Many people wonder where God is these days. They say He appears to have gone missing—to have abandoned our pandemic world and our country that is riddled with protests and violence and a stunning, free-fall plummet of morality. Where is God? Maybe you have asked that question as well. Maybe you have a longing for God and His presence in your life that you have never experienced this intensely. Perhaps you find yourself singing along with the sons of Korah the words of Psalm 42:1-2, “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”
I have some good news for you. I know a place where you can always find God! Are you ready….wait for it…wait for it…Here it is:
God meets us, His people, in corporate worship that is focused on the means of grace.
What are the means of grace? The Westminster Shorter Catechism question 88 asks, “What are the outward means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of redemption?”
The answer is: “The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of redemption are his ordinances, especially the word, sacraments, and prayer…”
The Word. The Sacraments. Prayer. These are the streams that GOD has chosen through which His grace flows to us.
God has given us these ways:
To find Him when we seek.
To know Him when we wonder.
To empower us when we are weak.
To comfort us when we grieve.
To rest in Him when we are weary.
To turn a spark into a flame.
When we rightly observe the means of grace together as a body through the power of the Holy Spirit, God NEVER fails to meet us. God does not limit His presence in our lives to these places. As Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:8, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” However, if you want to be certain to experience the reality of God, He will ALWAYS be present with His people in worship through the means of grace.
This reality should elevate corporate worship to a high level of importance in our lives that perhaps we have not given it before.
For the next few weeks, as we look together at Acts 2:42-47, I pray that God will reorient our thinking about corporate worship as a place where God truly meets us. I pray as well that He will give us a deeper understanding of and love for His means of grace so that through them our heart’s longing for God can be satisfied.
Take the opportunity to be at worship this Sunday, June 6 as we begin this new study in God’s word. God will meet you there! (If you’re new, start here!)