I am not the greatest fan of online services because, like David, I love being in the church building–the house of the Lord (Ps. 122:1-2). There is something glorious that happens to me when I enter the sanctuary. My assimilation of spiritual things when I am in God’s sanctuary is quite surreal in comparison to when I study the Bible at home or in the office. I don’t think I have the words to describe it.
But, the times we find ourselves in are unprecedented (with COVID-19 lockdown in most nation), and we need to make adjustments as necessary to keep the prosperity of our souls and spirits.
And so the church is going online with a new twist. The opportunities to appear in Zion we previously had are now limited to the online experience. Many church people only do anything spiritual when they are in church, and now services in the church are all gone for some time.
My major concern is that many believers may lose spiritual steam before the restrictions on public gatherings relative to COVID-19 are over.
As the church is moving online and into our homes, HOW can church people maximise this new experience? Many people know the WHAT, but what they need to know is the HOW, and no one is providing that.
As I was thinking about it this morning, I shared it with those I do weekly private prayers with. But then God brought it into my heart to share it as a blessing to as many as will listen.
There are disciplines/routines we need to maximise our church’s online services in the confines of our homes. I am inspired to put them down, and here are some of them:
1) CONSCIOUSNESS OF HIS PRESENCE – You will need to be conscious of God’s divine presence in the home. Nothing happens outside of the Lord’s divine presence. You must create the same atmosphere of reverence such as you have in your church. Your home becomes the City of the Living God as soon as the church service commences. (Habakkuk 2:20/Ps. 89:6-7/Zechariah 2:13/Hebrews 12:22-24).
2) UNITY AND TOGETHERNESS IS A MUST – There has to be a sense of unity and togetherness in the home. God only commands His blessings where there is unity. Everyone has to come together as one where physically possible. Don’t do it alone. Get everyone in the home together as Cornelius did. (Ps. 133:3/Acts 2:44, 46/Act 10:24, 27).
3) DESIGNATE A MEETING PLACE IN YOUR HOME – Let everyone know where the online church service will be held. Is it in the 1st reception room or the 2nd? Is it in the dining area or the conservatory? Choose the place that will give you maximum concentration. (Acts 5:12/Acts 2:1/Acts 1:13-14).
4) SUSPEND ALL CHORES AND ACTIVITIES – Suspend all chores and activities until the church service is over. This is essential to ensure focus. Don’t cook at this time or load laundry into the washing machine. It is not a sin but it is an unwanted distraction. The way you have to think of it is: Can I do that in church? At this point, only “ONE THING IS NEEDFUL.” Those were the words of Jesus to Martha when the Word (Jesus) came into her house. Don’t be too busy and lose focus. (Luke 10:38-42/1 Kings 20:40).
5) BE FULLY PRESENT – Full participation is essential for abundant manifestation. You and the family must participate in the worship, praise, prayers and the Word. Ensure you have your Bibles, notepads and tambourines (that is what I use) so you can be a part of the church service. Don’t lay down unless you are unwell. Use a table and chair for maximum concentration. Shut off your phones, TV and all other distractions. (Acts 4:23-24).
6) NO VISITORS PLEASE – Don’t entertain visitors. If they are unexpected guests, let them join the online church service and attend to them when the service is over. Even the Lord said attending to visitors is not a necessity when the Word is open. (Luke 10:38-42).
7) RIGIDITY OF THE DISCIPLINES – Be rigid and strict with the above disciplines/actions and make no apologies for it. If you don’t, before the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted your spiritual relationship with God may have been endangered!
The Lord watches over you, your family members and all your loved ones across the globe in this very unprecedented time.