Sometimes, I'll admit up front, I'm bored in church. The songs strike no fire in my heart. A stab at a joke or something funny falls flat. The drama just didn't have it. And the sermon, well, to be honest, I worked on my to-do list through most of it. Not every church service can be a flaming success. Yet, aren't we supposed to get something out of church?
Certainly we are. But there's something else to consider: Why do we even come to church? Who's it for — us, or God? The truth is that we come to church to worship God. It's not about us. It's not about how we feel.
It's not about getting some grand principle to take home and apply in your life. It's about God — learning about Him, drawing near to His feet, opening our hearts to His leading, and worshiping Him in spirit and truth.
A well-known verse often quoted about church, Hebrews 10:25, tells us, "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
Church is about encouragement. Look at Romans 15:4: "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." The Bible, as taught in church, gives us endurance and encouragement so we might experience genuine hope. Church is about worship and receiving encouragement through worship. How can you find those kinds of nuggets of truth there? Your spiritual enemy will do anything to stop you from worshiping God and receiving from Him what you need for the daily battle of living in this world.
But be determined and don't give up. Call on the Lord for help consistently. Do these things, and you will soon find that worship is a time of uplift, challenge, and joy. Others may start asking, "What is your secret?"
Mark Littleton enjoys writing articles and books, speaking, and sharing his faith in Kansas City. Article provided courtesy of Barefoot Ministries. www.barefootministries.com. All rights reserved.
Holiness Today, January/February 2009