There was nothing casual about worship in the Old Testament. As I read more of Ezekiel’s vision I am struck by the lengths to which the priests were to go to ready themselves for doing their jobs.
Now I don’t want this to be an excuse for me to stand on a soap box and rant about worship styles (although I do have strong convictions). And I really don’t think this portion of scripture is evidence that women should wear skirts and men suits and ties when they go to church.
To be consistent with my belief that the flesh and blood, brick and mortar examples we read in the Old Testament parallel the spiritual truths we hold true after the cross, I have to ask myself what God would say to his church in 2013 through Ezekiel’s vision.
Is God convicting me about my own casual approach to worship? How much time do I spend preparing myself for entering his house and hearing what he wants to say to me through his servant? I’m not talking about the time spent in front of the mirror, although I don’t apologize for wanting to present a respectful appearance.
I’m talking about the time I spend on my knees, confessing sin, preparing my heart. When I walk through those doors tomorrow I want to walk in there with a clear purpose, focus, with a circumcised heart, ready and eager to worship a holy God and learn what he wants me to know.
I can’t go to church with sin in my life and expect God to speak to me or accept my worship. So, tomorrow when I am putting on clean clothes and brushing mascara on my eyes, I want to be sure my heart is prepared, too.
The Old Testament priests took time and effort to get ready to go into their worship services. Let that be a lesson for me, too.
Dear God, tomorrow is the day many of us will go to a gathering of believers to worship you. May we go with sins confessed, hearts that are yours, and an eagerness to hear what you would say to each of us. May our time spent within the walls of our churches draw us closer to you and strengthen us to do the work you have for us to do. I pray for your servants – pastors and teachers. May they share your Word in truth. Bless their times of preparation and speak to our hearts through them. Thank you for the privilege we still have in the United States to gather publicly. May our worship be pleasing to you.