Community in the Secret Place
I have been really considering the importance of community, as a HUGE extrovert I am aware of how much I need people around me in everything: When I go shopping, when I’m watching TV, when I’m worshiping – I find it so much easier when there is someone with me, even if we aren’t talking, it’s their presence that brings me comfort. I have at times looked at this as a negative thing, thinking ‘why can’t I do this alone without feeling ‘meh’?’, but actually God has been showing me that this isn’t something to be embarrassed about, or feel shame over! It’s the way we are created, one of the key reasons why church exists – for community.
The bible is clear that when we worship we are part of a bigger chorus – Isaiah 6v3 ‘They were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!”. We were never meant to worship alone! This doesn’t mean our time with God in private isn’t essential, but the church exists because God calls Christians to worship and be together; to join in as a chorus with Heaven’s Armies. This is why for some people it is so much easier to worship God and give Him the praise, when surrounded by other people doing the same thing.
BTW - You can take comfort in knowing that when you worship, you are never actually alone! Heaven never stops singing, we are the ones who dip in and out.
I love knowing God is personal to me. He knows me and meets me and speaks to me but at the same time He is also yours. He is your best friend's, He is the worship leader's, and the person standing in a high-vis in the carpark's, and the one making the coffee's... God speaks to you, at the same time as He is ministering to those around you. He is able to be with us all equally, love us equally, speak to us equally. It is in these times that He uses others to communicate clearer to us than we are able to hear in our own heads. How many times have you been worshiping and someone takes the microphone and starts declaring exactly what God has just been speaking to you about? This has happened so many times, yet it still completely blows my mind (and I usually start blubbering away at how amazing God is for speaking to me through other people - like it's never happened before). When we worship with other people, we have this support and are able to see that God is moving in all of us, but also have confirmation about what God is saying to you personally! Worshiping in community can help us to separate our thoughts from God's voice.
We need communal worship just as much as we need the secret place. For me, I get distracted so easily when I am alone. If I am left to myself then I can find a million and one other things to focus on instead of God. What has been incredibly helpful for me is finding resources which help me stay focused. Surprise, surprise the most helpful ones for me are the audio resources! This not only helps me to not feel alone but when someone is speaking God’s heart over me and guiding my time with God, I find is so much easier to find Him and decipher His voice over my thoughts. I use bible plans such as ‘Loop’, listen and sing along to worship music or audibly listen to the bible; even in your time, just you and God, you can still have community!
For this blog I didn’t have a creative expression to accompany what I felt God wanted me to share. However, I was scrolling through Instagram and of all people Justin Bieber pointed me to the perfect example of community in the private place. So, to end this blog, I would love for you to try this guided prayer, with Judah Smith, and see what God is saying to you today:
‘I declare God you have helped me and you will help me again, God I trust you.'