Ok, so I know its Thursday, but I wrote this blog on Sunday and doggonit I’m going to publish it! Lately, on Sunday afternoons, I have been going to a large green space on a somewhat “quiet” street near my home to replenish. During this time I do a little reading, I write, and I just hang out with God. Although Sundays are one of my spiritual highs during the week, it’s also a spiritually and physically exhausting day. Here is what my Sundays look like:
– 5:15am – up to pray and put the finishing touches on my message.
– 6:45am – shower, get the kids breakfast, load the trailer (we are portable)
– 8:15am to 10:30am – set up, sound check, and pre service prayer
– 10:30am to 12:00pm – worship experience
-12:30 – 1:00- tear down and clean up
– 2:00 to ??? – relax!
Our worship experience on Sunday was great. Jesus came, and that’s really our greatest desire. We experienced His tangible love and loved back on Him. I never want to be guilty of taking Gods presence for granted. I have been to churches where He is nowhere to be found, and that is my worst nightmare. Everyone that comes to the Journey says they really experience and feel His presence. It’s the reason we exist – so that people can experience Jesus Christ in a life-changing way. Without His presence we are nothing. We are just like everyone else. There is nothing that makes us markedly different. God’s presence is changes people. If our worship and preaching aren’t leading people into encounters with God, what are we doing? If it isn’t that, why are we here? I’m not talking about exalting experience above His Word; I’m talking about letting the Word lead us into encounters with the God of the bible! Knowledge without the wisdom to apply it and change simply leads to being puffed up with pride.
On Sunday, I preached about the fear of the Lord from Psalm 128. You can listen to it here. But what I found out in my study is that the fear of the Lord is precipitated by encounters with God: Abraham had many, Jacob and the ladder, Moses and the burning bush, Isaiah in the throne room, Gideon in the winepress, David, Solomon, Peter, John, Paul, the list goes on and on. We can know about the fear of the Lord and what it is but just knowing about it is just the start. Like knowing the 10 commandments, that doesn’t ensure that we are doing them!
I challenged our people to take one uninterrupted hour to encounter Jesus this week! I hope you will do the same and experience the God of the bible.