I'm pretty new to regularly attending church as an adult. I know all about going for specific holidays like Easter and Christmas and I actually remember dreading some of those sermons while I was growing up. So, when you read this, please know that God changed my heart here, this is not my natural inclination. :)
On Sunday, we left early because we knew it was going to be crowded and we were right. There were so many people that as we sang the first 15 or so minutes away, the church staff had to add more and more chairs. It was incredible. As my husband and I stood there singing songs that are now familiar to both of us, I got overwhelmed....
There were hundreds of people there.
Hundreds of people standing and worshipping our King.
People lifting their voices to sing His praises.
Tears started streaming down my face. Is this what heaven is like? Is this what it would be like if we all praised God? Is this what it means to stand in His presence?
He was definitely there with us. You could see it on the worship band's faces. You could hear it in the joyful noise we were making. And for one of the first times I ever remember, I truly prayed that each and every person there would REALLY know Jesus. Not just know OF him, but KNOW him.
For those of you who have been following me for years, you know that my relationship with Jesus is a fairly new thing. I've always known of him and believed in him, but it wasn't until about 2 years ago that I let him in to start changing my heart. You can read more of my story here: http://www.natalieeskewfitness.com/blog/a-day-to-remember
I want you to see the difference when I talk about showing up to church to worship on a Sunday and really showing up each and every day and surrendering to Jesus. I want you to KNOW him. I pray for every hurting person, every confused, scared, overwhelmed, underwhelmed person that you will seek him and find him. I pray that you will open up your bible and just start reading. Just like our pastor said "You encounter the living God through the written word of God". You don't have to know what to read or what it means, just open up your bible and sit there with God. Open up your bible and ask Him for his help in understanding. Tell Him your doubts, your fears, your insecurities. Then show up again tomorrow. Show up for 5 minutes a day for a week, then try for another week. Even if nothing is happening. Even if you don't get it. Show up. I don't know how long it took me, but it took awhile for me to even start understanding. I'm still learning. I'm still having God open my eyes. I still get stumped, confused, scared, but every time I show up and read His word He gives me peace. So, I pray for you as you read this. I pray that even if you know him that you will surrender ALL of your heart and life to him. I pray that we can share His love for us to every single person we see. I pray that you see my heart and that I really truly want you to KNOW God and find peace in Him. Find joy and a love that is so faithful that you never doubt your worth. There is nothing you have done or can do that will make him stop loving you. That's a relationship I want to show up for, don't you?
If you would like recommendations on bible studies and books I recommend: http://www.natalieeskewfitness.com/blog/bible-study-and-book-favorites