I remember hearing a prophet say we should develop stamina for spending extended time in worship, to learn to be willing and able to engage at length in the presence of God. The challenge he brought was fitting then, and remains so now.
What if a shift in awareness comes as God makes his presence felt, but the time is getting late?
What might he do in our worship if we didn’t rush away?
Do we have the stamina to remain in Father’s presence if he moves in an unusual way, or even if he doesn’t, but we just long to pour out more of an offering than usual?
Do we even want the necessary strength, or would we prefer to be in bed at our usual time?
We cry out for his presence but are we willing to stay with him, or do we think, ‘Our usual finishing time will do…thank you very much.’?
I hope not. I would love for the church…and that includes me…to be hungry enough to keep asking for the more, and to have the strength of heart to stay the course when the ‘more’ is happening. We may have work in the morning, or the sure knowledge of a baby waking us later, but if we have met with God won’t we relish what we have experienced rather than resenting the tiredness?
As I imagine these opportunities to linger, I’m not thinking of nightly meetings as has often been the custom during revivals, I’m thinking more of a deliberate decision to explore the wide open space of worship, enjoying the presence of Father God, after all this is where we are invited to dwell and to rest.
Then perhaps there will be those times when something special is happening, right here, right now, and someone needs to make a decision, well, we all do. Will we call a halt, bring on the speaker, draw the meeting to a close, sidle off in hopes we go home unnoticed, or will we risk it and stay? Imagine Moses, when he saw something odd going on in a bush, was he tempted to think he would just press on with whatever he was doing there and then? Thankfully, he decided he would stay to see what was happening. He had to make a choice. So do we.
Are we keen for him to be free to do whatever he wants? Are we brave enough to stay when he makes his presence felt? What might happen to us, in us, through us, if we stay? Might we be history makers?