Ah, Sunday – The day of rest! The day that we can recuperate from the spiritual drain of the week so that we can get ready for the next six days. We get run down and stressed out Monday through Saturday, and Sunday is the day we get “recharged” spiritually. We go to church and sing uplifting hymns and songs. We listen to an inspiring sermon and bang, we’re ready for another week!
Or at least that is the way we think it should work.
Many of us think our worship on Sunday prepares us for the week ahead, which it does. But I think we would get a lot more out of our group worship if we changed our mindset and thought of the other six days as preparation for our worship on Sunday. After all, the primary focus of worship is God (praising Him), not ourselves (spiritual renewal).
Many of us come to church with things in our lives that hinder true worship. These obstacles need to be dealt with before we come to God as a body of believers.
Had I regarded iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not hear.
– Psalm 66:18 (JND)
Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
– Matthew 5:23-24 (KJV)
When Jesus talked about being reconciled with your brother before offering your gift before God, He was speaking of eliminating obstacles to worship. The one thing that hinders my worship of God is the same thing that hinders my relationship with Him: Sin.
Any sin in my life will put a damper on my relationship with my heavenly Father. It is not just sin between me and God, but also between me and my “brother” – any other human being. Am I jealous of what someone else has? Am I holding a grudge against someone, even if I feel it is justified? Do I hate someone? These are obsticles to true worship. How can I hate someone I have seen and say I love God whom I have not seen? (1 John 4:20)
We need to prepare our hands and hearts for worship today before Sunday arrives.
Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
– Psalm 24:3-4 (KJV)
We need to have clean hands and pure hearts when we come before our God. Our hands represent our outward actions – how we live during the week. Our hearts are our inward motives and desires. It would be a good idea on Saturday to spend some time evaluating our actions and motives during the past week and preparing for worship the next day.
Part of the reason for getting prepared for Sunday worship is so that you will have something to offer. We should actively participate in Sunday worship: don’t just soak it all in – give. All believers have been given spiritual gifts to help build up the church body. These gifts are given by the Holy Spirit not for your own benefit but for others. Any sin in our lives will hinder the Holy Spirit’s work in us. So we need to deal with sin right away so that God can work through us more effectively.
Do you have anything in your life that is hindering your relationship with God? Take care of it now. If you’ve offended someone, make a sincere effort to reconcile your differences.
Same old thing every Sunday? – Were you prepared?