Daily Devotion - February 11, 2021 - Being in the Presence of God

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Daily Devotion - February 11, 2021
Reading: Ezekiel 33:30-33
Weekly Theme: The Rewards of Ministry

Today: Being in The Presence of God

When you and I go to church, what is it that we wish to experience? I remember attending a relatively large church 20 years ago and enjoying the experience. The preacher was a good speaker, the choir sang beautifully, and the seats were comfortable. I loved the stained-glass windows. It also was just starting a contemporary worship service and I really loved the music at that service; it was loud and exciting. Yes, this church was the church that would be perfect for my family. As I looked at their bulletin, I noticed they had very active children and youth ministries. I decided quickly that this church was going to be my new church and it was my church for 15 years.

 

How about you? What is it that you hope to experience when you go to church? Today’s passage from Ezekiel 33, provides us with an example of some of the things we may look for when we enter the house of God. We may often be enthralled by the speaking skills of the pastor or impressed with the singing and the worship style or perhaps the “programs” offered by the church. But often we leave church, and our lives remain empty and unchanged despite how moving the message was and how much it touched our hearts and penetrated our soul. We may have even left talking about what a great service it was. But then the very next day we are back to business as usual, living our lives without any regard for the word of God that we heard at church. Why is this? Perhaps its because our reasons for enjoying church have more to do with our like for the pastor, the songs, or the “programs” and less to do with being in the very presence and grace of God.

 

The prophet Ezekiel points us to the one thing that we should hope to experience when we go to church and that is to experience being in the very presence of God. It is not just about hearing someone give a beautiful talk or enjoying the style of worship but is about whether we felt the very presence of the Lord with us during out time in fellowship with other believers. If we leave church and there is no difference in the way we act in the week that follows, then most likely we went to church to make ourselves feel good for a few minutes rather than seeking to experience God’s presence as we feel him moving and stirring in us throughout the week as we serve him fully every day until we enter his house to worship again. There is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying the sermon, the music and the ministries offered at church, but if that becomes our primary criteria and reason for worship each week, then perhaps we should remember the words of Ezekiel as he reminds the people of Israel that true worship takes place when we experience the very presence and grace of God as we gather in God’s love and worship God. It turns out that I did feel the presence of God at that church I attended for 15 years, but not because of the preacher, or the choir, or the praise band (although they were all wonderful) but because it is in that place that I felt the spirit of God stir within in me in a mighty and powerful way and felt God’s presence in my life not just on Sunday morning but throughout the week that followed.

 

Dear God, thank you for this reminder from Ezekiel that worship takes place when we experience your presence with us. Help us to understand worship is your very presence with us no matter where we are and is not just something we experience on Sundays but something we do all week long. In Jesus’ name. Amen

 
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