How Do You Prepare for Worship?

Meditations from Exodus 19-20

If you were to meet God on a mountain top, what would you do to prepare yourself?

(v 10-11) God told Moses to prepare the people---yet they were staying at the bottom of the hill. They were to consecrate themselves for two days---washing themselves and their garments. They were told to be ready on the third day.

How do you make yourself ready to meet with God? How do you hear the voice of the Lord?

The Lord told them to consecrate themselves.  Prepare. Focus.

What does consecrate mean?  J.I. Rodale’s The Synonym Finder gives these descriptive words for consecrate: sanctify, hallow, make holy, bless, anoint, canonize, beatify, deify, devote, dedicate, pledge, promise, vow, commit, consign, assign, apply, give, honor, esteem, revere, bow down to; glorify, extol, exalt, praise, laud, celebrate, magnify.

Notice all the verbs---action verbs implying doing something, but not just with your body but with your mind, your heart, your being. You engage mentally. You focus.

(v 12-13) How did God help them to focus? He commanded a boundary to be put on the mount to keep the people away. Is there a place where you can limit interruptions? Where the cares of this world do not push into your mind to hinder what God is saying? I know as a mom, especially of young ones, you wonder if you will ever be able to go to the bathroom by yourself!

I read of one mom, I don’t remember if it was Charles Wesley’s mom Susanna, who would throw her apron over her head to pray. Her ten children knew she was praying. Find a big apron, snatch a moment—maybe after a midnight feeding, to consecrate yourself before the Lord.

Do you have a chair that you can stick in the closet so you cannot see the messy house, or the laundry that needs to be folded? Can you stand by the window and look out, without seeing the dirt on the window, to focus? He is waiting before He comes to the mount. The boundaries are set.

(v 20) The Lord descended on the mount and He called to Moses. That gives me great comfort. He knows me by name. He calls me. John 10:3 says, “…He calls his own sheep by name.” (And that name is not Mom.)  He knows my dreams and my heartaches.

(v 21-23) When Moses reached the top, the Lord reminded him of the people’s need to stay back. “Go back and remind them.” As a mom with needy little ones, God doesn’t expect us to forget the little people while we talk with Him. He calls us to protect them. That helps me not ‘feel guilty’ that I grab only a moment with the Lord nor get angry when I am interrupted by those I serve.

(v 24) But then Moses returns to the top. He stands with Aaron. Sometimes we enter God’s presence with the help of others. We stand united and we hear his voice. Aaron heard with Moses the commands.  They return and share with the people what God spoke.

(20:18-26) Moses returns alone to the mount. Aaron stayed behind. Sometimes, He calls us to come alone before Him. What does He tell us? What we need to hear. Hard words. I am a jealous God. Put nothing between Me and you.

He gives boundaries for the people who have been without direction for four hundred years. God gives a means of service. Make a tabernacle to focus worship.

So I leave Moses on the mountain receiving the words from the Lord. He is gone forty days. The people grow restless. The people forget Him. The people look to other things, even while the mountain smoked, rumbled, and quaked. Do I wonder how my boys can forget my commands so soon? They are not focused on my words, but on their wants. Am I any different?

 We have made ready to meet with God. We are consecrated. We have separated ourselves from others. We have been called. We are alone. What now? We listen. (Another action verb requiring work, putting away my wants to hear.) But that is for another time, for we have made ready.

How do you prepare to meet God?

This is really a lot to think about, thank you so much for sharing. I know I certainly need this reminder and I'm sure others do too. This is very convicting, I'l be rereading it.

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               Sonya Contreras

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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