Psalm 122 begins with a familiar statement: “I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord”. I can’t say I have always felt that way, but I sure do now. As a kid, going to God’s house wasn’t always on the top of my list, but God has made a way for me to see just how blessed it is to be able to come into His house and worship Him. We don’t have to go to a church to find God. He doesn’t live there. But He does indwell that place and He does love to have His people worship Him.
So why go to church? It is a place for us to find community. God inhabits His people, and hanging around with others on their faith walk to share life and encourage one another is a necessary and powerful thing for us to experience. God wants to change our lives. He wants to transform us and help us become like Jesus. We can plod down that trail on our own, or we can become part of a faith community that can help us by instructing us with truth, and more importantly by holding us accountable to walk the way God has shown us in His Word.
We are told by the psalmist to “give thanks to the name of the Lord”. That is what church should be about – not you or me – but God. We don’t go there to carry in our bushel basket full of requests and things we want God to do for us. We go there to seek the face of the Creator and to give Him the honor and glory and praise due His name. We need to “pray for peace” – not only peace in the world between nations – but within families between people. God calls us to come and bring those relationship issues to His feet. He cares about people. He wants us to be peace makers and to pray fervently for peace between man – be it on a global scale or within the walls of our homes.
He also tells us to pray for protection: “May they be secure who love you! Peace be within your walls and security within your towers”! Do you pray for protection each day? I often find that Christ Followers take it for granted. They just think that God is going to take care of things without any effort on their part at all. Never forget we have a very real enemy in Satan who has a mission to do three things to us as Christ Followers: to kill, steal and destroy. Scripture is clear about that. We need to come to God and pray for His protection. The good news is that He has already won that war, but the battles we face every day can still cause a lot of pain and we need to be on our knees in His house seeking His protection. Are you glad to go to the house of the Lord? You should be. Make sure you are part of a strong faith community where you can gather together to pray, to praise, to be peace makers and to seek his protection. God loves us and wants us to enter His temple with thanksgiving and His courts with praise!