All of our friends know that the Fourth of July is a special gathering at our house. My husband and I invite folks over to celebrate the holiday with us. James starts the night before preparing his famous fall-off-the-bone tender bar-be-que and I whip up my special potato salad, cole slaw, and fresh lemonade. By the time friends and family start arriving, we’ve tidied the yard, pulled out the games, and readied all the rest of the “fixins.” James and I are ready to enjoy our company.
Now just imagine how we would feel if our guests gave us only an obligatory hello, wave, or nod and then dug into the food, pretty much ignoring us for the rest of the time they spent at our house. Not only that, suppose when they did acknowledge us, it was only to ask for something else they wanted. Let’s say they took the run of the house, grabbing what they needed, using what they could, having a grand time with the other guests, and then upon time to go, announcing they’d be back next week for more of the same.
My husband and I would feel a bit used. Why? Because implied in the invitation to visit our house was an invitation to fellowship with us. Although we prepared a meal for our guests, it would have been nice if our guests had actually come with the mindset not only to eat, but to be with us, to enjoy our company, not just our comforts.
Exodus 33:9 and 11 say, “And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses… So the LORD spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend” (NKJ). Moses got visiting right. He went to God’s house to be with God rather than to see what he could get from Him.
With what visiting mindset do we approach our worship services? I’m afraid many of us go to church only for what we can get. We say phrases like, “I really got a lot out of the service today,” or “I can’t wait to get to church for what I need; it’s been a hard week.” While this is well and good and we should get something out of our visits to church, this is not supposed to be our main goal. What we receive is incidental; why we’re there is what’s critical. We are at God’s house to be with God, to enjoy His company, not just His comforts.
Let’s begin to take this mindset and “heart-set” with us to church. Say to yourself, “I am going to church to be with God.” Watch how our worship times will be enriched.
REMINDER: Remember to study your Bible regularly. At any time of the day or night, log on to www.webtv4women.tv. Click the Bible Study channel, and then Sharon’s show, A Heart for the Word. Increase your knowledge of the Word in just 6 minutes a day.
©2010 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including the copyright line. For all devotions, comments, and questions, log onto Sharon’s blog at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com.