While we begin as priests of prayer and praise in the secret place, we go from there into the gathering place with other believers, and then into the public place with those who need the grace and goodness that Jesus has to offer. This week we are focusing our attention on the gathering place, where the Lord’s people come together to corporately and collectively praise His Name and seek His face to guide and grace them by the person and power of the Holy Spirit. As a holy and royal priesthood gathered, we connect as a covenantal community of people devoted and dedicated to honoring Christ and fulfilling His commission (I Pet. 2:4-9; Heb. 10:19-25).
When we come to the gathering place, we gather together to magnify the Father. God is great, and greatly to be praised. We come together to declare the greatness and goodness of our Heavenly Father. God the Father is faithful in fulfilling all of His promises, and most especially in the giving of His Son for our redemption and restoration. As His grateful children born into His spiritual family, we gather together in a combined chorus of great praise, as we call on Him in dependent, faith-filled prayer. Our faithful Father is worthy of a gathered and graced people who reach up to Him fully and faithfully.
When we come to the gathering place, we gather together to testify of the Son. When we gather together as a redeemed and restored people, we individually and corporately testify of the Savior’s love and power. We honor Jesus for what He has done and strengthen one another’s faith to believe Him for what He desires to do. Not only do we not forsake the gathering place with the Lord’s people, we focus on gathering together all the more as a community of covenant comrades committed to the Lord and His kingdom purposes. There is no better way to get ready to go into the public place to testify of the Son than coming from the secret place into the gathering place with those who testify of His great passion and power to each other.
When we come to the gathering place, we gather to be sanctified by the Spirit. The gathering place is to be a holy place where a set-apart people become more fully established in living by the Word and the Spirit for the glory of God the Father and Jesus the Son. The Holy Spirit leads, guides and directs each moment in the gathering place to be Christ-honoring and spiritually-transformational. As He makes us more like Jesus in the secret place and the gathering place, we represent Jesus more genuinely and accurately in the public place.
When we come to the gathering place, we gather to edify one another. The writer of Hebrews tells us that when believers gather, good things happen (Heb. 10:24-25). We come together to help discern where we are spiritually, mentally, emotionally and relationally, and how to minister edification, exhortation and comfort to one another (I Cor. 14:3). Trying to live fully for Christ on our own isn’t just difficult—it is impossible! The communion of the saints in the community of the saints produces a more fully-encouraged, equipped and commissioned cadre of the saints.
Remember: When a holy and royal priesthood of believers come together to pray and praise in the gathering place, they become a stronger and more cohesive covenantal community, prepared to move into the public place and testify of the Son’s love and power.