Musings 89

The practices of modern churches certainly have the appearance of a group that has a primary desire to draw men into their organization. The practices that the Bible teaches tell us that men should seek God first and foremost. Instead of seeking men, the church is to seek God. It is not that men should never seek men and become fishers of men, but that the primary purpose is to seek God. How wearying it is to a soul that longs for God to attend a church “service” that seems to be built around using God in the pursuit of men. It is also true that conservative churches can want to be conservative and think that God will bless them for being conservative and as such they do not seek the face of God either.

What would a church look like that sought God and the face of God in the service? John tells us that true worship is worship in spirit and truth. This is to say that true worship must be from the inner man and it also must be in accordance with truth. Truth is important and even vital, but it is not enough. The people must seek the Lord from hearts that desire Him and desire His presence amongst the people. For those who seek the face of God hearing about Him is not enough. They want to know God and to have Him come down and visit them with Himself. They will also not be satisfied with the cotton candy of an electric type of music that will make people feel a certain way, but instead they will want God Himself and not just those feelings.

A church that was seeking the presence of God would strive for a true reverence and a true love for God. There would be no trinkets and toys and playing around, but instead these people would long to seek for God out of reverence since one can only seek God with a reverent heart. How can one pray for God’s name to be hallowed if one is not seeking reverence for Him in the service? The worship of music must be reverent or it is in direct opposition to the presence of God. This is not to say that the music cannot be with joy and even have some beat to it, but it must always be reverent.

The next thing that a church that sought God would look like would be the way it prayed. Yes, the prayers would be with reverence, but also the prayers would be to God and for God. The prayers would be from the heart and they would longingly and perhaps agonizingly cry out to God for Him to come and visit His people. Those prayers would be for His glory, His kingdom, and His will and pleasure to be done. If people long for the presence of God then they should seek God in the service as if they had nothing else to do. After all, that is what they should do. This is not to say that there is no room to pray for the saints, but prayers for the saints should always be in the context of seeking the face of God and what is the ultimate good of the saints.

The last thing, which perhaps should be the first thing in many ways, is a sermon that is centered upon God and His revelation of Himself in Christ and how we must have the Spirit to understand and behold Him. The sermon itself should be a seeking of God by the preacher and in some way a drawing of the people to God. It is also true that there are sermons about sin and other subjects, but the goal of those should be to point to God and His glory. The main point of a sermon is not to put the preacher on display and it is not to make people understand some points of the Bible better, but instead the main purpose of the sermon is the glory of God. If the main point of the service is to meet with God and for Him to come and meet with His people, then the sermon has to be pointed in that direction as well.

I am not sure that it can be denied that a service that focused on worship that was in spirit and truth, praying that was focused on God, and preaching that was focused on God are necessary for God to visit a church with His presence. The worship in song, the praying, and the preaching should be reverent and it should be clear that God is to be sought by the hearers and the preacher. The point of the singing is to seek God and His presence. The point of praying is to seek God and His presence. The point of preaching is to seek God and His presence. Why is it that we don’t have the presence of God in the churches? I would suggest that it is because we don’t focus the services on seeking Him and instead we do what we do for other purposes. It is a form of idolatry.

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