So what would happen if you showed up at your best friend’s house unannounced? No doubt, you’d be welcomed right in and they’d be excited to see you! Now what if you hadn’t spoken to that friend in a long time, and you just went into their home and sat on their couch, used their bathroom, raided their frig, and slept in their bed? Would they be so happy to see you then? I bet not. In some cases, authorities may even be called. Even if the friend ends up being “okay” with you in their home, the friendship will be strained and harmed. We understand this concept and would never just barge into someone’s home unannounced. (Well, most people wouldn’t.) So why do would we do this to the Lord? Is He not the most important friend that we have? Is not the church His house? If we truly believe that our church is the house of the Lord, our place of worship, then why do we barge in two days a week like we own the place?
We unlock the doors, make ourselves at home on our usual pews, sit on our cushions we leave in “our” seat, and never stop to think about whether or not we even took time to let the Lord know we were coming, or if we are even welcome. Now don’t get me wrong, I know that we are always welcome in the Lord’s house, but we could be much better received by Him if we communicated with Him through the week, on a daily basis. If we talk to our friends daily and plan when we will meet up, what we will eat, what we can do and keep up to date on how each other is doing then why can’t we do the same with Jesus? He cares about how our day is, He wants to know all of our problems, fears, concerns and He also would love to hear our praise and listen to our excitement about our day. It seems so easy for us to call up our best friend and talk forever about our lives. We should do the same with the Lord. We should be telling him everything! We should talk to Him every single day, every minute even! Then He can truly be our best friend! And then we can know that we are welcome when we enter His house.
Furthermore, we will be ready to worship Him because we will have been in communication with Him already. We would be more excited to be at church, because we would be at our best friend’s house! I know when I was growing up I was always so excited to get to visit my friends or family. I loved seeing their homes and getting to know their family pets. But now I have to admit that I’m not always that excited to visit the Lord’s house. I should be, but frankly I’m human and I’m just not. If I could make an effort to talk to the Lord continually, and let Him be my best friend then I’m sure I would yearn for church services to start.
The comparison between a friend’s house and the Lord’s house can even be made when it comes to respecting it. We should have respect for the place of worship just as we do when we visit other people’s homes. When I have company I always try to make them feel at home but they usually still stay pretty reserved. I mean, visitors don’t typically pull off their socks and prop their feet on the coffee table. Now I know that there isn’t a coffee table at church, but you catch my drift. God wants us to be welcome and free of all reservations when we are in His house. That doesn’t mean we should be disrespectful, we should have the utmost respect for the most holy place we could visit. But, we should also be free to worship Him, full of the spirit without reservation or concern for what others may think. He truly does love it when we come to His house and worship Him.
He loves it more when we talk to Him frequently. The Bible says to pray without ceasing. So we should do just that, pray continually. Prayer is simply talking with our Saviour. It’s much easier to discuss anything with a friend whom we talk to regularly than someone we rarely speak to. If I haven’t spoken to you in a month, we would have to catch up on each other’s lives before we could have a serious conversation or ask each other for favors. But usually we don’t have a problem asking the Lord for help with this or that even after we have given Him the silent treatment for the past month. I’m guilty of silent treatment, intentional and unintentional. I have often admitted that I’m a horrible friend. I will eventually get busy with life and out of the routine of talking to you and then next thing we know, we have children the other of us have never even met. I shouldn’t be that way. I need to make an honest effort to stay in a routine of speaking to my Lord regularly. It should just become our nature instead of a habit. Habits can be broken. We should be best friends with the Lord and ever in conversation with Him until it is just our nature to do it without even making an effort.
Are you welcome in the Lord’s house today?