My Dear Friend,
First of all, Happy Father’s Day to all! Whether you are a biological, adoptive, or spiritual parent, my prayers are with you and your families as we continue to meet the challenges of the day.
I hope today’s devotional will encourage you as you ponder the blessings that will come to us when we finally come together. As always, you are loved and you are missed!
Love in Christ Jesus,
“I was glad when they said unto me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord!’” Psalm 122:1
“Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:20
By Now, We Should be Hungry and Thirsty for It
Last week, we looked at four individuals from the Bible who were experiencing trouble. King David, who was forced several times to “quarantine” himself alone from enemies who sought to kill him; King Hezekiah, who learned that his realm was about to be attacked by an opposing ruler; Hannah, who could not have children, (which was considered a curse in ancient Israel); and finally, Anna, whose husband had died at a very young age. Feeling threatened, deprived, cursed, or lonely, all four of these troubled souls knew exactly where they should turn. Their refuge and comfort would be found in a place like no other: the House of the Lord.
It is worth repeating: The house of the Lord is a place like no other.
David and Hezekiah feared losing not only their thrones but also their descendants at the hands of their enemies. But enemies do not necessarily come only in the form of ambitious military rivals. We all know that recently, the lives of people all over the world have been threatened by a microscopic – and therefore invisible – enemy. We may think that our problem with an “invisible enemy” just started in the month of March, but the Bible is perfectly clear: Our whole problem as human beings is that we are constantly being threatened by an invisible enemy. “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood (that which is visible to the naked eye), but against the spiritual forces of evil” (Cf. Ephesians 6:12).
So what was it that drew fearful kings and broken-hearted women to the House of the Lord? Was it because the people who also went to the House of the Lord had it all “together” and could solve their problem? Of course not. David, Hezekiah, Hannah, and Anna all went into the house of the Lord in time of trouble because it is God who decreed that His house is where He wants us to come to make contact with Him: “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people” (Isaiah 56:7). God’s “house of prayer” is a place of refuge from the spiritual forces of evil.
In their time of trouble, David, Hezekiah, Hannah, and Anna went to the synagogue or temple. But then came Jesus, the Son of God, who founded the New Testament Church. He promises to meet us there: “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I among them” (Matthew 18:20). And He bids us to come: “Come to Me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Life-enhancing facilities that have been shuttered for the past three months are starting to open: gyms, salons, restaurants, theaters, etc. We all look forward to dining together with our friends and loved ones. We cannot wait to order off the menu, to have the food brought to us, and to enjoy it over conversation. Many are looking forward to relieving their stress at the gym. And multitudes are looking forward to sprucing up at the salon or barber shop.
But the most important thing we should all be longing for is to once again enter into the House of the Lord – both to receive from the Lord and then to give back to others. I pray that you are looking forward to worshiping together with other imperfect and yet beloved children of God. I pray that you are longing to come and enjoy what will be provided on the “Menu” of the Word. I pray that you are longing to relieve your stress by experiencing the joy of the Lord in the Spirit.
Once again, I encourage you to remember to pray each day for the opening of the Houses of the Lord, and I pray that we can’t wait to get there. The house of the Lord is a place like no other.
And by Now, We Should be Hungry and Thirsty for It.