Cogitation XIII: What Really Goes On In Church On Sunday?

It’s so easy to attend church on Sundays without giving a thought to the concept of church. What exactly is a church service? We can of course define church service as a worship session, but then we must ask the logical question, why do we worship God? An answer like, “We worship God because we love God” won’t suffice. John 14:15 says, obedience is the metric of love of God not worship.

Truth is, compared to what’s going on up “there” our worship is pretty lame and mediocre. God is used to better material. That’s partly because 99% of us sing off tune. God endures every Sunday. And it’s possible God installed a virtual synthesizer to process our off-key songs on Sundays – something like an intermediary worship refining instrument. May be that’s how he’s able to tolerate our stuff. Or maybe he harvests the songs directly from our hearts. Even the motivation of our instrumentalists is not always pure; not to talk of the grudges we carry in our hearts despite being in God’s presence… the unforgivenesses. Surely God is used to purer standards of worship.

When we consider the subject of worship we can’t limit ourselves to the earth realm, comparing one church choir to the other. We must not forget there’s worship in heaven too: “I heard a sound like massed choirs in Heaven singing, Hallelujah! The salvation and glory and power are God’s— his judgments true, his judgments just. He judged the great Whore who corrupted the earth with her lust. He avenged on her the blood of his servants. Then, more singing: Hallelujah! The smoke from her burning billows up to high Heaven forever and ever and ever.” Revelation 19:1-3 MSG.

We must not get into worship competition with those folks in heaven. It will be choir practice for them. We don’t even have the heft to give God significant worship. The level of significance of worship is determined by the political heft of a worshipper. It’s why the Bible records the worship of the Fab 24 – the Twenty and Four Elders. They are not deacons or elderly folk. They are potentates – political authorities. They have thrones and crowns: “I saw a throne in heaven and someone sitting on it… Twenty-four thrones surrounded him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white and had gold crowns on their heads.” Revelation 4:2, 4 NLT. We’re also told four bizarre looking “beings” spotting wings are in front of God’s throne. Their bodies are 4-dimensional. Their wings are covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Revelation 4:8. The beings keep saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty— the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.” Revelation 4:8. But here’s the clincher: “Whenever the living beings give glory and honour and thanks to the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever), the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one sitting on the throne. And they lay their crowns before the throne and say, “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honour and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.” Revelation 4:6-11 NLT.

The context of the worship in heaven is political. It is not religious. The Twenty and Four Elders, those bizarre beings saying Holy, Holy, Holy… They’re political figures. The context of worship is always political. It’s genuflection before sovereign authority. And so when we gather in church to worship God on Sunday it’s not a religious thing. Church is a political session. God comes into that gathering in his capacity as Potentate. He doesn’t come as tourist. Church is General Assembly of the saints. Hebrews 12:23. The average church service is essentially made up of three parts – there’s the worship, the supply of intelligence, and the petition for justice. The worship is acknowledgment of God’s political power and authority. He is king. He must be adulated, deified, glorified and venerated. Kings are glorified. God is not a democratic president. We didn’t vote him into office. When God comes to church on Sunday he comes in full constitutional authority. All his ministerial offices are activated – attorney general, health, education, finance… He comes as government. It’s important you understand this fact. The insight is critical.

It’s because God comes to church as government that we can petition for justice against our adversary. 1 Peter 5:8. We’re appealing to God in his sovereign capacity. God the government is in session during Sunday service. It’s because God’s ministerial portfolios are functional in church service that you can ask him for healing, justice and finance. Like the Israelites of old you can access God’s ministerial portfolios. It’s why they gave him different names – El Roi, Yahweh Jirreh, Yahweh Nissi, Jehovah Rapha. These are ministerial expressions. El Roi is “The God Who Sees.” It’s a demand for justice, equity and compassion. Yahweh Jirreh is “The God Will Provide.” Yahweh Nissi means “The Lord Is My Banner.” It’s a warfare reference. Jehovah Rapha means “The Lord who heals you.” It’s about healthcare.

You can make a demand for justice during church session. In God’s constitution the only authority allowed to execute vengeance is government – temporal or spiritual. The Bible says the ruler is an agent of God’s wrath. Romans 13:4 NIV. It’s why Jesus says to turn the other cheek. Matthew 5: 38-40. You’re not allowed to execute vengeance. Only God can. He’s government. Vengeance belongs to God because he’s government. He delegated that authority to temporal governments. Romans 13:4. Therefore no individual in his private capacity can execute vengeance. But as government God can act on your behalf. Vengeance is mine says the Lord. Romans 12:17-19. The state can too. It’s government. Otherwise you take the law into your hands. And so we can appeal to God’s ministerial portfolios during church service. We can appeal to his health portfolio, ask for healing for cancer, or any ailment; we can ask for finance for business, we can ask for legal victory, etc. This doesn’t mean we can’t ask God to do things for us outside of church or in the privacy of our home. It’s just that there’s so much power available at service. That’s because God is in church in full governmental capacity.

Now, some imagine it’s the collective of OUR anointing that makes things possible during a church service. There’s all that talk about “corporate anointing.” Far from it. It is God’s executive authority that moves the dial of the universe during service not our so called “corporate anointing.” We are donees of authority. We don’t have any power, just authority. God holds the power. We can’t handle raw power. We’ll fry. And anyway we tend to misunderstand that word “anointing.” We have a confused usage of it. It’s why we say a man of God is “anointed” when he preaches a moving sermon, or lays hand and people fall down. “Anointing” is simply investiture of political authority. It is attached to political office. All Christians are anointed. We’re priest-kings. It’s not just the pastor that’s anointed. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22. We all are. That’s the essence of the Holy Spirit.

But where we miss it most concerning Sunday service is in the area of intelligence. That supply of intelligence can come in the form of the gifts of intelligence of the Holy Spirit – prophecy, word of wisdom, word of knowledge. The intelligence gifts – prophecy, word of wisdom and word of knowledge make the future and the recondite accessible. They also function as analytical tools. And they generate insight and identify solutions to human problems. We somehow imagine that these gifts of the Spirit only operate in church but that’s not true. You’re a carrier of the Holy Spirit. Wherever you go he goes. The gifts are available for secular application. The Holy Spirit will help you at work if you allow.In whatever circumstance you find yourself the Holy Spirit is available to proffer solutions. He’ll give you access to information not commonly available. You can plug your system into his server farm. There’s copious data available. The gifts of the Spirit operate outside the four walls of church. The gifts of the Spirit operate in the corporate sector. In government as well. Daniel could access certain data as government official.

The Holy Spirit is your mentor. A critical function of that mentorship program is supply of intelligence. The Spirit we’re told, will guide you into all truth, meaning he’ll give you credible information and authentic analysis. “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future” – John 16:13 NLT. It’s interesting how the Message translation puts it: “When the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into ALL THE TRUTH THERE IS. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. He will honour me; he will take from me and deliver it to you. Everything the Father has is also mine. That is why I’ve said, ‘He takes from me and delivers to you.’” John 16:12-15 MSG.

In other words, if you’re a businessman you can expect the Holy Spirit to give you business forecast. He will protect you from fake news, stop you from acting on false information. He will guide you into ALL truth the Bible says. John 16:13. But John 16:12-15 also implies that Jesus is actively involved in the information value chain. He says the Holy Spirit “takes from me and delivers to you.” Bottom line, someone high up there is doing critical analysis for you. Our problem is we don’t imagine God understands economics, or finance, or business. After all these are “secular” stuff. They’re non “spiritual.” We imagine God only deals with “spiritual” stuff. But that’s not true. And then we imagine the communication mode of the Spirit is in our imagined “prophetic” format, as in, “My son, my son, thus saith the Lord…” That’s just our linguistic flavour. God is just humouring us. Of course God understands economics and finance. He gives backing to businesses. He once backed a man called Abraham. And his son and grandson. They are a generation of entrepreneurs.

We’re the ones limiting God to the four walls of church. According to our understanding so it has been unto us. But God is God in church and he’s God outside church. He’s God at your work, he’s God at your home. The prophecies, or shall we say forecasts of the Sprit doesn’t always commence with, “Thus saith the Lord!” God understands modern English. It’s our cultural filter presenting those formats. We imagine God can’t just say, “John this is what I’m trying to get across to you,” that he only speaks 17th century English – Shakespearean English. We stuck God in 1611. That was the year the King James Bible was published. If “Thus saith the Lord” is your flavour of expression God will do you the favour of impression. He’s liberal that way. But the other point being made is that you can access the Holy Spirit for any solution during church service. It doesn’t matter what the subject is – science, business, philosophy, finance, governance… It’s up to you.

God is relevant to our everyday situations. He has solutions to our every circumstance, be it business or finance, professional stuff, name it. How you relate to God is dependent on your understanding. Sunday service is such an intelligence supply system. Extra dimensional beings visit church on Sunday to garner intelligence. That’s what Paul was trying to convey in Ephesians 3:8-10: “And so here I am, preaching and writing about things that are way over my head, the inexhaustible riches and generosity of Christ through followers of Jesus like yourselves gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known and talked about even among the angels!” Ephesians 3:8-10 MSG. In other words angels discuss what we share during Sunday service. They gist about it. They come to church on Sunday to learn about God’s plan. Ephesians 3:8-10. The Amplified translation gives greater elucidation: “So now through the church the multifaceted wisdom of God [in all its countless aspects] might now be made known to the angelic rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 3:10 AMP. Ephesians 3:10 AMP says the wisdom of God has COUNTLESS ASPECTS. Stop limiting God. God understands “secular” disciplines. The religious mind will struggle with these things; but if only he’ll step back and consider. Without a fundamental understanding of Christianity we will struggle with faith.

If you’ll like to receive Jesus into your life please pray this prayer: “Father I acknowledge that I am a sinner, that Jesus died for me, that you raised him from the dead. Father please forgive me. I accept Jesus today as my Lord and my Saviour. Amen.”

© Leke Alder | talk2me@lekealder.com.

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  • James

    This quite apt and educative

  • tolulope kotun

    Leke Alder you write with such prowess, giving eye popping light to the word of God and formatting it into today’s realities. Such precise analogy and brilliant representation of the personality of God. You are the St John of our time, giving such clear description of the person of God. God bless you and more ink to your pen.

  • Oluwayinka Idowu

    Thanks Leke.
    it is important to propagate the gospel of fellowship beyond the four walls of the church building as you have expounded. It make me appreciate the more the boundary-less capacity of the LORD.