One who is full loathes honey from the comb,Proverbs 27:7
but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.
This proverb could rightly be re-written,
“One who is content with religion, who loves church but is not desperate for Jesus, will hate it when the Presence of God comes crashing in with all of His weird manifestations and powerful encounters. But to those who hunger for more of God’s Presence, who are desperate for life-changing encounters with Jesus, who know that church is worthless without Him, even uncomfortable moments with Him are better than comfortable moments without Him.”
Are we full? Are we satisfied with the intensity of the Presence of God in our midst? Or does He have permission to disrupt our comfort? Does He have permission to cause weird things to happen to us and those around us? Do we crave the level of the Presence of God that the priests experienced when the Temple was dedicated?
When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. The priests could not enter the temple of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled it. When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying,
“He is good;2 Chronicles 7:1-3
his love endures forever.”
God’s Presence was so thick and so real that it totally disrupted their worship plans. All they could do was bow with their faces to the ground and proclaim God’s goodness and love. Do we hunger for that level of God’s manifest Presence in our midst? Do we long to see God drop fire down in the center of our worship space? Or are we so full with other Christian activities that we’re missing the best part?
While Christian community, small groups, social justice and outreach programs are all good things, they are not the main thing. Jesus is the main thing. God in His glory is the best thing. All other aspects of church should flow from our all-out pursuit of Him and our experience of Him in our midst.
Christ is preeminent. He is above all things!
Father, may you stir in us that deep hunger again! May we become so unsatisfied with Americanized church that we begin to simply long for your manifest Presence in our midst. We are changed when You draw near!