guard your steps when you go to the house of God
Murphy’s law says that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. It must have been a Sunday morning as Murphy was trying to get to church when he penned his infamous law.
Everything seems harder on a Sunday. It is harder to get out of the bed. It is harder to get everyone ready. Even marriage is harder on a Sunday. If you are going to have a fuss with your spouse it will inevitably be on the way to church.
Sunday mornings can be such a hassle that by the time you get to church, you may get very little out of it. And thus you may be left to wonder if the whole fiasco of trying to get your family together to worship is even worth it.
In the Book of Ecclesiastes Solomon writes a dissertation on how to avoid a meaningless life. In Ecclesiastes 5:1-7 he turns his attention to helping us avoid meaningless worship.
So how do you get to church, get over what it took you to get there, and get into something that is truly meaningful?
I could give you some practical advice, perhaps some organizational skills or aspects of time management that may help your Sunday mornings; but the truth of the matter is that anytime you are trying to put God first you will fight your flesh and you will fight the world. “God first” will always be an uphill battle.
So if we can’t solve the problem, what else is there? What if we could get to church and get into something so great that it would make the hassle seem inconsequential?
In Ecclesiastes 5:1-7 Solomon discusses five essential mindsets of worship. This week I want to share with you five words as a mindset of worship that will help you get to church, get over the hassle of getting there, and get to the greatness of God.
Ecclesiastes 5:1 says, “Guard your steps when you go to the house of God.” Guard means to pay close attention and use restraint if necessary.
Instead of saying, “I’ve got to go to church,” guarding your steps means that you are going to retrace them and ask rather, “How did I get to church?” What did you do on Saturday night that helped you get ready for Sunday? Before Sunday, where were your feet on every other day? Were there any decisions to use restraint along the way?
What did you do carefully along the way that helped you get ready for worship on Sunday?
I am the father of teenage daughters. This means there will be wide-ranging emotions, boys, and Ben Rector. When Ben Rector comes to town, we shall go.
I have an eclectic taste for music. I don’t have a favorite musical genre. I just like good music. Before we went to the concert, I could not name a single Ben Rector song, so I didn’t know how to do a Ben Rector show. I am a big fan of Jack Johnson. My wife and I went to his concert in Atlanta. At a Jack Johnson show if you are wearing a T-shirt and flip flops you are going formal.
The concert was on a Thursday, which for me is a workday that starts early and goes late. My preparation for
I thought the answer to that question was pretty obvious; black polo, jeans, brown shoes. She pressed the issue further. “You are going to make (insert her boyfriend’s name here) feel awkward.”
My first response to her assessment is that I really don’t see a problem in the dad of a beautiful daughter making said boyfriend feel awkward. I’m completely OK with that. If my bulging biceps, MMA history, prison record, and
What she meant was that she and the man had a way different mindset about getting ready for this concert that was reflected in their dress. This was
My approach was way different. I’m 45. I’m somebody’s dad. I’m wearing Old Navy jeans. And just in case your wondering about my opinion of Ben – fantastic show! Next time he’s in town, me and the girls from Delta Phi will be back.
When it comes to worship, it’s not that you have to go, it’s that you have to get there. Guard your steps is about getting there, getting ready. It’s sort of like our going to the Ben Rector concert. My daughter and I had very different reasons for going, so we had very different approaches to getting there.
We live in a morally casual culture. We also live in a segmented one that separates secular from sacred. This usually does not bode well for our choices throughout the week. Throughout the week we make moral decisions that cater to the culture and then attempt on Sunday mornings to quickly prep for God. It doesn’t work. You’re not ready. You have to guard your steps in order to truly get there.
If you guard your steps you don’t just go to church, you walk with God. If you guard your steps you find yourself confessing sin long before there is an altar call at church. If you guard your steps you worship God daily. The only difference in Sunday is that you worship with friends.
In order to get to church on Sunday and get over it; you’ve got to work on getting there all week – guard your steps. Doing so helps you develop a mindset of preparation and attentive holiness. Guard your steps makes Sunday morning a weekly climax rather than a weekend interruption. It gives you something to look forward to that supersedes the Sunday morning hassle.
Tomorrow’s post: Mindset #2 – Mindful