull us away from gathering with other believers for the purpose of worship.

It does not take much to notice that churches all over the nation see a drop in worship attendance over the summer months.  Unfortunately, for many this also means getting out of the habit of corporate worship; with some taking a very long break before they gather again with their church family.

It is during times like these that we need to be reminded of the importance and certainly the blessings that come when the saints gather together to worship God.  Here are a few things to consider as we head into the school year and try to get back into a routine.

  1. You were made to worship (corporately)
    We don’t always realize this, but we were created for the purpose of worshiping God and that means doing so as part of a group. David wrote in Psalm 84 that he “longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord” (v. 2).  David, a man after God’s own heart, had a deep longing to be in the house of God worshiping Him with the rest of Israel.  It is a desire that was knitted into the very fabric of who he was. 
    You, like David, are created with that same desire.  We may try to suppress it, replace it, or ignore it, but it still part of us.  If you feel like something is missing in your life, it may be because you are not doing the very thing for which you were created!
  2. Worship Renews Us!
    David goes on in Psalm 84 to speak of the blessings that await those who trust in the Lord. He says that they “go from strength to strength.” (v. 7) There is just something about being surrounded with fellow believers that rejuvenates us and enables us to take on new challenges.  We are reminded that we do not dwell in this world alone, but by the power of Holy Spirit.  Indeed, the more we try to go through life according to our own strength; the more we realize that our own strength will fail us and only through God’s strength can we endure. 
    It may sound counter intuitive that adding another thing to your calendar will actually help you when you are overwhelmed already, but time with God and His people gives us the God-given perspective we need in these busy times!
  3. Worship Builds Us!
    Hebrews 10:25 calls us to encourage one another. When the local church gathers together is should not just be for the purpose of entertainment.  God never intended for the saints to gather solely for the purpose of listening music, hearing a speech, and then going about their lives.  Instead, the church is to gather together to encourage one another, pray for each other, and remind each other of our purpose in this life.  Thanks to social media, people today are more connected than ever, but also more isolated than ever.
    When the church comes together, we can no longer hide behind a computer screen.  The people around us are no longer talking points, but actual people who we can love, challenge, and understand on a deeper level.  The Love of God flows freely through people who are in the same space at the same time, and that is something that we should not neglect.
  4. Worship Protects Us!
    Perhaps the most surprising blessing that comes from corporate worship is that it protects us from ourselves. Again Hebrews 10 calls us ‘to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.” (v. 24) We have to understand that sin is sneaky and self-deceiving.  We often cannot see our own sin clearly; even when we think we can see others’ clearly.  This means we must gather with other believers who can challenge us and encourage us to pursue love and good deeds. 
    Many times in worship, we are confronted with sin, even if not directly, and it moves us to repentance and a deeper relationship with God.  We cannot underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin when we gather to worship God.  It is just something we cannot do in isolation.  We need other people to speak the truth to us in love, and we need the church to present us with the Word of God so by it we can be saved.

In closing, I want to remind you that worship is not about us at all!  It is about making much of our Creator.  Nevertheless, when we worship, God does amazing things in us and through us!  If you have not been in a while, I would implore you:  GO!!! 

May God do wonderful things in that time.