Gather Together, and know His Presence in the Midst
Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.”
Here is the true definition of a local church…gathered together in His Name.
When we are drawn to a place of worship, (and we believe there should be the Word of God preached there), and know we are there because that is where the Lord wants to be…then you are gathered in His Name…and He is in the midst.
There is a special manifestation in the corporate ministry of the church…for there is power there, to the accomplishing of His purpose, through that group.
It is not “super” Christians, but just those gathered together to know and do His Will.
It is the combined power of few or many, wanting His Will, and listening for it.
Hebrews 10:22-25 “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for He is faithful that promised;
And let us consider one another to provoke (incite or encourage) unto love and to good works.
Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
(First a word about “backsliding”. It is a term you do not hear so much about these days….but it is a term which means “to retreat from”, or “to go back, with the determined effort not to go on with God”.
It is interesting to note, that it is a term used once in Proverbs as a warning; and all the other times, is in Hosea, the prophet to the ten tribes of Israel in it’s last days before their captivity…..
And Jeremiah, the prophet to Judah in it’s last days before their captivity.)
Years ago, when I had come back to God, and I was reinstated back into the church, I was in a evening service (and frankly I felt, I was totally out of place).
Me, with these godly people, seemed ridiculous.
I was there, and when the time for testimonies and confessions came, I felt like I should speak….but…again how I felt, stopped me.
The preacher, a good man, felt there was more was to be done, and started right then to give an altar call.
The Lord was dealing with me to stand and speak up….but also with others…teenagers who had been in the church…but had started to fall away.
No had seemed to notice these problems…..but the Spirit convicted many that night…about backsliding sins….
…(not as serious as mine)…but problems that could have pulled many of them from God.
For some it had started to, for others it was a coldness which had come into their lives…..by anxiety and worldliness.
But all that came forward had heard the Lord’s voice to “Return unto Me.”
As many of them came forward, the preacher said that these were “good kids”, and he was right; yet the Spirit was drawing them….a lot of them.
I, too, went forward, and spoke:
I told about my backsliding sin, and how the Lord had got my attention and demanded my repentance….(He did not want to hear from me how I wanted to repent…no…I need to stop and get it out of my life, now.)
I told them how I did, right then…no more excuses. And how the Lord forgave me. Then I gave them the verses, He gave me:
1 Corinthians 1:18, 26-29 “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness, but unto us that are saved it is the power of God.
For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
That no flesh should glory in His presence.”
It matters not who you are, or where you came from….but have you brought yourself to Christ’s cross, and received Christ as Lord and Savior?
Is His life, by the Holy Spirit, leading you? Or are you trying to lead Him?
There can be no fence sitting with God….you are either for Him, or against Him (Matthew 12:30)….we can not be ruled by two masters.
Matthew 6:24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye can not serve God and mammon.”
(Mammon, here speaks about the “wealth of the world”…any of it.)
True life in Christ is being born again, being saved from sin, the world, and self.
His life is being called to work as His servants, and to continue to stand with Him.
His life is hard times, and joyous times, of following Him. (mounting up as eagles, running, and walking. Isaiah 40:31)
Everything that comes to us, either will make us stronger in the faith, or make us step back, and retreat.
When faced with the thought of fighting giants to gain the Land, God brought them to…..many Israelites rebelled, and wanted to turn back…even to slavery in Egypt…
Numbers 13:31, 33 “But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.
And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers: and so we were in their sight.”
Numbers 14:4 “And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.”
But Joshua and Caleb saw Someone else: they saw the giants, they saw the battles ahead…..but they also saw the Lord, and that was enough for them.
Numbers 14:7-9 “and they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land.
If the Lord delight in us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which flows with milk and honey.
Only rebel ye not against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not.”
“They are bread for us”.
As we stand with the Lord, and have the victory in today…that will strengthen us for the next one.
Gather together, and know the Lord’s Presence in your assembling with other Christians.
Set things right with the Lord, and know His Power, there, and in your everyday battles, ahead.