An old song comes to mind this morning: “How long has it been since you talked with the Lord?” If it has been awhile, then perhaps you know the feelings of longing, emptiness, or even lack of peace.
There is nothing that satisfies the longing heart like the presence of God!
What a privilege it is indeed to be in a gathering of God’s people when His presence shows up. Has that ever happened to you?
It happened to me last week. Not one person left that place untouched by the power of God. What a joy to see young people run to the side of one who has reached out for spiritual help, place an arm around their shoulders and pray intently for them. Or to see them weeping with one whose heart has been convicted to confess their sins and accept God’s forgiveness.
It seems that our fast-paced American culture has imposed on us a quicker approach to responding to the Spirit of God. We now accept a simple show of hands—while no one is looking—to signify to the speaker behind the microphone that we have decided to follow Jesus. Certainly more simplistic, less noticeable, and non-intimidating, wouldn’t you agree?
It is likely that walking a church isle or bended knees at an altar no longer have a place in modern worship. But could it be possible that while we have accommodated our time restraints, we have cut ourselves short of the sweet and precious movement of God’s Spirit upon our hearts and lives?
Old-fashioned? Probably. But I must ask: How long has it been since the Spirit of God fell upon your congregation, bringing the convicting power of God to everyone present? Or since you’ve felt the presence of God move on your own heart, drawing you closer to Him?
Who said it is old-fashioned to allow God to work among His children? Are we embarrassed at what God might do? Are we so afraid of ridicule from other believers or the world that we have purposely omitted the opportunities for God to work in us? And who cares what the world has to say anyway.
I wonder if we know what to do with His presence when it shows up. Amazement, reverence, fear, awe, humility, praise, worship, and adoration all appear on my list of “to do’s” while in the presence of Almighty God.
But however we handle it must not be the focal point of our concern—the important thing is that He comes! How precious to our hearts when our Lord comes to meet with us!
How long has it been since you talked with the Lord,
And told Him your heart’s hidden secrets?
How long since you prayed? How long since you stayed
On your knees ‘til the light shone through?
How long has it been since your mind felt at ease?
How long since your heart knew no burden?
Can you call Him your friend? How long has it been
Since you knew that He cared for you?
(Words and Music by Mosie Lister)
However long it has been is not the issue. Even if it has been a really long time, we can fix it now. Let the world say what they may. Let the religiously-correct ridicule if they want. But do not let another day pass until you find a place to get alone and meet with your God. He is waiting to meet with you; waiting to tell you that He cares for you; and waiting to bless you with refreshment that comes only from Him.
I suspect that as we have our one-on-one meetings with the Lord, we will find Him showing up regularly when we meet together. Oh, one more thing—when this happens, the world will marvel and realize that we too have been with Jesus! (Acts 4:13) ~ Janie Kellogg