When Your Body Is At Church, But Your Spirit Is Not!

When Your Body Is At Church, But Your Spirit Is Not!

Take a look at the above heading. Can you envision a person, maybe even you occupying a church pew on a beautiful Sunday morning, with angelic voices singing some of your favorite hymns? And while everyone around you seems to be fully engaged with the service and worship, you stand there with a tense body and dread any verse or mention of lifting up holy hands in surrender to God. You hate what you are feeling on the inside and you just do not feel any notion of being spiritually alive.

Even worse, you feel a dread of hypocrisy, in that over the past several services you seemed alive to all, and you were in full participation. So what gives? What has you paralyzed in the full presence of God and the Holy Spirit?

Such was the experience that I had very recently. All around me people were tuning into and drawing close to God and becoming fully engaged with the Holy Spirit, while I felt like an outsider who had reluctantly came to church to appease the person I came with.

I was keenly aware of my situation, and that made me feel even worse. I started to question why I was feeling this way. And right on cue as if the Holy Spirit was waiting for the question, the answer quickly emerged. I could not tune in and come into the presence of God because of unconfessed sin and lack of prayer and meditation before the service.

Now you may think that is no big deal and it should not effect your ability to connect to the living God, because after all he knows everything and most certainly the condition of your heart. While that is true, sin always has been and always will be a hinderance to the presence of a Holy God. Especially if there are things that you KNOW you have done wrong and have not talked to God about it.

The conscious that you and I have inside of us becomes very active when the Holy Spirit is close at hand, like in a service when we are surrounded by other worshiping believers! I would imagine that some of you have experienced this very thing. Trust me when I tell you that you are not alone. Of course everyone will not be shouting from the roof top of just how miserable they were in service on Sunday morning because of the sins of Saturday night!

In that regard we are all very much alike. It could be human nature to not want to be open and totally honest about our secret lives we live outside of church doors. And for christians, we have the extra scrutiny of those who know us best like our family and friends, but more importantly the ever watchful eyes of God and the Holy Spirit.

So there will be times when we are faced with this dilemma and must find a way to get back to normal so that our conscious can experience a holy God once again, guilt free. God was keenly aware of this situation when he said that if you have something that is not right with your brother, that you should leave your gift at the alter and go make things right with the person you have wronged.

That awful dreadful feeling of being disconnected while at the place of worship is not something I want to experience again. It will take some effort and focus to renew my spiritual vitality, but it will be worth it.

Perhaps you are in need of a spiritual awakening, and if so, do some soul searching to see if there is something that is hindering you from experiencing the presence of God. If it is sin, do confess and remember that God is faithful to forgive. Pray, for prayer brings us to the throne of grace and mercy. Give thanks and rejoice knowing that God wants you to draw near to him for the love and comfort that only he can give.

For he most certainly wants us to “come and reason together”.

Eugene Coghill

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