by Wesley Blackburn
I’ve been a part of some really cool worship services over the course of my life.
I went to a Christian high school and was worship leader for our chapel worship band my junior and senior year. I remember one particular chapel we had this speaker deliver a message on bringing the presence of God back to a place that had lost it, and probably about one hundred students came forward that morning to give their lives to Christ. That was pretty cool.
Last summer I was a youth leader for my home church’s trip to the CIY Move conference (the same trip our Suncrest students actually are right now). On one night, they asked all the leaders to go up to each student in their row during the worship time that night and while the students were worshipping, we had to lay hands on and pray for each of the students there. That was an exceedingly powerful and moving experience for me. But what was even more powerful and moving was afterward, talking to another one of our youth leaders (who is not exactly the most spiritual or easily moved person) and watching her absolutely bawl because of the incredible power in what she had just gotten an opportunity to do for our students. That is a moment I will not forget.
Of course, I think many of us remember what happened at Suncrest on February 7 of this year when we watched 80 people give their lives to Christ in baptism. I was in our worship band that morning and I was actually right next to one of the baptistries. I will never forget bawling like a little girl watching person after person come and get baptized. It was truly remarkable.
But I’m sure that none of those quite compared to what the nation of Israel got to watch on this particular day as they gathered to consecrate the new temple of their God in Jerusalem. This place was huge. Way bigger than something like our church building here. Or anywhere. This temple was a big deal… it was enormous, and was built with only the finest of materials. To be a part of this worship service surely was one of the coolest things that these people would ever experience.
But I hope that you noticed the theme in Solomon’s prayer of consecration. Basically, the theme was that God would be with his people when they would turn toward Him. When God’s people would keep following Him, He would continue to bless and help them. But surely, when the people turned away from God, their bad choices would only earn them trial and trouble. But when the people would turn back to God, He would bless them.
I think that the same can be said with us and our lives. We’ve probably all seen that truth. When we follow God, we experience good things in our lives. Yes, things aren’t always easy. Sometimes trouble will come, but overall, our lives are great because we have chosen to worship God in the way we live our lives. In the same vein, though, when we turn our backs on God, we see the consequences. Maybe you’ve seen that in your own life. I know that in moments where I turned my back on God, I’ve always regretted the consequences. It’s just more incentive for each of us to keep following God in whatever we do.