By Jenny Culpepper - Sales, Marketing, and Church Relations
“Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations” begins the 90th Psalm—the song or prayer of Moses. Throughout the psalms, the original songs of worship, we read about God being our dwelling place. Given the 40 years of wandering in the desert, those words probably spoke deeply to the Israelites. And they remain true today. God is our dwelling place. God himself is our place of refuge. So why do we still experience so much adversity here, and how do we take refuge in God?
When we think of a place to dwell or to live, we think of a building or some sort of structure. And yet Moses tells God that Yahweh himself has been their dwelling place in all generations. What? We don’t live in heaven. We live here on earth in a broken world filled with hurting people. And we daily face natural disasters, loss of jobs, illness, broken relationships, loss of loved ones. The list goes on. We only need to read, watch, or listen to any source of information, and the hardships of this world can engulf us. Even our homes cannot protect us from all of these. Dissatisfaction, problems, and hurt find their way into our lives wherever our earthly habitat is. We live in a fallen and broken world. Thank God we may live here, but we have a refuge wherever we are and whatever we are facing.
Our hearts find their rest and satisfaction in him. We find shelter through the storms in him. We find peace and hope in him. But how do we do it? How do we live into this glorious reality? We live a life filled with prayer, worship, the study of God’s Word, and the fellowship of believers.
Prayer keeps us connected to God wherever we are and whatever we are doing. It reminds us that we belong in him and that we have an intimate and ongoing relationship with him.
In corporate worship, we gather together to give God glory, honor, and praise. Scripture tells us not to give up the gathering together of believers, because we encourage one another in our faith (Heb. 10:24-25). As we gather, we sing songs, hymns, and spiritual songs (as taught in Colossians) and hear the teaching of God’s Word. Corporately, we lift our hearts to the Lord as one.
We take fellowship and study to a more intimate level through small group gatherings where we read the Scriptures together and talk through them. We share what we have learned and how God is working in the lives of those around us—meeting each of us right where we are. We push each other to live lives honoring of Christ through repentance, reconciliation, care for others, and healing.
Are you staying connected to your local church? How are you doing with prayer and with the fellowship of believers? If you are unable to attend your church’s small group gatherings or you want a Bible study to do, we are here for you. Our studies are designed to be used in your church, your small group gathering, or on your own.
The Lord is your dwelling place. He is your refuge. Take full advantage of that blessing. In a stormy world, stay connected with your Eternal Shelter. And let us know how we may help you on the journey.
Let's face it, the Christian life is hard. Relationships take work. Christians forget. Sometimes it is tempting to go back to the days when God was not the center of our lives - to backslide. We are all faced with tremendous pressures to drift away from intimacy with Jesus and the community of the Church. However, the Lord invites us to pay attention, to move forward, to draw near, and to live lives of worship. Draw Near: Hebrews on Christian Worship is a small group Bible study on the Book of Hebrews intended to lead participants into a deeper intimacy with the living God in the context of New Testament worship. Draw nearer to God in authentic worship today!
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