When not enough food is available for an extended period of time, a person will begin to starve. And without the person realizing what’s happening, the body starts feeding on itself, consuming its own energy stores to supply the basic energy needs. When it does this, it now cannot supply the necessary nutrients to the vital organs and tissues and they begin to shrink and shut down. Kidneys are impaired and the immune system gets weaker. The protein in the muscles is then tapped, and at that point death is not far off. Sometimes those who are starving are closer to death than they realize.
Recently, I found myself in the beginning stages of sort of spiritual starvation, and I didn’t even know it. Because of circumstances beyond my control, I had not been able to go to church in almost four months.
Yes, I was still able to read my Bible and complete my devotions, and many of the people I spent time with were fellow believers, and we would recognize God’s protection and thank Him for his care. But I had not been able to worship in a corporate setting, and without my knowing it, I had started relying on and consuming my own spiritual “energy sources.” Not until I finally stepped into a church did I realize what I had been missing and needing.
The church service I was finally able to attend was not of the same denomination as mine. It was not the same size nor did it have the same mix of age groups that my church had. I didn’t know any of the songs nor was I familiar with the order of service. But none of that mattered.
God’s word was the same, and it was preached from the pulpit. God’s spirit was present, and it enveloped me in comfort. God’s people were there, saved sinners praising God for His guidance, protection, and blessings.
Just sitting in a pew or a chair and listening to a sermon does not in and of itself provide any spiritual nutrition. One must be hungry and desire spiritual nourishment. Just going to church does not save a person from eternal damnation. That comes only through personally surrendering one’s life to Christ.
But worshiping with fellow believers does provide nutrients for the soul. It allows us to stop, take stock, support each other, and reset. It provides a safe place for sinners to be transformed by God’s grace into saints. It is God’s family.
I think Michael Cochran of Cochran & CO. says it best in his song “Church (Take Me Back). Enjoy.