The last several months at TJC have been unbelievable. We have experienced remarkable growth. In just four months we have witness attendance shoot up from 400 to 600. We are moving from 2 services to the 3 services, beginning March 22nd (8/9:30/11). We anticipate 750-800 people to visit on Easter (April 5th). We are witnessing salvations, baptisms, people signing up to serve, people joining Gospel Communities, folks becoming covenant members, and endless stories of people inviting, serving, and meeting the needs of others. It has been incredible.
If I am being honest with you, all of these incredible things excites me beyond all belief, but it is also scares me. It scares me because I do not want us (the church and me personally) to do anything that hinders what God is doing. It is evident that God's presence is with us and is moving in our midst. So I keep humbly praying, "Oh God, thank you for making Your presence very real to us and showing Yourself to us, please don't let us blow it." While you may think I'm playing, I'm not.
As I was thinking about this phenomena we are experiencing and my own heart's yearning to not mess it up, the phrase, "God is in the camp" came to mind. As I google searched the phrase - as all pastors do when they are trying to remember where that verse they vaguely remember is - I came across a passage.
Deuteronomy 23:14 - Because the LORD your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver
you and to give up your enemies before you, therefore your camp must be
holy, so that he may not see anything indecent among you and turn away
Moses is giving a vital reminder to Israel, the people of God. He sets their minds on the reality that God is with them. His presence dwells with them. God walks in the midst of the camp. This leads Moses to declare to them that they must be holy. Because God is with them, they should strive for holiness so He does not turn away from them. If they want to dwell in His presence, and if they want Him to continue to remain in the camp, they must be careful to walk in obedience.
Oh friends, this is the tug my heart was experiencing. I cherish God's presence in our "camp" and what He has being doing in our midst. I've visited and experienced many churches, and I can tell you, not all of them have God in the camp. I want Him to remain with us and do immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20), but we must walk in humble obedience to Him. We must submit our lives willingly to Him.
With humble and hungry hearts, we cry, "God is in the camp! Let us walk in His ways."