November 15 - Unity and Worship
Going to the house of the Lord is for worship, the highest expression of our Christian faith. However, worship of God is usually done in a corporate setting, with one another. Joy will be with us as we worship together: “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’” During corporate worship, a number of things can happen.
The first benefit is the physical presence of the body, with our feet literally standing within the gates of Jerusalem. In the Book of Hebrews, we are told not to forsake assembling together. Like the different tribes gathering at Jerusalem, all God’s people are bound tightly together. Being there is the key when we may experience our unity in the Spirit. When we are together, we worship and give thanks to God. God’s presence would then be with us for He dwells in the praises of His people. There He sets up His throne so we may worship Him. Many come and meet God during corporate worship as God’s people gather in unity. Also during worship, God’s judgment can be pronounced to all. The preaching of the Word of God is like proclaiming God’s opinion about people and things. We all have our own judgments but during corporate worship, we yield to God’s judgments.
Since corporate worship is so important, we must guard it with everything we have. Peace and security is the hallmark of God’s house. Shalom or well being is to be found when God’s people are gathered together in worship. Seeking the good of one another and of the body of Christ is our first priority. When we have peace with one another, then we can appropriate God’s peace among us. The easiest way to disturb such peace is to have conflicts within the body of Christ.
The writer of the Book of Hebrews reminds us, “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” When there is no peace among the brethren, sin is present. When sin is present, God’s presence would not be there. When a body worships with sins unconfessed, God is not there and they are just worshiping a human tradition, a form or a habit. Worship in disunity is no worship at all.
Worship God in holiness is essential for God is a jealous God, He would not overlook sin in the body. We must obtain the grace of God through confession of sins before we can go to Him in worship. Roots of bitterness, ill will, troubling spirits can come and defile the assembly and erase all spiritual worship. Sexual immorality, like that of Esau’s, is a major stumbling block to Christian worship for it divides and creates conflicts within a church. Before you worship, be reconciled to one another or you are just going through the motions. Are you ready to go to the house of the Lord?
Ps 122:1-9 Ezek 31:1-32:32 Heb 12:14-29 Prov 27:18-20