We live in an age of informality. The days when men used to go to work in pin-striped suits, carrying rolled umbrellas and their briefcases, and the boss was some remote gentleman sitting in solitary state with everyone calling him ‘sir’ and being somewhat afraid of him, are, for the most part, long past. It is more likely today that people work together in open-plan offices, wearing open-necked shirts, calling everyone by their Christian, (or ‘fore’, as we have to say in this secular age!) names.
This is probably a more healthy state of affairs, though what seems to have happened is that, to a certain extent, courtesy and respect for each other seems to have disappeared too. This informality has also extended to Church. When I was a child, I dressed in my ‘Sunday best’ to go to Church, but today people come casually dressed. Again, this is fine, as long as the casual attitude doesn’t extend towards God. Our Victorian ancestors had a fairly healthy respect for hellfire and there are caricatures of Victorian preachers lambasting their congregations with nightmarish pictures of what awaited them in the hereafter if they didn’t behave themselves. God must have seemed a very distant and uncaring Being. Today, whilst the focus of teaching is more centred on the great love that God has for us, we must be careful not to become casual in our attitude towards Him. He is still an awesome and holy God. I know that there are some churches which begin their worship before the service has started, while the congregation is still arriving and carrying on their conversations despite the worship that is taking place. Can we really expect God to ‘turn up’ to our services when we don’t quiet ourselves before Him and approach Him with due reverence? It says in Psalm 22:3 that the Lord ‘inhabits’ the praises of His people, (or ‘Dwells in [the holy place where] the praises of Israel [are offered]’ in the Amplified Bible). But if we aren’t properly centred on Him we can’t expect Him to visit us during services.
We need to balance our understanding of His love with a healthy sense of His power and awesomeness. I wonder if there are any people reading this today who may have taken God a little bit for granted on occasions? Maybe we all need to repent for taking Him lightly at times and not giving Him the full honour and respect that is due to Him.
Prayer: Father God, Thank You that You love so much when I don’t always love You back in the way that I should. Please forgive me. Help me to have a deep sense of Your holiness and power, together with Your love. I want to get the balance right, in Jesus’ precious name I ask it, Amen.
Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship. Provided full acknowledgement is made to Seeds of the Kingdom as the source, you are also welcome to use it in a non-commercial way and reproduce it in magazines or other Christian websites. The copyright for any commercial use of the material remains with Ellel Ministries International.