Focus – Celebrating God, All Day, Every Day
by Lt. Colonel Mervyn Morelock
We see them in every corps, every church. One writer refers to them as “spiritual casualties.” These are the people who once made an enthusiastic commitment to Christ, but whose spirits have since dried up along the way.
These are not people who have drifted away to sin or to a false religion, but those who sit in the pew, week after week, wondering what happened to the joy they once knew, that inner peace they once experienced. Sometimes they are the “walking wounded” who continue to occupy a seat in the corps, but there is no joy, no peace, no sense of the eternal–just folks going through the motions, continuing to attend, but without any sense of the celebration that Paul talks about in Philippians.
Paul writes: “Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up at any minute!
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (Philippians 4:4-7, The Message).
There are many who attend church each week and come away without much change ever taking place in their lives. Living lives of despair, or monotony. Just going through the motions of playing church.
But God’s plan for us isn’t like that. He died to bring us life and that more abundantly! As we travel the territory, we see a new sense of joy and wonder that is springing into the lives of those who are part of the Keeping in Touch, Call to Prayer. The sense of awe and wonder at God’s amazing and unexpected answers to prayer is contagious.
At one corps we recently visited, the prayer leader told me how God had answered prayer in a surprising way. The corps had just completed a kitchen remodeling project and had been waiting for the city inspectors to come and give permission for the kitchen to be used. A big dinner was scheduled, but they could not get the city to send the required inspector. So the people gathered in the kitchen and prayed that God would help them get the needed permits. A couple of days later a man came into the center to donate some athletic clothing for the youth programs. In the course of conversation the kitchen inspection problem was shared. The man replied, “Well, I’m an inspector for the city; let’s see what I can do for you!” A quick telephone call for clearance was followed by the inspection, and the needed permit. God answers prayer!
Because God is at work in all circumstances, we need to cultivate a listening, watchful spirit, an alertness to his work in our lives and to what we should be doing for God. We need to ask God actively to show us how he’s at work in us and in the world around us.
When we pray and then share God’s answers to these prayers, there is a celebration of the goodness of God that becomes contagious. We need to celebrate God, and his love for us, all day, every day! Yes, we need to revel in him!