A lot of christians use corporate worship as a crutch.
Now listen. Let me preface this by saying that, in my opinion, a person pursuing God is at their best when they are a part of a church community: actively serving and giving. This is not what this is about.
However, what I have witnessed over the years in person and online from people all over the world, especially in America, is a crippling of the christian. This crippling comes from many people not wanting to spend time with God throughout the week. Sunday morning is like crack to a crippled christian. Spiritually scratching themselves, needing a fix. Lemme just get a hit of the Holy Spirit. Jesus junkies, but not pleasantly so. This also applies to Saturday evening and midweek services. This mindset I'm explaining also applies to people coming together online to commune, but never really spending time with God on their own. This is also crippling.
I want to say that I am specifically talking about those of us who have been walking with God for a while.
So many of us keep going in circles in life and wondering why.
The author of Hebrews puts it bluntly:
"There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.
So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don't need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God."
~Hebrews 5:11-14, 6:1 (NLT)
This is a big reason why so many of us aren't advancing in life. We still live in sin, we still won't trust God in the process. We have to learn the same basic things in church because we don't learn anything on our own. Basic learning gets you a basic life. We go in circles, that turn into cycles. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, we are lacking in: prayer and meditation of the Word, talking to God, reading/listening to the Word and other resources, studying the Word, learning who God is, spending time with Jesus, letting the Holy Spirit lead, enjoying his creation (nature), creating, thinking about his goodness and being thankful... the only thing we have is Sunday morning.
"THAT WAS A GOOD WORD PASTOR." And not even by Monday morning, but by Sunday afternoon that same day I see people already defeated. Repeatedly. We have off days, yes, maybe off weeks, but off months? Off years? Repeatedly? Nah yo.
A lot of the time the preacher is saying something deep but we just can't catch it. Why is that? Read Matthew 13:1-23 for the reason why. It's a heart issue.
And what blocks the heart? Sin, unbelief, unforgiveness, pride, etc.
I want to talk about Moses and connect this all together.
"Then Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel climbed up the mountain. There they saw the God of Israel. Under his feet there seemed to be a surface of brilliant blue lapis lazuli, as clear as the sky itself. And though these nobles of Israel gazed upon God, he did not destroy them. In fact, they ate a covenant meal, eating and drinking in his presence!
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain. Stay there, and I will give you the tablets of stone on which I have inscribed the instructions and commands so you can teach the people.” So Moses and his assistant Joshua set out, and Moses climbed up the mountain of God.
Moses told the elders, “Stay here and wait for us until we come back. Aaron and Hur are here with you. If anyone has a dispute while I am gone, consult with them.”
Then Moses climbed up the mountain, and the cloud covered it. And the glory of the Lord settled down on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from inside the cloud. To the Israelites at the foot of the mountain, the glory of the Lord appeared at the summit like a consuming fire. Then Moses disappeared into the cloud as he climbed higher up the mountain. He remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights."
~Exodus 24:9-18 (NLT)
Do you see what I see? Moses was with a group of great people who all saw God together. They saw God. Think about that. They actually saw God. Yet, God wanted Moses to come up even higher. He wanted Moses to experience an even deeper intimacy with him, an even higher level of life. Moses spent so much time with God that he received instructions to teach the people, similar to the verse in Hebrews. You've been a believer so long, you should be teaching. But you're still on the "I NEED A WORD" level every single week. How about you give a word.
Do you really want to go up higher in God like Moses did? He temporarily left behind people who also experienced God. Moses did not need people as a crutch, he didn't need a gathering to go deeper in God's presence. The people helped him get there, but then he had to do it alone. We know about God wanting us to set ourselves apart from people who aren't living right (the foot of the mountain), but what about when the Lord says okay now set yourself apart from these very great people who have also seen me. Moses experienced the glory of God on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
By the time we get to church, and by the time we get online with other believers, we should already be refreshed. We should be radiant like Moses was from being with God already. Whatever the preacher or person says should be confirmation, not a lifeline every single week. We should not be tumbling into church tore up and on empty every single week. There are souls out here to save. There are people out here dying. We need to get on the ball.
God wants to spend time with you, do you want to spend time with him?
Many of the greatest moments with Christ are when it is just you and him at home.
Go up higher.
It is so.
For further reading, look at 1 Corinthians 10 to see the apostle Paul refer to all of the people at the foot of the mountain (mentioned in the Exodus scripture) who had great spiritual experiences and fellowshipped together but eventually most died tragically together because they were comfortable with a mundane life. Going around in circles, that turned into cycles.