• A simple change to prioritise faith over form makes a connection we never knew we had...
The early church was an exciting place to be. It was dangerous — the risk of persecution with imprisonment or worse was always present. But so was a sense of the presence of the Lord among them.
They did not come together to hear one of their number wearing robes of office read familiar words out of a book.
They gathered with an expectation of inviting the Lord to be present among them.
So, what’s changed over the years? We expect what we know and are comfortable with, whereas for those first believers — more aware of the Holy Spirit leading them — unpredictability was normal.
A church service today typically follows a defined format; the order and many of the words used will be the same as the week before and the week before that. We come with our agenda of how we want to worship!
That needs to change, if we are to make space for the Lord to do and say what He wants. Of course this freedom is difficult for those who plan and administer weekly gatherings. But then the Lord was never in the business of doing what was convenient - or fitting in with man's plans.
What He wants, is for us to want Him. And for that we've got to set aside what we are used to, what we might expect, and what might fit in with us.
In short, we have to change the focus from what we want, to making space for what the Lord wants. There's no harm in making some plans about the worship, as long as we don't mind the Lord coming and disrupting it. In a sense, that will be the whole point of what we're doing.
A meeting which is about the living Lord Jesus being among His people — one where His holy presence is almost tangible — is both an awesome prospect, and an attractive one.
The word will soon get around that this is a way that anybody can meet the Lord who loves us so much, He took our sin on Himself.
Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord.
One day as these men were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit spoke…
Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ…