Have you ever looked at a beautiful sunrise, and stood in awe at the magnificence of God? Romans tells us that we can “understand God by the things that He has made” (Romans 1:20). God’s fingerprints are everywhere, on everything. You can’t find a place on earth that’s beyond his reach. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1). All of this work leads me to believe that God seriously wants to reveal Himself to us.
He has set aside a time and place to do just that. He designed a place and a process for us to deepen our knowledge of Him, and our understanding of His plan for our lives. This potential exists every time the church doors are open, and the pulpit is occupied by a preacher of the gospel. Some would think this strange. Some would argue that it matters not whether you sit in a pew, or stand in a forest. God is everywhere. On that we may indeed agree. I would hasten to add, however, that God has established the church as His choice to particularly and dramatically demonstrate His glory.
With that being said, I must issue a disclaimer: not every church nor every preacher comes with this anointing and heavenly mandate. You may need time to search for a church that is on fire for God; a church where God has the free reign to conduct business with sincere believers seeking to know Him. You will need to find a preacher true to the word of God, with fire in his belly. Revival isn’t just a historical fact, but a very present opportunity. Let me prove my case by making three statements.
1. There is Strength in numbers
For some reason, God especially blesses gatherings in His name. He promises to be in the midst of “two or three gathered in his name” (Matthew 18:20). How much more might he bless an entire congregation gathered to worship Him? If the “effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16), then how much more power emanates from a room full of prayer warriors? The weakest and most vulnerable animal in the wilderness is the one who has wandered away from the herd. You, likewise, are vulnerable trying to navigate through tears and turmoil without help and support of godly friends.
2. There is Serenity in Song
To hear from God, you first have to remove yourself from the entanglements of this world.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart. O God, thou wilt not despise” (Psalm 51:17)
“The quickest and best way to distance yourself from sin is to lose yourself in worship. Music lifts the soul, and prepares the heart to hear from God. As you worship, you open clogged lines of communication and establish a connection to the throne of grace. Now mind you, I am not talking about a halfhearted rendition of a hymn you have sung a hundred times. I am talking about walking away from the world, into the presence of God. Worship prepares you heart for the most important part of the service- the preaching.”
3. There is Power in Preaching
Preachers have been ridiculed for centuries. God works in mysterious ways. He uses preaching to reach, to guide, to encourage and correct His children. One message sent out over an old, wooden pulpit miraculously ministers to a multitude of personal needs. It might just be a phrase, or an illustration that has a particular impact on you and your situation. It’s like a repeat of Pentecost, where every person “heard…..in his own language” (Act 2:6). This mystery is summed up in one verse of scripture:
“The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved, it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18)
One final thought:The time of worship, prayer and preaching are moments when spiritual transactions take place. You bring a deposit of faith and trust, and God matches your pledge with an equal amount of grace and mercy applied directly to your account. Too many of our accounts are inactive.