My weekly routine includes Sunday morning service and Sunday school and Wednesday evening worship and prayer. I love being in His house and in the presence of other believers. Only sickness and distance have kept me from a Sunday morning service, but Wednesday evenings are another story.
Don’t get me wrong! Worship and prayer are top priorities in my world, but I do get tempted – and admittedly give in – to being too tired to drag myself into service on Wednesday evening. If I were to guess a percentage for attending mid-week service, I’d say I’m somewhere in the ballpark of 70% and, to me, that’s not good enough.
God is never too tired to hear me worship Him. He is never too tired to hear my prayers. He is never too tired to meet me wherever I am. So why is it so easy for me to be so dismissive of my need to shut out the world and hear whatever message He has prepared for one of our pastors to deliver?
Today was one of those days when staying at home was incredibly tempting. Sometime this afternoon, I began to feel utterly exhausted. I started trying to make myself feel better about staying in for the night. For every reason that I had for staying home, I had a response to make it seem OK.
“If I can muster up enough energy to go to church, I will, but if not, it’ll be OK – right?”
“I deserve to relax, so I will stop stressing about missing just one night.”
“If I stay home, I’ll just do my own personal Bible study and spend time in prayer.”
“It’s just one service. What’s the harm?”
The harm is that had I given in to the enemy’s attempt to keep me from being in the presence of other believers, I wouldn’t have experienced a wonderful message of how we function better when we practice the ABC’s of growing deeper in our walk with God.
Accountability – I am not in this world alone and the choices that I make have an impact on others. An accountability group helps to keep us on track. Christ-centered accountability groups are small groups of people whose main goal is to grow deeper in a relationship with Him while holding one another accountable for each member’s actions.
Belonging – We all have the need to belong and getting into a small group satisfies that human desire.
Caring – We have a natural tendency to want to care for others who are in need. Small groups tend to give care and receive care whenever needed.
Tonight’s scriptural focus was Acts 2:42-47
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (NIV)
I am glad that He helped me resist the enemy’s attempt to keep me at home tonight. I am happy about not keeping my children from their personal experiences at church tonight. I am excited about being a member of the body of Christ! I am on fire about being able to “do” life with other believers who know, care for, and love me as I do them.
I have never regretted going to church and being amongst other believers; there always seem to be a message that is tailor-made for me. I have, however, regretted staying at home, running a silly errand, or spending my Wednesday evenings doing something far less fulfilling.
Praise Him for leading me out of the my house and into His!