Our Chief Task
Our church at River is living in an exciting time. In less than two weeks, our church sanctuary will be moved to a new location. We are believing that this is more than just a physical move. We are expecting that God is working in us to be a stronger Body of Christ, steering us into stronger faith and greater love, using us to be a brighter light in this world to bring His Gospel to the ends of the earth, sending us out to be the effective laborers in the field white for harvest.
As I excitedly imagine how God is going to open new doors of opportunities and bring forth new waves of growth, He brings to my mind an account in the Book of 1 Chronicles.
After David became king over all the tribes of Israel, he resolved to bring the Ark of God to Jerusalem. In the Old Testament, the Ark of God is a symbol of the presence of God. And so, wherever the people travelled, they would want to take the Ark along with them. Scripture tells us how the Ark of God led the people of Israel in their journeys through the wilderness into the Promised Land, and how in the Promised Land it led the armies of Israel into victory in battles.
1 Chronicles 16:1, 4 & 7 AMP
1 So they brought the ark of God and set it inside the tent which David had pitched for it, and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God.
4 He appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord and to profess God’s name and to thank and praise the Lord, the God of Israel:
7 Then on that day David first entrusted to Asaph and his relatives to give thanks to the Lord as their chief task.
The Ark of God was received in the tabernacle with great rejoicing. Priests were appointed to bless the Name of God. The chief task on that day was not about the best position for the Ark in the tabernacle or about performing rituals. The chief task for the priests was to give thanks to the Lord.
And this was how their song of thanksgiving began:
1 Chronicles 16:8 & 9 NKJV
8 Oh, give thanks to the Lord!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
9 Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!
Today, we no longer require the Ark of God to experience God’s presence, because of the works of Jesus on the Cross and the Holy Spirit that has been given to all believers. The church is who God uses today to embody and manifest His presence and anointing.
And as our church prepares for this move, I feel that God is reminding us that our chief task is to give thanks to Him and remember what His call for us is. His presence must be ushered in with thanksgiving and rejoicing. In all our planning and strategizing for the future, our chief task rests on giving thanks to God.
What a timely reminder this is, lest we in the name of building God’s House, forget and neglect that giving thanks to God ought to be first and foremost. Giving thanks to God takes us back to the reality that God is our Source and that God is Who we are building the church for.
Even as the Lord speaks to me in this manner in association with the move of our church sanctuary, I believe He is also calling all His children to give thanks to Him in every place we go to. When you step into your workplace, give thanks to God for the job that you have. When you walk into your school, thank God for the education you are receiving. When you return home, thank God for your family. As you enter the church, thank God for the beautiful church family He has placed you in. When you wake up in the morning, thank God for the very life that you have.
Such thanksgiving opens us up to be aware of and sensitive to the works of God’s presence and anointing in that place, changing our lives, our situations and those that we care for.
Let us pray.
“Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You that You never leave me or forsake me. I thank You for You are good and Your mercy endures forever. I thank You that whenever I give thanks to You, Your presence and anointing are made manifest in the place. Father, I commit to have thanksgiving as part of my everyday lifestyle. Lead me and teach me to be a good and faithful servant, always loving others, sharing the Gospel and winning lives for Christ. Thank You, Father, for Your steadfast love that is new every morning. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”