This morning i started out thinking about yesterday’s service and ended up thinking about God, again. I ended up thinking about what God likes. It’s an open secret, i am a sucker for God’s approval. I live for an audience of One.
I was thinking that the service was so full – (no, not of people, not yet) but of life, of God. We could have gone on forever. It was rich. I am humbled to see how near tangibly God’s presence is expressed in our meetings. And this morning, i thought i understood something, just something of David’s desperate cry to God ”don’t cast me away from your presence, don’t take your Holy Spirit away from me.’ A howling wasteland is life, a howling wasteland is church without the presence of the Holy Spirit. It makes me think hard about what constitutes church, about the kind of atmosphere God likes and the kind of people He enjoys hanging out with.
I am glad it’s not the paraphernalia, nor the famed trappings of worship, we have few of those. So did the apostles i find. They had neither a Dove award winning worship band nor the coolest graphics this side of heaven, nor even an Ivy League theological degree. In fact, when they had been taken before the powers that be for ‘practising medicine without a licence’ (a slightly tongue in cheek take on the situation) it says that the authorities looked at them and saw that they lacked theological polish and educational pedigree, decidedly a let down, but they took note that they had been with Jesus.
Great encouragement for me and the motley crew that i lead. None of us seems tailor made for this endeavour, I less than any, but i figure and keep teaching them that perhaps our unsuitability might indeed be our greatest asset. Perhaps if we can be much with Jesus, He will keep rubbing off on us. Perhaps if we live daily in the sweet atmosphere of His presence, we will carry it afield and experience it even more deeply when we gather together to worship Him. Perhaps in acknowledging that ‘my help comes from the Lord’ and celebrating God the Holy Spirit we might indeed hit on the very thing that we are after.
So I think that perhaps that is one of the things that God likes, people who genuinely like Him, who love to hang out with Him, and He returns the compliment. Yet I know we are embarked on a voyage of discovery as long as life itself. My brother Paul exhorts the church in Ephesus and through them the church in Paris to to find out what pleases the Lord, and till I heave my last sigh, i will stay on board this ship, because I really like it when God shows up.