A Doorkeeper’s Lament

Most days, there is no place that I’d rather be than in the House of God, in the fellowship of the sons and daughters of the King!  There is no greater joy than to get to church and be surrounded with the love and support of men and women that want no more than to show the world God’s love in their service to the community, in a variety of ways.

Many people look at church with disdain.  Some people groan and grimace at the thought that they ‘have’ to go to church. I’m excited that I ‘get’ to go to church.  I look forward to it! I love the work that I do for the Kingdom of God in His house.  It equips me and prepares me to be God’s hands, feet and voice in the other incarnations of my life.

Let’s talk about the work that gets done in the house of God.  There are many avenues of service in any church, that are necessary for the Pastor to be effective in administering the Word of God to the congregation.  From the people who direct you in the parking lot, to the ones who direct you to your seat, to the people who prepare the bulletins, and prepare and sing the music, the people who keep the church clean and the ones who teach the children so that the adults can give the word of God their undivided attention.  It is a village at work, to make sure that the community receives what God has prepared for them through the Pastor.

When it’s done right…in unity of purpose, with a clearly communicated vision and clearly defined roles filled by joyful and willing participants…the presence of God is made welcomed and He visits in ways that defy imagination, with gifts worth more than human riches could recompense!  Prayers get answered. Bodies, hearts, minds and spirits get mended! Peace is dispersed like a mist from Heaven. Joy unspeakable flows. Forgiveness is given and received.  The Grace of God is evident. All because we come together, work together and make room for God, in His house.

Make no mistake: that kind of work is truly a sacrifice. There is time, effort, study and preparation that must take place, in order for things to flow that seamlessly. People give of their time, and talents.  Others step out of their comfort zones to be obedient to do whatever it is they know they’ve been called to do. Practice, drills, thought and coordination are required.  And, sometimes, it means letting go of our desire to do things our way and in our timing.

Recently, there were some people that were heavy on my heart. People I haven’t seen in a very long time. some I wanted to hug, some I had been praying for and just wanted to look into their eyes and make sure that all was well.  

This weekend, as we were in service at church, God was doing an extraordinary work.  The flow of all in service, from the ushers and greeters, to the choir and dancers, was IDEAL.  God’s presence was so rich and thick, it was very difficult to keep our human forms from buckling under the weight of His anointing in the air. It was, in a word, DELICIOUS!

We who were in position, got to see a move of God, unparalleled.  And, I…I got to see some personal presents.  These people that had been heavy on my heart were actually PRESENT.  But, I was in service to the presence of God. While, for a moment or two, here and there, I struggled with the urge to leap from my position of service to satisfy my desire to see these people, I did not want to break the flow of the service. Nor did I wish to quash what God was doing, by the Holy Ghost.  He was making His presence felt and many, many people were not only demonstrating their great hunger for God, they were having that hunger satisfied.  God’s presence became more important that having my desires met.  The fact that I actually got to see these people present, would have to be enough.  

Having resigned myself to surrender my present from God for His presence, I threw myself into the service that I was performing for my God and my King.  In that moment, I was given the gift of a vision that I will be sharing with my Pastor as soon as I finish talking to YOU. I was also privileged to entertain God’s presence in a way that was so profound, those of us who were in attendance, were genuinely LOATHED to walk away. We literally sat in silence, with children, spouses, responsibilities all waiting, because God’s presence, in that moment, was so beautiful, NONE OF US really wanted to leave! From where I stood, I saw ushers, security people and prayer ministers stepping out to check on things and coming back into the sanctuary to continue to serve and be witness to what was happening. Even as I am writing this, I am overwhelmed by how precious that moment was, and so grateful to have been a part of it.

So, yeah…

There are a lot of times, people have to wait on us because of the services we provide in our congregations.  We show up late for ‘important’ events (if at all), and people get offended.  Sometimes, people’s feelings get hurt, because they think our priorities are out of order.  And sometimes, even in having our own prayers answered, we only get to celebrate on our way to doing more service.  But in all those things, I would still rather be a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord than to dwell in the tents of the wicked.  To get a front row seat to the miracles, signs and wonders of eternity being dispersed; to feel the presence of the all powerful, ‘unseen’ Creator of the Universe and to know, for certain, that He enjoyed Himself in hanging out with ME?

Please…I’ll take His presence over His presents any day. If you’re looking for me, you know where to find me…In service to His presence.

Please…I’ll take His presence over His presents any day


Just Let Me LOOK at You!

“Oh, I want to see Him, look upon His face. There to sing forever of His saving grace…”

There is something to be said about the anticipation of getting to Heaven.  Streets of Gold; Beloved family members; Heroes of Bible History; All of these things bring hope and add to the draw of living in a way that would secure our arrival.

But the real attraction of Heaven is the opportunity to see the face of God.  To meet the deep, entreating gaze of the One who took on the form of man to bring about our ultimate deliverance.

It is that magnificent face that is our topic of conversation today.  We catch glimpses of it when we take the time to invite His presence into our daily lives. We are also beneficiaries of spending time in His gaze when we are inspired with ideas and solutions that bring us from glory to glory.

A lot of people get confused and get enamored by the works of His hands.  There is healing, deliverance and miracles in His hands.  But that is all a by-product of being in His presence and seeking His FACE.

To look into the face of someone you love is to know them intimately: To notice the joy and pain in the most miniscule details.  It is the ultimate marker of real relationship.  Think about it.  Any mother or father can instantly tell when their child is in pain without hearing a whimper or sigh. We can see their humor and joy by the twinkle in their eyes and the curve of their lips. We can tell when we look in the face of someone we adore if they genuinely love us or if they are distracted and not giving undivided attention.

It’s also very difficult to lie when you are looking at someone in the face. It is difficult to deny the truth of what you really feel, good or bad, when someone is looking at you with love and tenderness. 

It is a fearless thing to love someone face to face.  To know and be known, down to the smallest thought or emotion and be truly naked and unashamed in their presence. 

That can be tough with another human being.  No wonder we’d rather seek God’s hands.  Seeking the hand is more of a fleshly experience.  Seeking the face is the act of spiritual satisfaction. 

This is why I find the most joy seeking the face of God.  There is a singular excitement in knowing I can be completely myself in His presence.  I don’t pretend with him.  I see it pleases Him when I am all that He made me, warts and all.  If I need to cry, He doesn’t stop me.  If I need to vent, He doesn’t gasp in offense at my honesty.  And I don’t flinch at His honesty. He tells me when I’m wrong.  He lets me know when I am going my own way.  In the presence of a Holy God, it is impossible not to notice our own unworthiness, but it is also impossible to ignore the loving providence of His Grace that welcomes us each and every time.

It is when I seek the face of God that I know I am truly loved, without question or reservation.  Seeking God’s face is where I find that He is pleased with me and my desire to make HIM happy.  And when my heart is to make Him happy, His greatest joy is to make ME happy. 

Then, He gives me WHATEVER is good for me in His HANDS. God knows it’s never about the things.  I would lay down every single THING to be caught up in His warm embrace. 

Seek the face of God in His Word, in prayer time, in the sunrise, in the face of a loved one or in quiet times alone.  You will never be disappointed.  And when we get to heaven, His will be the face of a familiar friend we’ve been longing to see. What an awesome time to be scooped up in the arms of our Savior, just to tell him, like a long lost love, “Just let me LOOK at You!”

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