Recently, a friend of mine commented on the faithfulness of my oldest daughter. She is a full time college student studying youth ministry, works part time, and volunteers in the nursery, choir, children’s church, and youth departments of our church. This sweet friend wanted to encourage my daughter and let her know how much she appreciated the fact that she is at church every time the doors are open. If anyone has an excuse not to be there, it would be young people with busy schedules like my daughter.
My children want to be at church every opportunity they can get. They can’t stand missing church for illness or having church canceled for weather or holidays. I have to admit there are times when I am just too tired and too overwhelmed. I don’t want to go anywhere. I’d rather just crawl under the covers and hide. I say I’ll just worship, read my Bible, and pray at home, but I don’t. By skipping out on the message God has for me in His house, I’m telling God that what I want is more important. I don’t have time to accept his invitation.
In reality, I’m only kidding myself to believe staying home will do me any good. It is these times when I really need worship in His house the most. I should strive to be more like children who have a consuming fire and hunger for God.
I am so thankful The Lord has changed the course of the history of my family. My children are much closer to Him than I was as a child. My parents weren’t Christians and didn’t talk to me about God. My grandmother didn’t get saved until my early teens. God’s influence on my grandmother began a chain of events that changed eternity for generations. Thanks to The Lord, my grandmother was saved. I saw her faith and what God was doing for her. Through that wonderful influence, I got saved and so did my sweet husband.
Unfortunately, this change wasn’t immediate. I remember walking down a path contrary to God and His Word as a teenager and young adult many times. I had justifications, reasons, and excuses for all of my failures. I don’t think I took much responsibility for my choices back then.
Even as new parents, we allowed the world to press us into its mold. We let the pressures of being working parents prohibit us from being faithfully committed to church attendance and service. We still had time for work, children, shopping, running a household, friends, family, sports, television, but we didn’t have time for God.
All of those other things seemed to take precedence over church. I’m not sure why. I guess because we were slaves to the world’s way of thinking. We thought we had to skip church to be able to take care of everything else we had to do. We were overwhelmed physically and financially. It didn’t take long for The Lord to get ahold of our hearts. He reminded us that if we sought Him first and His righteousness, that He would take care of the rest.
He began giving us a hunger for the things of God. So we began stepping out in faith. We started tithing regularly. He provided more financially for us than we ever had by holding back our tithe.
We began attending church every time the doors were open. The days still consisted of 24 hours, but amazingly we had more time to do the things we needed to do. It was difficult because we had to alter the routine of our children. They were used to eating, playing, sleeping on a schedule, but on church days and nights those schedules were interrupted. We were worried about our children being irritable and unruly because they were grumpy, hungry, and out of sorts, but those fears never really came true.
The Lord took care of everything just like He promised He would. God has blessed us even more along the way by taking a stand against anything taking precedence over worship: Jobs, sports, recitals, etc. We have said no to all of them and our children are blessed, well-rounded, and close to The Lord.
Even when we go camping and there isn’t a church around for miles, we simply have devotions and church as a family. I know the world is getting further and further away from corporate worship. It breaks my heart. I know it breaks The Lord’s.
There are Christians all over the world who want to worship, but they can’t. Sacrificing their very lives, they worship in secret. We take that honor and privilege for granted. We should be ashamed of ourselves for allowing the world to press us into its mold. We let any and every circumstance interfere with our worship. When you get down to it, we are just making selfish excuses.
We need to be in His house. The Bible says in Hebrews 10:25: “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” God loves the church. We should love all of the things of God, because they are one. I’ve heard this analogy given many times. You can’t get married, occasionally go home to your spouse, and then expect your spouse to believe and know that you love them. It’s the same for God and His church. How can we say we love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength if we give Him lip service?
Worship is the very reason we exist, and we think nothing of pushing it aside. Nothing is more important! The Word says we will worship every second in Heaven for all eternity. If we don’t have the time or the hunger for worshipping The Lord now on earth, how do you think we’ll feel in Heaven (if our choices don’t keep us from getting there)?