Where is your meeting place with God? A sunny corner in a cozy chair with your Bible and a notebook? A Sunday morning church service filled with worship, teaching, and other believers? A camp or retreat center where you commune with God and nature? Or perhaps on your knees beside your bed in the early morning hours? I guess what I am asking is in what physical location do you feel God’s presence the most?
Jesus often went off by himself to pray and connect with his Father. The Mount of Olives seems to have been a physical location of particular importance to Jesus. Luke 21:37 tells us, “Everyday Jesus taught at the temple, but every evening he went to spend the night on the Mount of Olives.” Luke 22:39 says, “Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.” John 6:15 says, “Jesus once again withdrew to a mountain by himself.” Away from the crowds and out in the open I am guessing Jesus felt God’s presence more strongly. In essence, it became one of his physical meeting places with God.
This has been a process for me over time that has come to mean a great deal in my Christian walk. In Matthew 6:6 Jesus says, “But when you pray, go into your inner room, shut your door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
When I finally got into the habit of starting each day in prayer and in his Word is was partly because I had finally figured out a physical space in which to meet with Him each morning. I head there with anticipation when I wake up because I know that God is waiting for me to join Him there.
Jesus regularly gathered with other believers and scripture exhorts us to do the same. I believe regular church attendance needs to be an important part of every believer’s journey. Hebrews 10:25 says, “Let us not neglect meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encourage one another, and all the more as you see the day approaching.” Matthew 18:20 reminds us, “For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them.”
God created the church to function as one body with many parts. 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 describes God’s plan for the church. Verse 12 says, “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.” Verse 18, 19 & 20 go on to say, “But in fact, God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.”
Verse 27 sums it up by saying, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” Not attending church not only hurts us but hurts other believers. The church body cannot function as well as it could because part of the body is missing when we do not attend. I want to encourage you to find a physical place to worship with other believers where you feel the presence of God.
Precious Father – Thank you for the example that you gave us in the life of your Son as he dwelt among us in human form. Thank you for scripture that encourages, exhorts and convicts us. Please give us an unquenchable thirst for your Word. Thank you for the physical places where we feel your presence here on earth Lord. Amen.