Lord, Prepare Me
This past weekend I was on team with the Walk to Emmaus, a 72 hour spiritual retreat. I have learned that prior to anything big for God, Satan is going to try to distract us! And he did everything he could last week to make it hard for us to go spend 72 hours with God! Of course he did! He knew mighty things would happen and they did! As always, God has the VICTORY! As I reflect on the weekend soaking in God’s love, I find it is sometimes hard to come back to the real world.
This morning it was a little tough coming to work, although, I am blessed that I work at a church where our pastor feels strongly about the staff worshiping together and being encouraged. Even so, after 72 hours I was tired and missed the God time. As if my pastor had read my mind, he sent a text that we were starting our staff meeting in the sanctuary which means we are going to worship. It starts out with my pastor, Tim, banging on the piano. I do not mean that disrespectful - that is one thing I love about Tim! And we sang simple but worshipful songs! It was just what I needed to prepare myself for the week before revival. Psalm 95: 1-2, “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.”
We sang, “Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true. With thanksgiving I’ll be a living sanctuary for You!” As we sang I thought just because I had left the retreat did not mean I left God there! Nope, He rode back with me and He has not left my side. Deuteronomy 31: 6, “for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” I just have to be intentional about my worship. Not just my devotions but my worship time with Him! In the summer it is easy for me when I am sitting outside in His creation but on these cold wintry days I find I have to be more intentional. And it is with thanksgiving that I will be a living sanctuary for Him! I thought about how I want our hearts to be prepared for seeing the change in our sanctuary. I want our hearts prepared for worship Sunday. I want our hearts prepared for revival next week!
When I walked into the sanctuary and saw the new chairs it was so beautiful! The chairs are so comfortable - seriously - with lumbar support! One of the reasons blue was chosen is because Advent is a season of preparation that anticipates both Bethlehem and the consummation of history in the second coming of Jesus. This anticipation is characterized by hope with its mood of solemnity and somberness. Blue is the color of hopefulness. I feel hope when I walk in there and I am sure you do too! And you surely feel hopeful when you walk out!
I do have pangs for those who find change hard - which is probably most of us. Pulling out our pews and putting in chairs was done to make more room for God's people. As we sang, “Let It Rain” I was reminded that this is God’s House and He will pour His Holy Spirit on us no matter where or what we are sitting on. He just wants us to get as many of His people in there as we can! We sang, “Let it rain. Let it rain. Open the floodgates of heaven.” Tears came to my eyes as I thought about how it rains on us every Sunday. I know it will be raining down on us during Revival, whether we are in the gym or sanctuary.
After our devotion, we each stood in a different section of the sanctuary and prayed over the new chairs. Tim prayed for the future services in there, whether Sunday morning, revival, weddings, funerals, choirs, Ignite, Sunday school classes, etc. When we walked out I was excited. God will be there waiting on Sunday and then all of next week for revival. Hosea 10: 12, “Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.” Join me in crying out to God, asking Him to “let it rain, let it rain. Open the floodgates of Heaven” and pour His spiritual rain onto this world we live in! God wants to send an outpouring of His Spirit upon us today!