If you are familiar with the military, you know the phrase “hurry up and wait.” When I was in the Army, we had to have an A bag and a B bag. The A bag was our duffle bag that we used from day to day. The B bag was all of the same items, but only to be used for alerts; the unplanned-planned times.
When our unit was deployed to the Persian Gulf, we were summoned to the airfield hangar not once, not twice, but three times. We had to hurry up and wait.
It was inconvenient, and it was neccessary.
Worship to God is inconvenient.
The people of God were slaves in Egypt for 400 years. God delivered them in a hurry up and wait fashion. The Passover was “hurry”- prepare your house, eat the food, be dressed and ready to go… and “wait” for the death angel to pass over the house – then go!
- hurry across the Red Sea, wait for the enemy to be drowned
- hurry into the desert, wait for the plan that I show you on the mountain
It was inconvenient for the Israelites to build a tent for a God they couldn’t see. For 400 years, they had been brick layers for a man who called himself god. For 400 years they were subjected to slavery behavior, slavery mindsets, and slavery living. The invisible God had to get them out of Egypt to get Egypt out of them.
It was inconvenient to set up a tent in the desert, only to strike it and move every time the cloud or fire moved. In the ancient near east, it was common for a sheik to set up camp as the Israelites did. The sheik would set up a stake/pole, and the camp would set up around him.
Also, there were permanent style buildings in Egypt. The Israelites lived in them; tenement style – the Hebrew word was “shukkunah.”
Worshipers of convenience are looking for a sheik to build their life around; some pastor, prophet, or spiritual guru. Notice, Pastor Moses didn’t live in the middle of the camp.
Worshipers of convenience are looking for a location or landmark to build their life around. Its our fleshly tendency to need a permanent building. I am still astounded at the attitude so many believers developed during the outbreak of Covid 19. “They shut the church down!” The church is not a building. It never has been.
God said, “the place where I choose for my name to abide” in Deuteronomy. God is a God on the move. Even when Solomon finished the temple, He acknowledged that the physical building cannot contain God! God says, “heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool.”
Those who need a SHEIK or a SHUKKUNAH may not realize that the SH’KINAH is what we really need. The manifest presence of the glory of God – the sk’kinah – was what Israel experienced. When God sent the Holy Spirit to take up residence on earth, He filled the church individual and corporately. Paul asks the rhetorical question, “do you not know that you are the temple of the Holy Spirit? That God lives in you?” I Corinthians 6:19
Worship is inconvenient to my flesh. In the desert camp, the sacrifices were made daily. The animal carcasses had to be taken outside the camp, and burned up. In Hebrews, we are instructed to “go outside the gate” like Jesus did, and bear His reproach. That’s called praise that demands a sacrifice – and we are to be the sacrifice. Romans 12 teaches us to make ourselves perpetual sacrifices to God.
Worship is inconvenient to my schedule. God on the move may instruct me to get up and pray in the middle of the night. He may instruct me to give more money than I had planned. He may tell me to leave my familiar behind, and go into uncharted waters. He may call me away from my life plan into something else.
Let’s hurry up and wait upon the Lord, (a lyric by Bob Hartman). There’s adventure awaiting. More than anything, there’s glory to behold!