So, how do you get ready for church? I know the physical logistics of the preparation.
You decide what to wear (unless you are a woman and have done it the night before.) Then a little breakfast and in the haste to leave the house, family tensions can mount. Maybe a bit of arguing on the drive, then the spiritual ‘happy faces’ come on as you pull into the parking lot. The usher handing you a bulletin assumes this is the favorite time of your week.
That’s the physical part of preparation, but how do you get ready spiritually? Just as normal hunger brings us to the table to eat, so our spiritual hunger should provide a strong incentive to meet with God.
In preparation for attending church we should exhibit some of the anticipation of the crippled man in Acts 3 who met Peter and John. When they walked toward him he “paid attention to them, expecting that he was going to get something from them.” Acts 3:5 Amplified Bible
I believe we’d receive more if we expected more.
What if we went to church not to be at church, not to see our friends, not to fulfill some spiritual obligation … but to actually meet God? Psalm 107:9 assures us that God “satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things” New Living Translation. He provides the food. I provide the hunger.
One last thing.
If you are hungering for God’s presence and truly expect Him to meet you there … why show up late? Half of the congregation isn’t in the sanctuary when the service starts in most churches. Fully a fourth of them haven’t even showed up after fifteen minutes!
Sometimes being late can’t be helped. That’s accidental tardiness. But being habitually late is a bad habit that treats God with less respect than we give our dentist or kid’s soccer coach. Retool your thinking about Sunday mornings. If we are half as excited to meet with God as He is about meeting with us, something truly transforming will happen.
The Psalmist said, “I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him?” Psalm 42:2 New Living Translation
How about this Sunday?
May you have joy and anticipation for his presence as you journey!