...until I went to Church!
Psalm 73:16–20 16When I thought to know this, It was too painful for me; 17Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then understood I their end. 18Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: Thou castedst them down into destruction. 19How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors. 20As a dream when one awaketh; So, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.
Asaph opened this Psalm by saying that he had almost fallen, he had struggled with serious questions and allowed the sin of envy to almost ruin his spiritual life. What kept him from falling? What turned him back onto the right path? Where did he find the answers for which he desperately sought?
Psalm 73:17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then understood I their end.
Gathering with others in united worship made the difference for Asaph and it also has for me.
Let me tell you what corporate worship has meant to me.
As a teenage boy, I was just about to slip into a life of complete rebellion until I went to church and heard just the right convicting sermon. I had almost slipped, until I went to church.
For a season I was drowning in discontent until the Lord laid yet again, the exact words I needed to hear upon that pastor’s heart. It was as though he was preaching just to me. Thank God I was there that day! I had almost slipped, until I went to church.
I had not discovered eternal purpose until I was given responsibilities in the Lord’s work. Having duties brought delight instead of the expected dread. I am so very thankful for church! The obligation of finding a lesson to teach taught me more than I taught my students, it kept me close to my Lord. I had almost strayed from my savior, until I went to church.
I had almost given up one day, actually if I am candid many days I had almost thrown in the towel, until I went to church. I have been encouraged by precious gray headed saints with sweet gestures like cards and kind words. I have tried to give them a boost only to be the one energized by the interaction. I have been wrong so many times but thankfully I went to church where there have been wise lovers of the Lord’s word to gently take me aside and correct my thoughts.
There have been days that I was down and almost lifeless, until I went to church and the boundless contagious energy of a young person in love with my Jesus influenced me for good.
Solomon in all his wisdom made a few wonderful observations concerning unity and cooperation.
Ecclesiastes 4:11–12 11Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? 12And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
The warmth of one another can help maintain heat. More cords intertwined within a rope provides added strength. These verses have proven themselves true to me at church. I have been spiritually cold until I went to church. I have had friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, to benefit from my fire but not as much as I have profited from their passion for him.
I read of a pastor who visited a parishioner who had forgotten the value of gathering with other believers. He sat with this man in silence for a while and then reached for the tongs beside the fireplace, pulling a red coal from the fire and placed it by itself. He sat back and quietly watched the red heat of the ember fade and then without a word he walked away. The silent sermon spoke volumes, we need each other to sustain our spiritual fervor.
I am so glad my Jesus loved the church and bought it with his blood. I have needed it and still do. I know that I always will.
Asaph had almost slipped until he went to the sanctuary and so had Jason. I strongly suspect that building relationships with God’s people and worshipping him together will help you too!