Wednesday Morning Devotion – 2/28/07 (What Keeps You Away?)

I have asked one thing from YHWH,
And that’s what I’m going to go after.
To live in YHWH’s house as long as I live,
And to search deeply in his temple. — Psalm 27:4

When we lived in South America near the coast the weather always stayed very near the same temperature. It was 80 degrees, plus or minus a few. One time there was a cold snap. It got down to 72 degrees. That Wednesday night there were people who missed prayer meeting because it was too cold.

Now if you’re laughing, think again. Sure, it sounds silly to us, but this isn’t about silly people in South America. They’re no more silly than we are. It’s just that their reason doesn’t make sense to us. But would our reasons make sense to them?

Which brings us to one of the reasons why we need to go somewhere to be in God’s presence. God is everywhere. Why can’t I just worship him on my own at home? Am I any more in his presence at church than at home?

Well, there are two things to consider. First, we need other people to help check on our excuses—accountability.

24And let us pay attention to each other, so as to stir up of love and good works, 25not neglecting our meetings, as is the practice of some, but encouraging, and doing this even more as we see the day approaching. — Hebrews 10:24-25

Second, however, God has promised that he will be amongst us where two or three are gathered. If we, the church, are the body of Christ, one of the ways we have to be in God’s presence is to be together, to be in one another’s presence.

19Or don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary {or temple} of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from Go and you are not your own? — 1 Corinthians 6:19

So one of the ways to be in God’s presence, even in his temple, is to seek out the fellowship of other believers.

Now this sounds like a good Friday or Saturday morning devotional, presented in time to persuade people to go to church. But what about other times to be in God’s presence? Small groups, Wednesday night activities, even choir practice can be times when you can just hang out in God’s presence.

It may seem a bit odd to take the Psalmist literally on this. Who really wants to be in church all the time, after all? But when we get to heaven, being in God’s presence will be our constant activity, for eternity.

Perhaps we ought to get into practice!

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