Let My People Go
    I've been reading the book of Exodus lately, and just the other day I came across a scripture I've read more times than I can remember.  It's 9:1, where God has directed Moses to go to Pharaoh and say, "Let My people go, so they can worship Me."  They'd been held in bondage for 400 years by Egypt, and the Father had now begun His movement to set them free.  It was to begin with His demand that Pharaoh allow the people to journey three days into the desert that they might offer sacrifice to, and worship Him, but Pharaoh stubbornly refused.  When I read that, I found myself thinking on all the ways we in the church might be hindering not only the worship of our fellowships, be we pastors, "worship" leaders, teachers, or elders and board members, but our own worship of Him as well?
     In his wonderful book, "Real Church - Does It Exist?  Where Can I Find It?", Larry Crabb writes of how many pastors and leaders are confiding in Him just how mundane, how bored they are with the spiritual life of their churches, and their own as well.  It was not that there was a lack of things going on, indeed, there was an abundance.  Many of these men and women were a part of fellowships that can be described as successful and thriving.  Yet the spiritual life, the worship, had become predictable, and somehow, the human element had come to the forefront of all that was going on, and not the spiritual.  Much was crafted to appeal to the senses, but so little seemed to truly reach the heart.  People came, people watched, then people went home.  Pastors preached, teachers taught, worship teams played and sang, but life transforming encounters were few and far between.  The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were much sung and talked about, but it seemed, so rarely "seen."  Physical senses were touched, but the spiritual senses seemed to grow ever duller.  A good show might be put on, but a face to face meeting with Him was not truly taking place.  I was convicted because it is easy to lay such things at the feet of large fellowships, but it's just as true for small ones.  And it carries over into our individual worship as well.  Somehow, our flesh cannot resist the desire to be in control, even as it comes to the worship of our God.  I can hear His voice whispering, "Let My people go (and yourself as well), so they (and you) can worship Me!"
     I expect it's easy to assume that I'm making a blanket statement here on all fellowships and people, but I'm only asking that we examine ourselves in this.  In what ways in our fellowships are we preventing the people from really encountering Him?  Structure is important and so is doctrine, and I'm not talking about a Holy Spirit free for all, but in our desire for both, have we put boundaries up in worship that we won't allow His Spirit to cross?  In our desire to "establish" a worshipful atmosphere, have we put forth the full definition of what that atmosphere is to be, and what must be done to achieve it?  We live in a "special effects" entertainment culture.  How deeply has that penetrated our corporate worship?  How has it carried over to our individual worship?  What do we know today of what it is to pray and meditate on His Word, on Him?
What do we know of hearing Him, listening to Him, relating to Him?  What holds us back from all of this?  What needs to be let go of, and what needs to let go of us that we might truly worship Him?  Can we take the time to ask those questions, and wait upon Him that we might hear His answer?
     To be in His Presence, is to be in the Holy of Holies.  I don't want to be a visitor to this place in Him, I want to be a dweller in there.  I want to see those that He has given me to minister to, be "Let go" that they may worship Him, even if it is me who has to let go.  I want to let go of all that keeps me from His presence, be it stress, anxiety, busyness, and yes, ambition.  To let go so that I, we, may worship Him.  How about you?  Or, will we, like Pharaoh, stubbornly refuse?

Pastor O 
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   May 2019   
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