“How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” Psalm 84:1–2 (NIV)
“Getting ready to go to church.” What emotions does that phrase evoke in your family? In your heart? Your mind? The Psalmist yearned for the next time he could be in God’s house, worshiping with God’s people. Do you anticipate meeting with God this weekend at church? How are you getting prepared? You do know, of course, that if you’re not in church you can’t meet with Him there; so first of all, get to church this weekend! God set a day apart every seven days for physical rest, but also worshiping God with God’s people, because He knew we needed it! He also commanded it.
Second of all, where’s your Bible? I hope you have already done so by now, but if you haven’t, go find it! Dust that thing off. Take it with you to church. The Bible calls itself “God’s Word” and also “the Sword of the Spirit.” Who would want to leave home without that?
Third, begin to get spiritually prepared. Spend a few moments in prayer before you head off to church. Ask God to meet with you there. Pray for the worship services. Pray for the volunteers who will be there serving this weekend. If you serve, ask God to give you the desire to bring your best service to Him this weekend. Pray for the Worship Team. Pray for me! I always tremble at the opportunity I have to speak for God each weekend. I covet your prayers! Ask God to prepare your heart to enter His courts with praise. When that countdown hits zero on those screens, be ready to make a joyful noise! The Bible says: “God inhabits the praises of His people.” In other words, if we want God to draw close to us, one of the best ways is to start praising Him!
Finally, pray that God will bring people who are disconnected from Christ and the church to our church this weekend! Pray for those who will give Jesus and the church one more shot this weekend. Pray for the opportunity today to make one more last-minute invite to our worship services; Then…get your game face on. It’s time to meet with God in His dwelling place! Are you ready now?
Shawn Lovejoy is Lead Pastor of Mountain Lake Church; Directional Leader of churchplanters.com; and author of The Measure of Our Success: An Impassioned Plea To Pastors.