YHWH, God spoke to Moses and invited him to come up to Mt. Sinai and meet with Him. The Old Testament language literally records the word of the Lord as “come up and be there”. That phrase seems a bit peculiar. Literally, YHWH said to Moses, “come up here and be fully present”. The stress and responsibilities Moses was carrying perhaps made it challenging to focus on one thing at a time. He had just received wise counsel from his father-in-law, Jethro in Exodus 18. Moses was to raise up and appoint wise men to share responsibility and oversight regarding the nation of Israel. Some have recorded the population of Israel at @ 1.5 million people. Previously, Moses was trying to take care of the needs of the entire nation himself. He sent his wife and children back to her father while dedicating his focus on the nation. Jethro brought them back to where they belonged and gave some valuable instruction to Moses.
I wonder if some of us are suffering just like Moses!? We set aside specific time to be with God. We try to read the Bible, pray for a while, even worship for a bit. We even say to ourselves, “I’m going to get involved in a small group and gather with the church family more faithfully. As we step into our good intentions, we are quite distracted. All kinds of thoughts enter our mind. We begin to make mental list and soon we are not in the moment or it is split with several streams running through our minds and heart at the same time. We struggle to understand that if we pick up the more important, some of the lesser things need to decrease or go away!
Let me delve into another arena effecting most of our lives. Hebrews 10:25 exhorts us to “not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as we see the day drawing near.” I am aware that sometimes we are required to work on a Sunday or a small group night. We all take needed vacations or breaks. These are wonderful and help us recharge. But…
Our tendency is to almost look for opportunities to stay away from the gathering together as a body of Christ. We pack our lives with work, multiple activities, entertainment, and when Sunday Gathering or a small group is scheduled, we are so tired from all the other stuff we count as priorities, we have no energy or desire to connect with the community of believers to worship, hear the word, or be used by the Holy Spirit. For many of us, the church program has become boring. One- we are so conditioned to events that are fast paced, electronic, techno entertaining, and require little thinking, that we don’t like to come to a meeting that is not fashioned this way. Two- we want to stay anonymous. We desire to go where we have no possibility of being asked to participate or feel vulnerable in any way! Our goal is to be dutiful spectators, not participators.
If we could become courageously honest with ourselves, it’s time for change. It would benefit us greatly to admit we need grace from God to help us make some important changes. We must conquer our practical and spiritual ADD/ADHD. We can ask for help to desire and hunger for the things that are defined as important by GOD! We need focus to become fully present again in the daily building of a relationship with God. Then, out of that relationship and resource, we will have something to give and participate with the body when we gather. Sundays and small groups are a safe place to grow, get equipped, and be a participant in the ministry. Church was never intended to be an event where we watch! We are the church; the living stones, gifted by the Holy Spirit, to release practical ministry. Some do this in a more public way and some in a more private setting.
Learning the lifestyle of a daily relationship with God, followed by a commitment to be with your church family as much as possible, focused on becoming equipped, and then using what God is building in your lives, will turn attending into participating in a meaningful and life-giving way. As the body of Christ in the earth, you are valuable and important in His purposes in the world.
Give me your feedback. Let’s grow together as we construct a functioning family of believers here at Church Alive.