Long to Encounter God
By Rev Philip Chow
January 29, 2023
Today is one of the Sundays in January 2023. The alarm clock rang on time at 7am in the morning.
I woke up, freshened myself up, got changed, ate breakfast and went out so I could get to the Main Church before 8:30am. When I arrived, the choir was already in the worship hall warming up their voices and preparing to offer their praises at the worship service. Those in other serving roles of the worship service were also getting ready the things and information they needed. Soon afterwards, brothers and sisters gradually arrived, and the worship service began. I did not feel anything special in my heart.
The congregational song today is one of my favorites – with a powerful melody coupled with uplifting lyrics. Even though I was still standing at the front door to welcome brothers and sisters who were slightly late, the melody echoed in my heart when I heard the congregational singing in the worship hall. After the corporate prayer, I went to the reserved seat to continue to worship. I did not feel anything special in my heart.
Everything seems “automatic.” From waking up to traveling to church to the end of the worship service, I do the same thing every Sunday. I did not feel anything special in my heart.
Would that also be your “itinerary” to attend worship service at church every week?
The worship service is the most widely attended meeting at church every week. Brothers and sisters from various fellowships and of different ages gather together, longing for their encounter with the LORD at this time. Although the worship order is almost the same every week, we return to the sanctuary to worship the LORD with reverence and fear after a week of living. We thank the Heavenly Father for His presence and for walking with us. We also long to receive the holy word from Him during the worship service that will encourage us to stand firm in the truth and live out a good testimony. And even though we may not feel differently than the other days, the Heavenly Father’s work and guidance is full of His grace. If we look at all His work attentively, that can surely help spur us on to more active participation in the worship service.
The worship service is not a weekly “routine” – like going to church every week without any special feeling, doing it as a believer’s “duty,” or completing an assignment from the Heavenly Father and forgetting the sermon when the worship service is over.
The worship service is also not for making oneself feel good, choosing only the messages one “likes.” Rather, we need to make an effort. Just thinking about the Heavenly Father’s presence and guidance should be sufficient for encouraging us to praise Jesus Christ who grants redemption and who has victory over the power of death. It should make us humble ourselves to receive the word of God and to better lead a Christ-centered life.
What do you long for in the worship service – a time to encounter God – in worshiping Him, receiving His word, committing yourself to Him, and obeying and living out His truth?