One of the many changes I’ve witnessed in church life is how we dress for a worship service.  As a child, I remember that men always wore suits and ties, and the ladies always wore dresses.  I remember watching mom getting ready for church, not only looking beautiful in a long, flowing dress, but also her hair and make-up styled and applied with precision and purpose.  She was truly a beautiful angel when she was finally “ready” for church.

I never put the clock to mom’s routines in “getting ready” for church, but I’d be willing to say it was a good hour.  Of course, she was also juggling getting the kids (me and my brother) ready and getting breakfast ready and getting everything else ready too.  When you add all that in, it was probably closer to two hours of “getting ready for church.”

Should we spend time getting ready for church?  Of course!  Like me, you probably think of “getting ready” in terms similar to what I’ve already described.  Making an effort to prepare ourselves physically for church is a good thing, but I believe there’s something even better.

I believe we should make an even better effort to prepare ourselves spiritually for church.  We know what “getting ready” looks like physically, what does it look like spiritually?

  • Spiritual preparation starts with PRAYER!  We pray confessing our sins and asking God’s forgiveness.  We pray for those leading the worship service.  We pray that God will open our spiritual eyes to see what HE is doing.  We pray that we will be willing and ready to OBEY all that God says to us through his WORD.  And we pray for revival among God’s people.  When was the last time you poured out your heart and soul before the Lord as a preparation for worship?
  • Spiritual preparation includes REST!  How can we begin to think we’re able to give God our best in worship if we’re just dog-tired?  I know Saturday is a “play day” and often times we’re playing late into the night.  But we’re foolish to think we can give God our best in worship when we’re simply exhausted.  Our bodies and souls should be rested and ready to engage the Divine in worship. 
  • Spiritual preparation includes GOD’S WORD!  Yes, we should prepare our minds to hear and our hearts to receive God’s Word as it is preached and presented in song.  This preparation is mightily assisted by our efforts to participate in Bible Study groups.  When you’ve “studied your lesson” for Sunday school, I think that goes a long, long way to in preparing you for the entire church experience.  Are you thinking about God’s Word before you even arrive on the church campus?

I believe that church would instantly be so much the better, would immediately begin to experience a revival and renewal like never before if we spent as much time getting our hearts and souls ready as we do our bodies.  What can you do beginning this week to be spiritually prepared for church?

Dr. John Beck

July 26, 2018