Atmosphere …

Atmosphere is more than just what surrounds the earth’s firmament. It’s also that intangible ambiance, feeling, or mood that exists in a room or some fixed location. I’ve felt it the moment I walked in to my pastor’s home many years ago. Sister Stark greeted us with open arms and a warm smile. We felt peace and love, because their house was filled with prayer and devotion.

David announced his desire to dwell in the house of the Lord “all the days of my life.” Even though his palace was offered with luxuries and convenience, David desired to be in the Presence more than any other place. He loved the atmosphere where the Lord was worshiped. Solomon saw it when he completed the Temple. The Cloud entered and he said, “the heaven’s cannot contain the Lord, how much less this house that I have built!” Jesus set the atmosphere the moment He stepped into this world. His presence was known to both believer and unbeliever. Even the demons felt the power of the incarnate God.

The world knows this fact. Bars and drinking establishments understand this concept. From the lights to the music to the placement of tables, atmosphere speaks to the condition of the stronghold. Amusement parks follow a similar pattern with aromas of popcorn and cotton candy. There is an aura in every place we enter. The spirit of the place or the spirit of the person permeates the room wherever it may be.

To that end, we look to the Word, which declares that the Lord inhabits the praises of His people. While many have tried to add to that phrase; waxing long in description and finding nuggets that do not exist, the simple truth is that praise allows the Lord a place to dwell. Praise sets the atmosphere where His holiness and goodness can take up residence. When we bring our worship, i.e., sacrifice to the Lord, there is a furthering of His available favor. Worship sets the tone for the miraculous.

Powerful, life-changing church services hinge on the atmosphere we set that allows the Lord to be Who He already is. Prayer, praise, worship, and the preached Word are all elements that must surround the firmament of this house. When we come with expectation that He is able and willing to do what only He can do, we will see Him in all of His glory.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

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