Immanuel

The Lord has really blessed me with a new church body. This past Sunday in community group we discussed briefly how Israel as a geographical place is not Holy by itself, and that there is no mountain that we should be worshipping on (John 4). It is very clear though that God puts certain people into your life to worship with.

This week I am in Kansas City and presently I am on the IHOP missions base campus. I drove here for a Family Medicine conference, but my joy was to get to be in this place again. Now, God does allow us to have experiences in certain places where we feel closer to Him; in fact I find that to be a very common thing. I realized though,as I pulled up to the parking lot of the campus, that this place is not special because of the building. God is not more present in this building than He is in any other place, but in a nostalgic emotional way He felt closer. In the prayer room I was able to really pray for my church body and the CMDA Bible study. Maybe it takes an eight hour drive and some awesome worship music to feel separated enough to express myself in prayer.

We started singing “Jesus I love You,” and it transformed into “We are lovers of Your Presence, lovers of Your Presence, lovers of Your Presence.. and that’s all we wanna be.”

I just got to meet with my friend Sarah that lives here in KC who I hadn’t seen since 2009. I’m staring at a portion of the coffee shop where I studied 1 Peter with my friend Jackie three years ago. This place has great significance in me in encouragement to share the Gospel and to be continually in prayer and to be sober minded as Peter says. Let’s add one more.. it’s something God keeps trying to teach me. Sarah asked me, “What do you love about your new church?” My first response was because the preaching is amazing and the prayer is consistent, but I dug deeper and said “because they are so humble that they let the Spirit in to change our lives despite the knowledge and style, and God has really changed me there over the past year.”

Finally, when I sat down again to write I remembered. My new church is called Immanuel.. so was my first church.. and the church I went to for my theology group.. so what? Immanuel means “God with us” or “the God that is with us.” He wrote a song for me called “Home to us” when I moved to Louisville.. I was homesick and needed to be close to Him and the place was unfamiliar and didn’t feel like I could be. He changed that, but I still need to realize that He is my home. God is the Gospel. I can’t get away from Him and I need to be a “lover of His Presence”.. and that’s all I wanna be.

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