The Benefits of Corporate Worship
As we closeout this series on a healthy meeting place, today we will reflect on a few final thoughts. In corporate worship there will be:
(1) The revealing of hearts openly and humbly before the Lord.
God commanded the Israelites in the Old Testament to appear before Him three times a year: at Passover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles. These were times for the people to slow down and hear from God. The word “appear” means “to reveal oneself, to open up so as to be inspected.” Its meaning can be seen in the act of flaying and inspecting a sacrificial animal which revealed the inward parts by removing the outer hide. This is what God wanted His people to do at these special times, open themselves up for inspection.
God commanded Israel to appear before the Lord for five purposes:
• Personal inspection (Psalm 139:9) • Spiritual renewal (Isaiah 57:14-15)
• Rehearing the Word of the Lord (Nehemiah 8:1-12)
• Renewing of vows to God (Psalm 61)
• Spiritual enlargement (Exodus 34:24; Psalm 119:32)
(2) The powerful presence of God brought about by corporate worship.
The supernatural presence of God must be realized to change our perspective from the human to the divine. The church must be a place where we encounter the living God where we receive what we need in order to live a victorious life. We do not gather together to be entertained, but to rejoice in His presence “… in thy presence is fullness of joy…” (Psalm 97:5).
To usher the presence of God into our gathering, there should be pre-service prayer where we seek the Lord earnestly for personal cleansing and for God to anoint the service. Then when we gather, we practice Biblical worship where the unity of praise and worship releases God’s presence to inhabit His people.
When these principles are practiced, Jesus will be in the midst of that gathering, and joy will be released to the people.