“Oh God, You are more awesome than Your holy places. The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people. Blessed be God!” – Psalm 68:35
I’ve been slowly reading the Psalms with the hope of seeing something new about the man after God’s own heart. I’ve been reading to discover something new about God. I’ve been reading to see what a relationship between God and a man after his own heart looks like. David was far from perfect and yet that is how God saw him. That is how God chose to honor him in his written word. That is how God wanted us to see this messy, sold out lover of His. God chose to show us David’s mess and his relationship with him. I like that. I need that. I need to know there is hope for my messy. I need to know God can see past the mess straight into the heart. I need to know He isn’t afraid for you and me to know He sees it.
A few weeks ago my Pastor preached a sermon about God as our Source. The sermon wasn’t just about giving up all the bad things we tend to fill our lives with in place of God. It was also about looking at the good things in your life that you may have given a place that really should be God’s. Included in that list was church activity and ministry and other sacred cows.
Why would a preacher who has recently launched a church plant encourage anyone to take a step back from church activity and ministry? Why would a preacher who has recently launched a church plant already be blessing and sending out a group of peeps to begin their own church planting process? Because it’s not about a church! It’s not about a “holy place.” It’s about HIM!
I didn’t realize at the time how important that sermon was about to be. Sure, I knew I was heading into a season where my ability to meet with my church family on Saturday evenings was going to be greatly limited. I knew how much I hated the thought of that. I knew how badly I wanted to be in THAT atmosphere! I still do! I’m still struggling with every week that goes by that I can’t get back there to meet with this new community of believers that is building something new in the Kingdom for Him. It’s a place I want to be. It’s a place I want to be a part of. These are people I want to get to know. These are people I want to grow with. These are people I want to spend time digging deeper into the heart of God with. These are contagious people going after the heart of God together, who wouldn’t want to hang out with them?
And then I realize what I am doing…again.
Please don’t misunderstand. Community is important. Fellowship is important. The local church is VITAL! I don’t want to live life without it. Its been a part of my journey since I was little. Its been the place where God has strengthened and protected and grown my faith. Its been the place where I have forged friendships that He has used in the tapestry of my relationship with Him and I wouldn’t trade it for a minute.
But what about those times in life when you just can’t make it to a meeting? What about the other 6 days of the week? What about those times when those people aren’t available to cheer you on and encourage you? What about those times when your cell phone dies and you need an answer and you can’t call or text anyone? What about people who don’t live in the Bible belt with a church on every corner? What about people who don’t have a nice, air-conditioned place to gather? What if there were no more gatherings? What if there were no more conferences? What if your ability to get to those places dried up for a season…or two or three?
I don’t know about you, but I need His strength and power. I need it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year…forever! I need it as a wife and mother. I need it in friendship. I need it when I am driving in traffic. I need it when I’m laughing and crying. I need it when I’m breathing! I need it when I fail and when I succeed.
David, the man after His own heart…
I wonder if David would have told me what a friend told me this weekend after I shared my excitement at the chance to dance with one of my heroes of the faith…”You can dance with the Holy Spirit any time you want!”