“‘When the people of the land come before the Lord at the appointed festivals, whoever enters by the north gate to worship is to go out the south gate; and whoever enters by the south gate is to go out the north gate. No one is to return through the gate by which they entered, but each is to go out the opposite gate." Ezekiel 46:9
My Pastor's message series has been about Creating Culture. He's teaching us what church is supposed to be like...and how he wants the culture of our church to be.
This week's was about Transformation. Why is my title about being distracted? I'm glad you asked!
Did you know that people come to church each week and leave feeling the same way they did when they walked in the door? Yes! It's true.
More than likely, the reason this happens is because they are distracted.
Josh said, "The one hour we give to God and we are distracted, then we wonder why we leave the same."
How many times have you heard people comment on a church service and say, "I just didn't get anything out of it."
Maybe they were:
Creating a to-do list in their mind
Focusing on the fact that their favorite worship song wasn't sung
Thinking about a particular life situation they are dealing with.
Texting during church
On the internet during church
Talking to someone else during church
It has to do with the listener, not the speaker.
The Pastor is not responsible for you having an encounter with God. That's up to you.
If you go into service not expecting to encounter God, thinking about other things, and/ or focusing on what you didn't hear or see, then how can you expect God to do anything?
Going through the motions of church, just to check it off your box to say you went is not a reason to go.
Remember Mary and Martha? Martha was upset because her sister was hanging out with Jesus instead of helping her prepare a meal. She asked Jesus to get on to her sister... but He said, in Luke 10: 41-42,“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
In order to experience all God has for us at church, we need to go in without distractions. Leave them at the door. Or out in your car. Don't carry that stuff in with you.
The Scripture posted above says how they could not leave by the gate they came in. That's what God wants, for us to leave different from church than how we came in.
Josh also said, "You have to make a choice to give your attention to Him again and again every day."
I am sure we are all guilty at one time or another of attending church distracted. But it's my prayer that this helps you see how much God wants to meet you there, have an encounter with you, and let you leave different than what you came in.