via Daily Prompt: Congregate

verb (used without object), congregated, congregating.

1.  to come together; assemble, especially in large numbers:

People waiting for rooms congregated in the hotel lobby.
verb (used with object), congregated, congregating.
2.  to bring together in a crowd, body, or mass; assemble; collect.
Church is important to me.  I believe in the value of a corporate body congregating 
together.  There is an anointing and a blessing that comes through actively serving under the protection of godly covering that you can only get by being a member of a church body that has leadership who are serving God faithfully.  I’m grateful that I have been placed under a leadership that is concerned with the full authority of the Bible and obeying what it says without fear or hesitation.  I’ve learned a lot from this position of accountability and loving people with the truth, even when its uncomfortable.  I’ve prayed for people who have left church out of offense and therefore, were no longer walking in the safety of the biblical covering of their pastor.  It was heartbreaking that they had opened a door and the enemy came in with rapid fire and one thing after another just bombarded them with trouble.  It’s hard to see it when you’re in it, but God really opened my eyes to this as I struggled to adjust when He once told me He was moving me to a new church to protect me.  God is faithful!  He knows what we don’t know and we must trust Him if we are going to abide in His supernatural protection.  It has been a year of maturing in this area for me.  I’ve been stretched, tested, and pushed farther out of my comfort zone than I ever have in my life.  I never stay comfortable too long, God is always prodding me to take that next step out in faith.  There are certain things that I said I would never do again, but it’s really never good to say never.  God has a way of changing your mind when you’re sold out to serving Him.  So, I’ve actually taken another step forward out of my comfort zone this week.  It was clearly the Lord and it only took me a couple of hours of mulling it over to stop telling Him why it might be a bad idea and just walk through the open door.  Fear is always going to try to talk you out of your place in the church body but church is ultimately about God and for God.  Love the people you go to church with, but GO to church to encounter Christ.  It’s about an audience of One.  And when we keep our eyes on Jesus we learn to love people by serving the way Jesus did.  We worship with people who are different from us, that don’t necessarily understand us, or even know us and that kind of fellowship is a beautiful thing!  We become a family because we are all there for the same reason.  Jesus!   

I’m not able to be at church today because my daughter has the flu.  It is a blessing that people reach out to me and fill me in on the message, send prayers, words of encouragement, and say that we were missed.  I’m so grateful for technology and being able to still connect when I can’t get there.  Everyone needs the love and accountability of a church family.  We all need a place to belong and a place to call home.  Don’t look for a perfect church, you won’t find it.  Church isn’t a building, it’s a body of people who congregate to worship the One true God, and people never get everything right all the time.  But God is perfect and when we look for a church with our eyes on Him, He plants us in the church that is perfect for what He wants to do in our lives.  Growing where you are planted starts when you make an effort to congregate with other believers in a church that keeps their eyes on Christ.  Don’t let the enemy rob you by isolating you from the church family He has for you.  Go grow!