You can walk into church a hypocrite and super sad and/or wearing a tiara like Mindy
Here’s the thing no one tells you but they’re trying when they sing “Come as you are” and saying “Oh, honey, I know it’s hard right now but the Lord’s house is where you need to be.”
We’re kind if saying it, but watered down a bit. Because what Jesus says is He WANTS your broken and WANTS your presence with Him and WANTS you to quit trying to fake yourself out.
Before church, like 10 minutes countdown to leave, is one of the strongest spiritual battlefields for a Momma sometimes. Not just because the wee one is crying and the husband might be missing (maybe you’re single moming it 🙌🏻#superhero) while you’re fighting the toddler in a tiara to de-accessorize down to just three, please.
It’s a literal head to head, because the Enemy wants nothing to do with you being joyful in the Lord in a church building with other people shouting “JESUS!”
This evening I was crying so much I couldn’t get the fake-up on which made us late to church. (It happens.) We weren’t able to sit with friends or in the “usual” spot. The man in front of me had cologne that wasn’t my favorite. The lady probably three rows back was interrupting my thoughts with her loud singing. A guy close by looked like a bad ex from the back of his ears down to the shoes he was wearing.
I was real focused on worship y’all.
Directed prayer is something our church does after singing a few songs. It’s a time to reflect, pray together as a congregation for the same thing. I got a little “right with God” about being so self centered and grouchy and really just down on myself for the “little sins” going on in my life unconfessed. But those prayers didn’t go higher than the ceiling as my Mamaw would say. (Kinda forgot p r a y e r is a time for the Lord to search my heart. Not for me to play a quick game of “Sorry!”)
You know what the worship crew had the audacity to belt out after this prayer time....
“Great is thy faithfulness. Thou changest not. Thy compassions they fail not.”
Nope. Can’t sing that.
“This is your altar...” something the Lord clearly said to me mid worship one of the first times we attended a new church that had no altar. (Like, where do I GO to pray, Lord?). Great is thy faithfulness… not mine, but Yours, Lord
“When Jesus comes back, what do I want Him to catch me doing?” was the question the Pastor asked. And there it was... Those tears I cried earlier in the evening were in vain. “I’ve done it ALL RIGHT! I’ve searched my heart and come up empty.”
And from that cry at my altar of a chair with lights on.... I penned this heart response “You might have confessed and have forgiveness from your past. You might live day to day loving me. But I’m asking for your eyes to be on eternity during your every day. This skips tomorrow and two Wednesday’s from now and Christmas coming into 2020. Eternity is keeping in mind that my return is coming.”
The world is a lot more hopeful with kingdom eyes looking through a microscope. People dress up and make themselves smell good for things they’re excited to go to. Women make a joyful noise singing because they are happy in Jesus. We can see people that remind us of our past, but being far removed from that, faithfully see God had a plan all along.
Coming to church in a drought, left filling the river and dry banks with tears during that one last verse the worship leader felt we needed (so thankful for one more verse).
So please, go broken. Go fancy. Go fake and prideful. Go worn out and humbled. God wants every piece of you.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30