For many years I have regularly attended the same church, set in a farming community in a very beautiful part of the world.
Recently there have been many unavoidable changes and issues within our church and things haven’t been running as smoothly as they should. Because of these disruptions, I found myself going to Sunday services somehow expecting things to be wrong, and spending the whole time worrying …. Would the music please everyone? Would people find fault with the sermon? Why wasn’t our rector present? Would someone complain about the misprint in the pew leaflet? I was taking all this ‘baggage’ into church each Sunday and not remembering to worship or to spend time with God.
I then had the most amazing revelation while on holiday near Kruger Park. I went to a church where I knew nobody, and I could go in with no responsibilities or worries – I simply had a deep desire to be with God. The service was glorious and I was able to discard all negative thoughts and have that empty space filled with the Holy Spirit.
Later that same day I went for a walk, and I asked God, “What was so different about today’s service?” And His answer came to me, loud and clear – I had left all the ‘stuff and nonsense’ outside, I had gone in ’empty’ and I needed to be topped up! I was therefore able to give God my full attention.
This revelation has changed my whole way of thinkng and now, every Sunday, I say, “God, this is Your time.” The difference I have felt has been phenomenal, and my mind is now clear and able to absorb the Word fed to me throughout each service.
My spontaneous visit to that church near Kruger Pak was an amazing event – and looking back I can see this was God’s plan for me, and I thank Him over and over for this experience.
However, I must add that it is always good to feel part of a ‘family’ in church, and we must trust God who puts others there to ‘feed’ us. But this must not dominate – it is first and foremost about you and God, and about the love of God. The things of the world must not be allowed to crowd God out of our lives.
Rose – South Africa