It took a week of missing church to make me realize what I was missing. Returning after a Sunday away, I re-discovered the energy and enthusiasm for participating in worship and fellowshipping with our local body.
Everyone has those days and weeks (months and years?) where everything seems stale. Sometimes entire churches get infected.
A friend of mine suggested that this issue can be the result of a lack of the Holy Spirit’s work. I countered that when churches grow stale, it’s because we lack true worship. I think we might have both been wrong.
I now think the solution is very simple – it’s joy.
Check out 1 Peter 1:8-9. It’s not just about love for Christ and belief in Him. We are living incomplete lives if we aren’t filled with an overwhelming and overflowing joy. Why else would Paul emphatically repeat – ‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!’ (Phil.4:4).
But why rejoice? What is the reason we can be full of joy, happiness, and satisfaction?
‘for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.’ (1 Peter 1:9)
We have a hope and a redemption and an inheritance that is so amazing, it transforms our outlook on our present circumstances, no matter how good or bad.
Joy will prompt us to unhindered worship and joy will give us a thrist for more of the Holy Spirit’s power in our lives. And as a fruit of the Spirit, it’s convincing evidence that the Spirit’s already at work. All we need to do is ask.