The children of Israel were not allowed to see the full glory and majesty of God when Moses went onto the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments. This was for their protection and safety.
But God has no wish or reason to shield Himself from his children today. He wants us to understand as much about Him as our minds will allow.
And this is also our desire. We have a deep longing to get a clear, focused view of his goodness, power, majesty and love. This longing to know Him is partly why we go to church. After all, where better to find the heart and mind of God than in his house? But unfortunately there are things in many churches that serve to block, rather than clarify our view of Him.
All too often, the pastor himself is the obstructing figure. His charisma, reputation, preaching style and leadership make him so imposing that we cannot see beyond him to God. He casts such a spell that God seems almost secondary.
In other situations denominational matters keep us from our quest. Requirements for lock-step worship styles, demands for participation in programs and loudly announced disagreements with other groups create a cloud that prevents us from seeing God.
Sometimes activity becomes a hindrance. Social service projects, political activism, food and clothing distribution, church beautification and fund raising for missions block our view. Good things all, they become part of the problem rather than part of the solution.
As God’s children, we are the church. We constitute the group of born-again believers who form a local congregation. If we cannot easily and consistently find God when we attend services together, we must allow the Holy Spirit to examine our hearts and minds. Are there problems within us that are blocking our view?
Then, with the wisdom offered us in James 1:5, we can help our church become a place where God is visible to all.