Summary: We need to come before the presence of Almighty God.

"A Sacred Gathering"

Joel 2:12-13

'Even now,' declares the LORD, 'return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.' {13} Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. {14} Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing-- grain offerings and drink offerings for the LORD your God. {15} Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. {16} Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber. {17} Let the priests, who minister before the LORD, weep between the temple porch and the altar. Let them say, 'Spare your people, O LORD. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, 'Where is their God?''(Joel 2:12-17 NIV)

This time last week I was in Washington D.C., one day after the "Stand In The Gap" sacred gathering sponsored by Promise Keepers. Words cannot describe the glory of the Lord that He showered upon all of those who gathered there on the Mall in Washington. I came away humbled like I have never been humbled before. I experienced the deepest sorrow for my sins that I have ever experienced as Almighty God exposed me for who I really am. I will never forget those six hours.

This past week I have felt the Lord speaking to my heart. What He has been saying is this: "Mike, there is nothing special about the Mall in Washington. Wherever there are men, women, boys, or girls who are willing to come before My presence and humble themselves before Me -- I will move upon their hearts. I will expose the sin of their lives that is enslaving them. I will break their hearts. I will fill them with My Spirit. I will restore to them the relationships that have been broken. I will heal their open wounds. I will reveal My glory to them in such a manner that they will never be the same again. Mike, call My people at Britton Christian Church to a sacred assembly."

God is right. There is nothing special about a plot of ground unless the Lord occupies that plot of ground. The grass in Washington was conducive to repentance and renewal because there were hungry hearts, ready, yearning for the Lord to touch them in a deep and real way.

Evidently there is at least one person here this morning who is experiencing that deep need to come before the Father in brokenness. There is someone here who is ready to allow the Father to expose the sin of their heart in order that He can heal them, restore them, and reveal His glory to them in a way they are yet to experience. Because you are here yearning for the Father, He is calling us to a sacred assembly this morning.

Before we begin you need to know that even if you did not come to this place yearning for more of the Father, He can still touch you in a deep way. I am a prime example. I have a confession to make to you this morning. I was one of those men in Washington D.C., but I went for all of the wrong reasons. You have to understand. I have been to several Promise Keeper's gatherings. I have been to so many worship services, retreats, camps, and opportunities to worship God that I had arrived at the conclusion that I was immune to the emotion and the breakthroughs that had been promised. I study the Bible all of the time. I teach four Bible studies a week in addition to studying for and teaching a Bible lesson in worship twice each Sunday morning. I had convinced myself that I couldn't be moved any more than I had been moved in the past. I have heard all of the sermons. I have heard the best sermons by the greatest preachers in the world. There was nothing that could be said that I had not heard already and after you hear it several times then it is old hat.

I took this mindset with me to Washington D.C. I went for all of the wrong reasons. The reasons that led me to Washington weren't evil, they were simply not the reasons the Lord wanted me to have. I went for my sons. I went to be able to pray for my boys and to ask God to touch their lives. I went to be able to show them our nation's capital and the rich history that we have as Americans. I went for all of the wrong reasons!

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