I remember what joy it was to be able to get to church when I was younger. Walking through the double doors to enter in, meant that I had made it to the van in time, before Daddy could shoot his rifle at us. He didn’t want us to leave him on Sunday morning, but through all of breakfast we managed to eat and get dressed in spite of the threats that he would shoot us if we walked out of the door. It never really phased me, that each time I walked through the door to go to church could be the last time. Somehow I knew that God would intervene. Many times Mama, stood between the gun and us as we made our way to the church van. More times than I can count, we would come back home to find Daddy passed out on the back screened porch with the loaded rifle laying across his chest. How is it that he never remembered when he woke up?
It didn’t matter. I was at church worshiping the one true God. I sang my heart out, and tried to block out all of the events of the weekend so I could get in the presence of the Lord. I knew that in his presence was fullness of joy and at his right hand were pleasures forevermore. When I looked around at families sitting together, it did sadden me a bit, so I tried to sit on the very front row center so I could get as close to God as possible without being distracted.
I hungered for holiness so I kept trying to find it the best way I knew how, by being faithful to the house of God. If the church van would come after me, I went to church. It was a long time before the next Sunday, so I made sure that I took it all in when I did have the opportunity to go. When it was time to leave, a feeling of dread would wash over me, because I knew that it would be a long week. Do you know that God never left me to go through my week, alone? All I had to do was pray and he would be there with me every step of the way. The early years felt incomplete, because the more I sought after him, the more I realized that something was missing.
Life happened; I grew up; and today I can say that God has never left me nor forsaken me through my journey to find a deeper relationship with him. We have fancy mega churches that attract all kinds of people, but for me, I desire to build a deeper relationship that doesn’t depend on a beat of the drum, or gimmicks, to create a mood of worship. I long for genuine heartfelt deep in my soul, worship. The Lord is not the author of confusion, and he desires us to worship him in Spirit and in Truth.
The old Andre Crouch song, says it best,
Take me back, take me back dear Lord
To the place where I first received you.
Take me back, take me back dear Lord where I
I feel that I’m so far from you Lord
But still I hear you calling me
Those simple things that I once knew,
The memories are drawing me.
I must confess, Lord I’ve been blessed
But yet my soul’s not satisfied.
Renew my faith, restore my joy
And dry my weeping eyes.
I tried so hard,
To make it all alone.
I need your help
Just to make it home.
It’s time that we all ask the Lord to remind us of where he brought us from, so that we can renew our commitment to worship him in Spirit and in Truth. I am truly blessed, because God’s mercy kept me through it all. Let’s not take our opportunity to worship for granted, because it could very well be your last time. In this week’s Lattereign we are reminded that we can depend on the Lord.