I never thought in my wildest dreams that a pandemic would strike our nation and that we would be unable to go to church for almost a year. But then it happened. My soul desired fellowship with other believers, a time of prayer and a time of praise. But all we had were the TV shows that we found that fed our thirst for more about Christ but which lacked the personal touch that I craved. Finally, in February of this year, I had had enough of this lockdown and my husband and I wanted to find a new church. I had been discontent in our previous one for many months, but my husband had been serving as a deacon and wanted to fulfill his commitment there before we moved on. So, how do you go about finding a new church? Do you make a list and check off the boxes to make sure that it’s a good fit? No! I suggest to you that you wait for God’s timing and He will show you where He wants you to be.
This last year was a year of many firsts for many people, including me. This was the first year in almost seventy years of life that I had a problem with one of my teeth and ended up needing a crown. I was more than a little dismayed about this process, especially since it was also the year that I broke my foot and was in a huge boot when I got there. The dental tech got me settled into the chair and was asking me about my boot. I told her that I had a small bone broken in my foot due to a fall and she shared with me that her small son had been in a terrible accident with his own foot and almost lost it. She then shared with me that she had her whole church praying for the little tyke since the doctors were all telling her that he would have to have his foot amputated. She was praising God that he was healed and walking around just fine on his two feet. I asked what church she attended that believed in the power of prayer and she shared with me that it is Compass Christian Church.
My husband and I visited and both of us were impressed with the number of Scriptures shared during a service, with the humility of the two pastors and with the friendliness of the church members. They have communion every Sunday; they sing and praise God every Sunday and they have a sermon that lifts up God and teaches, every Sunday. We have been happy there and plugged into a small group that meets in a nearby community so that we are making connections. It was amazing to us how fast the church was growing, from 200 people pre-pandemic to over 600 in three different services. One of the things that was very different for me was that the church is not part of a Charismatic Movement. They don’t practice the gifts of the Spirit and I really had to pray about that. From the time of my salvation almost five decades ago until now, the churches that we have joined have been one that practiced Acts 2 vocally and regularly. So, instead of dismissing this church because of the lack of speaking in tongues, prophesying,etc., I prayed and God spoke to my heart that I can still use my prayer language, quietly, for my own edification and for God’s glory. That is what I have been doing. As we worship at church and enter into God’s presence, it is a natural thing for me to pray in my prayer language. But no one has to hear and know that I am praying in tongues except for God and me. I feel like I’m in a prayer closet, alone with God, feeling His touch and His presence. I must say that this is different for me, but in a really good way. My focus is on God, not on whether I speak in tongues that week or not. My focus is on worshipping my Creator, not on being used by Him to prophesy. This church may be for a season for us, since we may have to move next year, but however long we are here, we are content. It is a good fit for us since we were both hungry for the Word and for fellowship with Christians.
For those who are gasping that I am setting aside the gifts of the Spirit, I want to assure you that I am not. The Holy Spirit is still active in my prayer time, my worship time and at church. It’s just not something that I have to toot my horn about because it’s a private thing between me and God and I’m okay with that. In fact, I’m better than okay. I’m happy that God is still there for me, in spite of all my circumstances and failings.
When I contacted the church secretary recently to ask for prayer about my kidney problem and new diet, I was put on the prayer list for the elders to pray for in their weekly meeting. The next week, one of the pastors came by where I was sitting to ask how I am doing and if there is anything they can do for me. Pray! Just pray, was my reply, because God made me and He already knows that I have some physical challenges. The change to a new diet is nothing new really since I have been on a stroke diet for six years. Now I have to be on a special low potassium kidney diet and have sought the help of a registered dietician since I have so many restrictions. I have also sought the comfort of God as I once again have to give up so many foods that I genuinely enjoy, like tomatoes and bananas and oranges.
But God is there, my church is praying for me and I am working things out. This church fits me. It makes me feel good to walk into the doors and it makes me feel fulfilled when I leave. No more wondering and worrying if the commentaries that were used for the sermons were accurate because the Scriptures are preached, just the Scriptures, no additions to be wondering about. Contented…blessed and glorifying God that He sent the dental tech at just the right moment to give me a testimony that sent me to the church that I fit into. It’s a God-incidence! He was there and He saw my need and met it. Isn’t that just like God? Praise His Name, for He is always worthy and always there!
Love God, Love People, Serve Both.
May you have a blessed week and I hope that each of you takes time to remember the sacrifices of those who gave everything so that we could have freedom!