Sobriety in the house of God
Text: Ecclesiastes 5:1-2
Sobriety is a godly virtue; it is an act of being sensitive and serious in the presence of the Lord Almighty. As Christians, we must always be conscious of His presence anytime we come to adore and worship His holy name.
Many Christians sheepishly play into the hands of the devil and get robbed of God’s blessings. They are not vigilant enough to guide their mouths and general conducts while in God’s presence. The unnecessary familiarity with God and blatant looseness, coupled with unreserved display of arrogance before God are uncalled for and a smack of disrespect to the dignity of the Most High God. These careless Christians have turned the house of God into a marketplace, where discussions reign supreme instead of God’s word. Their mouths are open sepulcher, busy with idle words that cannot minister grace to the hearers nor attract the glory of God.
There is no gainsaying the fact that God expects utmost reverence and absolute decorum from all believers each time they are in His presence. It is expected that Christians should constantly ponder, regurgitate and meditate on God’s word for more illumination. Sadly, many come to the house of the Lord with less interest and different purpose entirely. Some come to church to socialise and exchange pleasantries with friends, acquaintances and business partners, while others come because of challenges of life and not necessarily to hear and obey God’s word.
The house of God is a sacred place and should be accorded such respect. A believer is supposed to be a person of few words, who should be eager to hear but slow to speak. It is an abomination to chat and discuss worldly issues in the house of the Lord. The house of God is a house of prayer and not a den of thieves and noisemakers. Unfortunately, many trivialise it and see it as a resting place after a long week of labour. Little wonder some people sleep and tune off during messages!
Familiarity with God can be very dangerous and devastating. This was the undoing of Nadab and Abihu and the aftermath effect was not palatable; they both lost their lives unceremoniously (Lev. 10:1-2; Heb. 12:29). Moses, with all the encounter he had with God, was never familiar with God and His presence; he trembled at His presence (Exo.3: 3-6). Unfortunately, there is no godly reverence in God`s presence in today’s Pentecostal churches. Worldly amusement and jesting have taken preeminence. And it is disheartening to learn that some so-called pastors permit even comedians to desecrate the house of the Lord. Christians are to stand in awe in God’s presence.
Psalmist had cautioned that all the earth should fear the Lord (Psalm 33:8). The “fear” here portends Christian conduct in all its ramifications. It includes what a Christian puts on, touches and does in the house of the Lord.
Time has come for restoration of God’s glory and honour in the house of the Lord, because everything around Him is holy. Even to handle God’s instruments in the house of God should be done with godly fear and righteousness. Sinners have no business with any vessel in the house of the Lord, least of all touching holy instruments of God! In the Old Testament, holy people were specially appointed by Levites to sing and play instruments in the house of the Lord (1 Chron. 15:15,16, 19).
It should be noted that not everybody is called to touch things that have to do with the altar. It’s a special call for a particular set of people who have separated themselves from the pollution of the world. If you are not called, courtesy demands you excuse yourself from altar’s assignments!
Therefore, tread with caution whenever you are in the presence of God and be quick to hear and abide by God’s word.
For further reading: Gen. 35:1-4; Exo. 3: 5-6; Amos 9: 2-3; Prov. 5: 25; 1 Peter 3: 8; Psalm 63: 6; 1 Tim. 4: 15-16; Joshua 1:8;Malachi 3: 1; Lev. 10: 1-2;Heb. 12: 29; Psalm 119:161; 33:8; Exo. 3: 3-6; 1 Chro. 15:15-19.
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