Meet With God First

8/15/2007

This is part three of the "Preparing For Sunday" series.

It's 7:42 on a Sunday morning, the birds are chirping outside, and you don't have to be at church until 10:00 am. You crawl out of bed, slide your feet into a pair of slippers, and wander downstairs to make a cup of coffee. After making your cup of morning wake-up-juice, you grab the newspaper off the front porch and settle down to read the arts and entertainment section. From there you move casually to the sports section, the food section, and finally the obituaries. By this time it's 8:49 am, and you have just enough time to hop into the shower, grab an onion bagel (and some mints), and head for church. Worship starts at exactly 10:01 am, and it's at that point you have your first thought about God that day.

Sound familiar? I've been through that routine many times. The result is that I arrive at church unprepared to meet with God. My heart is distracted, my thoughts are scattered, and I never fully engage during the service. But there is an alternative. To properly prepare for Sunday, we must meet with God before we meet with God. To prepare our hearts for corporate worship, we must spend time in private worship. It's crucial that we spend time in God's word and in prayer before we leave for church. Why? Because the battle with sin begins the moment we step out of bed on Sunday morning.

Our sinful flesh doesn't like church. No, let me rephrase. Our flesh hates church. Our sinful flesh is opposed to everything that is good and spiritual, and will make every effort to stop us from encountering God on Sunday morning. Our sinful hearts will try to condemn us during worship, distract us during the preaching of God's word, and keep us from fellowship after the service. And so we must prepare for this battle by meeting with God in His word and prayer. We must have our hearts refreshed and focused even before we worship corporately.

And so friends, let us prepare for Sunday mornings. Let's avoid the temptation to check our email or read the headlines, and let's make a concerted effort to meet with God before we meet with God.

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 8:31 AM  

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