Ever since the days of Abraham, God has been passionate about forming a people among whom He could dwell and manifest His grace and goodness. Ever since the creation of Adam and Eve, Satan has been intent on keeping this from happening. And it seems since Covid became an item (distraction?), this has especially been a reality.
When God’s sons and daughters come together – worshipping Him as one people – God delights in showing up. No doubt I as an individual can (and should) worship Him as a way of life in my car, walking through a forest, walking on the beach, etc. No doubt we as families can (and should) worship Him as a way of life. But there is something special God chooses to do when we as a congregation of all ages and varied giftings, ethnicities and gender come together to both celebrate Him and celebrate the sovereign joining He has brought about in our corporate life together.
God’s delight in our regularly coming together as His sovereignly joined people is a delight He loves to share with each of us. One of the ways we know this from scripture is by learning from David’s (the man after God’s own heart) example. He is the author of all the Psalms noted below. And I have to wonder if one of the reasons He is called “a man after God’s own heart” is because of his passion to gather with God’s people every chance he got – joining with them in giving our God the praise and worship He is so worthy of.
May David’s joy, commitment and passion ever more become ours in these last days before our Lord returns!
“As for the saints who are in the earth, They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.” Psalm 16:3
“I will tell of Your name to my brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.” Psalm 22:22
“From You comes my praise in the great assembly; I shall pay my vows before those who fear Him.” Psalm 22:25
“I shall wash my hands in innocence, And I will go about Your altar, O Lord, That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving And declare all Your wonders. O Lord, I love the habitation of Your house And the place where Your glory dwells.” Psalm 26:6-8
“My foot stands on a level place; In the congregations I shall bless the Lord.” Psalm 26:12
“I will give You thanks in the great congregation; I will praise You among a mighty throng.” Psalm 35:18
“I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great congregation; Behold, I will not restrain my lips, O Lord, You know. I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and your truth from the great congregation.” Psalm 40:9,10
“But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God’ I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever. I will give You thanks forever, because you have done it, And I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones.” Psalm 52:8,9
“With my mouth I will give thanks abundantly to the Lord; And in the midst of many I will praise Him.” Psalm 109:30
“I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Psalm 122:1
Thank you Father for the privilege we have of being a part of Your people. Thank you for the privilege we have of gathering with Your people to give You praise, and to have You impart your heart and life to us. Please protect us from the evil one as he seeks to divide and conquer among us. Give us the joy and blessing of being in the thick of what You are doing in these last days in and through Your people. In Jesus’s name we pray, Amen!