We can go boldly before the throne of Grace! If you have not already, start from this day forward living a life of worship. I assure you, you will not only feel better and become healthier, but you will see more clearly! “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the Word of God. On the contrary by setting forth the Truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the GOSPEL of the glory of Christ who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ, as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus; sake……….” II Corinthians 4:1-5
When you are faced with the cares, ills, grief’s, trials and concerns of life know that God sees you as a treasure. He loves us so much that He sent Jesus to redeem us from the power of sin. This is why we need Him as Lord and Savior! Allow Him His place in your life! God is the same God yesterday, today and for evermore through everlasting. Intimacy with Him will help you to know that whenever; “We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed, we are perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed-always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body…”
You never have to loose heart with the Lord. Examine yourself to see whether you are in the faith? Ask Him to fill you with His presence each day and remain focused. God wants to perfect us! Simply meaning He wants to mature us and complete us! God wants you to experience His peace that surpasses the understanding of man. God is willing, ready and able to walk with you 24/7. Intimacy will help you to know that the Lord knows and can see the things you can’t see. To know He knows and will reveal all and everything you need to know in order to live and worship Him each and every day yields security. Intimacy with God should be your desired destination. Now step out on faith and really begin to put your hope and trust in Him! “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you…………” Everyday; To GOD be the GLORY!
In the center of the Bible you will discover the wonderful illustrious Book of The Psalm! It is a marvelous collection of spiritual songs,hymns, prayers, heartfelt expressions, sympathy, compassion and wisdom for all of humanity! Herein is a collective, dynamic, reflective, deep compelling expression of the inner intimate thoughts of many! The often experienced transparency is emotional, illuminating and enlightening! The myriad of beautiful Psalmists wonderfully and often poetically share their anxieties, confessions, weaknesses, strengths doubts, fears and most important Love for the Lord!
Why is it we have more denominations, more conferences, more televised and internet broadcasts, more modes of worship both traditional and non traditional. Congregations of every size. Some small, medium, large, extra large or mega style, yet so many people continue to overlook the WORD of GOD? The WORD is a Powerful Wellspring that yields Spiritual, Emotional & Physical Healing, but we must first embrace and apply it to our daily lives!
GOD is always speaking, but we must get better at listening!
This is how we “HEAL THE LAND”
Spending time with God is one of the most important things you can do. If you read the Scriptures you will find that even Jesus often took time alone to spend with the FATHER! Spending time with God will help you how to respond properly or not to respond at all to others. Spending time with Him yields patience and understanding. The wonderful thing about God is that He has provided so many ways to continually enhance our personal relationship with Him. He has given us His Holy Spirit to lead and guide us to all truth! He has given us His Holy Word to teach us and equip us to do whatever He has planned for our lives. He has even provided spiritual armor to protect us from evil. To even tell us when we are right or wrong! His Word also gives us directions as to what not to do! His Word teaches us how and when to stand in the midst of spiritual warfare! The scripture tell us “trust in the Lord will all thine heart and lean not to your own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct our paths.” He has given us His precious Son Jesus, who will be your personal Savior once you truly invite Him into your heart. It is in Him you will always find victory!
The book of Galatians clearly tells us; “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” Christ lived a sinless life! Christ became flesh! He conquered sin in the flesh so He could be our example! He died for us! He did not die for us to continue to make excuses for our shortcomings. When we accept Him as Lord and Savior we are able to rely on Him to “save us from the power of sin in our life”. A truly dedicated life to God will result in an increased ability to exercise self-control! Spending time with God will help you to discern between good and evil. To be as “wise as a serpent and as harmless as a dove!” God is aware of everything. He is omniscient! It does not matter how things appear or seem. Neither does it matter when everyone else pretends everything is okay when something is terribly wrong! God knows how things really are! In the midst of a declining world you can still enjoy a wholesome clean life. Spending time with God will also teach and direct you how to be a good steward of the things and people He entrusts to your care! His Word also tells us “He will supply all of your needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus! God is a Spirit of TRUTH!
Paul also warns us of false teachings. Spending time with God will help you recognize those who pervert the Gospel of Christ! He even goes so far to tell us that they use it for a license of licentiousness. Which merely means to excuse their loose behavior? He tells us to not receive the message regardless of the person or position. I encourage you to study God’s Word. Listen closely when some one says they have a message from God. Allow the Holy Spirit to sift its contents and validate its Truth. Just ask yourself how often did Jesus talk about how many horses or chariots someone had? How many suits of clothing did Joseph, Priscilla and Aquilla or anyone else for that matter possess? How much money it took to feed the multitudes? I don’t think that Jesus told the woman at the well that He “loved her and all of her faults”. He told her “TO GO AND SIN NO MORE!” Furthermore are you spiritually enriched by the message? Have you been provoked to good works or spiritual growth? Or do you just continue to feel content in disobedience?
Jesus said “If you abide in My Word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and truth shall make you free.” Jesus also tells us in His Word; “whoever commits sin is a slave to sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free you shall be free indeed.” The point that I am trying to make is Christ died to make us free! Spending time with God will give you freedom! We must commence embracing a Christ centered life! Christ took back the power the enemy stole! God’s Word really is “a lamp unto our feet and a light unto out path.” Paul goes further to say “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let Him be accursed.” There is much spiritual warfare about us! This is really not a game! We are living in the perilous times that the bible talks about! Please do not settle for a life that pleases man. Commence to really put God first in your life! Man’s approval is not necessary to accomplish God’s will in your life. He will and can make your path straight! God is the source of everything you possibly need to accomplish whatever He has for you to do.
Spending time with God will yield much peace. It will also consecrate your heart and your conscious! God will teach you how to guard your heart! You see God is a Spirit of Truth! I am thankful for His presence in my life! The devil is the father of lies! Deception and trickery are not a part of God’s fruit. Many are greatly deceived. I encourage you to spend some time reading Exodus. It is fear-provoking to know how much time they spent consecrating themselves for worship. They had reverence and deep respect for God. Worshipping God was sacred! Today it is not necessary for many. Many see worship as a time for them to “stand up for their gifts.” In times past God’s presence was earnestly welcomed. God is all knowing! God is truly Holy! God said that the true worshippers “worship Him in Spirit and in TRUTH!” I thank Him that I can freely lift my hands to thank and praise Him for the freedom He has given me.
Spending time with God will teach you how to properly navigate through this world of sin! Spending time with Jesus allows you to be calm in the midst of spiritual warfare. Jesus quite often did not respond to His accusers! You see many times just enough detail was omitted to prohibit the real truth from coming out. They sought to discredit His sincerity. More often than not a one sided story was and is embraced as truth! God is Light in Him is no darkness. “Perfect Love casts out all fear!” Just know it is more important what God knows rather than what others think! We must stand for the TRUTH! Jude tells us to contend for the faith! We must measure what is being taught against the Word of God. There are many false teachers who are misleading those who really need to hear the Gospel! He tells us “ these are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts, and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. But you beloved remember the words which were spoken before the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; how they told you that their would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons who cause division, not having the Spirit.” Jude ends telling us “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding JOY!”
It is very easy to become attached to a spiritual leader. When one has helped you it is natural to feel loyalty. Especially when you have confided in them. Paul warns us against having such pride in our favorite leaders that causes divisions in the church. The Corinthian Church for an example was a very carnal church. It continually indulged in the immorality that was practiced culturally. The culture of that day embraced a temple of prostitution. The Corinthians needed specific instructions because of their immoral standards. Paul tells us “the body is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” It was because of their carnality that Paul continuously warned them! It is spiritually dangerous to create an environment that embraces sin and labels it unconditional love. That really worships God in flesh and half truths!
Paul encourages us to imitate Christ because He himself spent time with God and walked closely with Him. I would like to encourage you to commit to spend at least 10 minutes of time alone with God each day! Just you and God with no distractions! Learn how to “ Be still and Know”. Start your personal devotion with prayer & Thanksgiving to give you the proper focus. Then just quietly discipline yourself to listen. To be still. Watch how someone or something tries to distract you. Please do not give up. (You see the enemy is so clever at distracting you.) Remember the idea is to exercise discipline. Increase your time gradually with God. This will also enhance your personal Bible Study time. I assure you any burden you might have will begin to lift. You see God really is a burden bearer. Honoring God by spending time with Him will give you direction. You cannot change anything that has happened but you can begin to really “walk in the light.” End your time Thanking Him for all He has done. Remember when you pray you must obey. To Love God is to obey Him! God’s Word is true!
We too must stand on the Word of God even when we are called anything but a child of God! Spending time with God and obeying His commandments will free you from sinful strongholds! I am thankful that God has provided us with many gifted men and women of God who are committed to spreading the true Gospel! They take seriously their responsibility to present Biblical Truth. A true spiritual leader is a representative of Christ. and has nothing to offer that God has not already given him or her! Loyalty should not cause strife, or slander. The truth can disable slander! God really is a Spirit of Truth! Our deepest loyalties should be to Christ and not to human agents! Those who spend more time debating the importance of church leadership than declaring Christ’s message don’t have Christ as their first priority. God’s Word clearly tells us “that we should not go beyond what is written. Spending time with God will cause you to attach yourself to God, rather than a spiritual leader. Commence to spend time with God “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thine own understanding in all thy ways acknowledge HIM and HE shall direct your path”. When you spend time with God you shall know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH shall make you free!
Christianity is much more than just a religion! It is so much more than a social club. In general, for many, religion has turned into a manufactured system where rules are dictated, regulated and policies are made. Quite often there is an ever increasing list of do’s and dont’s to conform to, which sometimes go so far as to require a staunch or restrictive dress code. Often actually forsaking the Power of the Holy Spirit’s ability to transform the individual’s life from the inside out! The Holy Spirit is the ultimate Spiritual Guide and Teacher! The Word of God teaches us that true worshipers worship the Father “In Spirit and in TRUTH!” John 4.
Keep in mind that the LORD is the most HIGH GOD who desires to continually transform the lives of devoted believers and reach out to the world! Above Him is no other! Without the Lord one is disconnected and is but a wretched lost human being, living aimlessly in the flesh without promise of eternal life! Once we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior we then have purpose and are adopted into the family of God! We embark upon a life of becoming enlightened, spiritual growth and being renewed as we apply His godly principles to our own lives. The Promise of Eternal Life waits as we grow spiritually realizing that we are forever “becoming…” As long as there is breath in the body there is Hope! NEVER underestimate the POWER of the LORD! “What is impossible with man is POSSIBLE WITH GOD!
God intended for Christianity to be a daily lifestyle centered on Him! Christianity consists of the process by which we can learn the origins of man and draw closer to our Creator and Governor of the universe! We can discover more about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and commence to live life to daily please the LORD! It is the “GOOD NEWS GOSPEL!” The central tenet in the Christian Faith is our belief in JESUS CHRIST and HIS WORD. He actually was God incarnate within sinless human flesh. The world was spoken into existence through Jesus! He actually became the WORD wrapped in flesh! “In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with GOD, and the WORD was GOD. He was with GOD from the beginning. Through HIM ALL things were made; without HIM nothing was made that has been made. In HIM was life, and that life was the LIGHT of men…” John 1. Acceptance of Him as Lord and Savior is a definite requirement for all Christians. He reconciles us to the Most High God and gives us the gift of Salvation and the inheritance of Eternal life!
Let’s take a momentary glance into the secular perception of religion from a widely respected source. Dr. Sigmund Freud, who is well known for his psychoanalytical theories, perspective on religion says:” Religious faith produces a repression of impulses and thus keeps the personality secure at the expense of honesty.” He is recognized as the father of “Psychoanalysis.” He also developed many of the concepts in *Psychology.” It is here the mind and behaviors are studied.
“Psychology is the study of the mental processes and behavior. The term psychology comes from the Greek word psyche meaning “breath, spirit, soul” and the logia meaning “study of.” Psychology emerged from biology and philosophy and is closely linked to other disciplines including sociology, medicine, linguistics and anthropology.
Freud believed that the actual drive-oriented nature is overlooked because the aspect of human nature has long been suppressed by religion. People in their insecurity begin to look for a cosmic father in order to compensate for their feelings of inferiority and insecurity. Freud also believed that religious activities are rituals of compulsive behavior that are employed to temporarily ease the intense guilt feelings that are fostered by religion. Likewise Christians neurotically try to free themselves of guilt feelings by performing religious rituals. Freud also maintains that the dependency fostered by religion causes infantile regression.
Much to my dismay there is a minuscule element of truth in what Freud believed in regards to religion. I do not personally embrace his theories of psychology. But many do hide behind the guise of religion. There is a tendency to project a façade where things appear to be alright. They often go along with the majority and conform in order to feel connected to their particular group but remain insecure within themselves as an individual… There is often much ambivalence and unrest in their conscious relationship to God personally. They feel distant from Him trying to fill the inner void with some of everything!
Whenever the soul is not really anchored; the philosophies in regards to the origins of man becomes a playground for answers.
Whenever GOD is not the center of one’s religion one can regress into this sea of uncertainty. Nothing is infallible and there is much doubt as to what has already been proven to be true! What was wrong becomes right and therefore one becomes polluted by the world. The world continues to migrate further and further away from God as Creator and the principles of His Word. Anything can be a religion. God is a Spirit and must be worshiped in Spirit & in Truth! Many religious folks modify His Word to adjust to the current desires of society. We can learn much from the Word of God. When His principles are abandoned there is a downward shift in the overall moral standards. Keep in mind GOD wants us to be spiritual beings that believe, embrace, implement and trust His Word!
The Bible does not ever contradict itself! The New Testament has fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament! There is no other book like the Bible! It is an extraordinarily remarkable library of infallible spiritual wisdom that is inclusive of 66 books! It cannot be fully grasped by the intellectual mind alone. One must solicit the Holy Spirit to intervene and illuminate the significant meanings of its plethora of Scriptures. It is also the all time best seller! In order to not be lead astray it is important to know for yourself what the Word of God says! We as Christians believe and accept the TRUTH of GOD’S WORD by FAITH! This is why we are called “Believers.” When Christians follow the ways of the world rather than embrace the Word they usually have not actually taken the time to build an up close personal intimate “one on one” relationship with the Lord.
It is only with the Lord can one discover true “Security & Significance!” There is a tendency to encourage focusing on the outer rituals and traditions rather than to intrinsically search within to see where the true problem lies to resolve any inner conflict. The inner anxiety or unresolved issues can then become ongoing baggage that is carried throughout life producing anxiety when it is not addressed. God wants us to become whole! He wants us to take responsibility for our actions and take a stand for our rights. He wants to write His laws upon our hearts! Inner Peace can be experienced when one readily repents (turns from) any wrong behavior and moves forward… God does not want us bogged down in guilt nor shackled to any uncivilized or inappropriate behavior. He wants us to be FREE! There are very good reasons why He has said DO NOT do some things! The world says do as you please! God wants us to become disciplined! A disciple is a learner! God wants to deliver us from whatever hinders us from growing spiritually and becoming all that He created us to be He wants us to; “Take My yoke upon you and learn of me. For I am gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest for your soul…” Matthew 11. This is why He has given us JESUS CHRIST to “SAVE” us from the power of sin reigning within our daily lives! GOD IS MORE THAN ABLE!
Jesus died to take upon Himself the sins of the world and make it possible for us to become directly reconnected back to GOD! Sin had widened the abyss between God and man. The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit are One! Jesus His only begotten Son humbled Himself to come to earth. He was Divine! Shaped in the image of GOD In the form of a man covered in sinless flesh, He overcame sin for us because He loved us so! Jesus bridged the gap between God and man and became the only “PERFECT” example! He arose with ALL power and took away the sting of death and sin. His Holy Spirit is our Comforter! We can now go straight to GOD wherever we are at anytime. He knows everything past, present and future about everyone and everything! This is why we all need Jesus Christ as Savior and LORD! He can and will make a significant difference in our life! God wants and up close and personal relationship with each one of us! We were created for HIS GLORY! Now that’s LOVE!
Prayer is communication with GOD and we need to regularly spend quality time with Him! His Word tells us in I Thessalonians 5; “Pray without ceasing, give Thanks in ALL circumstances, for this is God’s Will for you in Christ Jesus.” This is a continual mode of interacting with the Lord! We are able to consistently become aware of HIS PRESENCE! There is nowhere we can go that God is not… As the people of GOD, there must be a growing daily focus on our personal relationship with the LORD that becomes more an more natural. We are able to grow spiritually each day. God’s Church is collectively all over the world made up of a diverse multiplicity of people of all races, colors and creeds that believe His Word! Whenever are wherever we come together and assemble as His Church we will be much more effective when we have spent time with Him throughout the week! We are to apply His principles to our own lives and allow Him to guide us as He works out the kinks in our lives. Life is about becoming “perfected” which means to become completed in Him! We can invite Him into the “Messiness” of our lives! We can also worship Him more freely as we draw near to Him! Worship becomes a part of our daily lifestyle.
I truly believe that it is the intentions of many to have God’s will done in their life. The desire to please man and to be accepted often supersedes the spiritual responsibility to be led by the Spirit. This is where the conflict lies… There is much spiritual warfare to entice believers away from GOD and to keep non believers from embracing God personally and intimately! We learn in Genesis that God created us in His own image. ( I don’t mean looking like Him) In essence we are spiritual and relational beings. We have been created for God’s purpose. Until we arrive at the point that helps us realize just that, we can often unconsciously create more adversity and anxiety in our lives trying to adapt and please man. This in turn can and will at times create a mental deficiency because the deep void remains. This void can be filled by many things… But they never really quite satisfy. God has a place within us that only He can fill. Ideally speaking; Did you know that if we were all following the Lord we truly would be on one accord. There would also be a lot less schisms and division within the Body of Christ!
Religion ritualistically practiced often focuses on the exterior. Encouraging others to worship in a way they deem appropriate by their denomination or non denomination at a certain time rather than ascertain a truly intimate relationship with the Lord. What do you mean? A few examples! If you are too quiet you can be perceived as standoffish and unemotional! If you don’t speak in tongues you don’t have the Holy Spirit! If you wear makeup you are being carnal… If you don’t pay tithes… If you do not wear long dresses or cover your head… If you don’t come to the service every Sunday… If you shout and pray loud you are… If you are quite emotional it can be perceived as being more spiritual… If you are… The point is worship is personal and the object of our worship should be the LORD. The wonderful thing about God is HE KNOWS ALL of our hearts! God wants you to be the best You! Conforming to be accepted can leave one with an ever greater void. The Word tells us the proper way to worship God is to be led by His Holy Spirit! Remember! “GOD is a SPIRIT and HIS worshipers worship HIM in SPIRIT and in TRUTH!” John 4.
In many cases it is not said in an audible language, yet there is a penalty for not adhering to what is expected, sometimes resulting in labeling or alienation. Many are far few and in between that have truly experienced the unconditional Love that is so often spoken of. This is nothing new, way back when even the Samaritans, Gentiles and Jews differed in their concept of worship. This is why we currently in this 21st century have so many denominations and varied places of worship. It is important that your chosen place of worship does not compromise the Word of God! Know that ultimately God who is Love is really the only source of unconditional Love! He Loves us because HE is LOVE! It is in HIM you can experience TRUE LOVE, inner fulfillment and PEACE! Spend time each day growing closer to the Lord! The LORD has a purpose and plan just for you…
This 21st century is becoming progressively more interesting in a very bizarre manner. We are living in a time when just about anything goes! We can go almost anywhere and expect to see some of everything! You can see multiple piercings on the ears, lips, forehead, eyebrows, cheeks, neck, and head or just about anywhere on the body. Let’s not even discuss the places that we don’t see.
You can see glitter glam clothes or faces. Pink, royal blue, purple, burgundy, yellow and even green hair on both male and females. It has become acceptable for many to even walk around with their pants sagging below the buttocks! You can go to the shopping mall and see many clad in pajamas and slippers and guess what they are just out shopping; so what does it matter? The old shorter than short “Daisy Duke” shorts are even trying to make a comeback. WOW!
I know everyone wants to be comfortable or they just want to as the ole song says “Express Yourself!” So it has become tolerable to just dress down whenever or wherever. After all we are not hurting anyone.
Think about for a moment or two!
What is the most important event or occasion that you will attend? Is it a wedding, red carpet affair, birthday party, funeral, job interview or perhaps a prom? How do you dress for the occasion? If it is a wedding, you probably want to wear your best? Or maybe not? Why is that; because it has become acceptable to dress just any kind of way; right?
Well, what about going to worship? You should just “come as you are.” If you have not been a part of God’s Church it is understandable. But if you have been a part of the Church for a while you might want to ask; to whom or where do you present your best other than at worship?
Did you know that the Church is the Bride of Christ? The Church has begun to blend right in with the world.
It’s okay if you wear a suit and tie or business casual pantsuit, dress or blouse and slacks to the office if you are a manager or a CEO or CIO! But if I want to wear flip flops and cut offs it should not matter especially since I still get my work done. I just want to be comfortable and I don’t want to wait until casual Friday. What happened to the basic dress code? It really does matter how you present yourself!
Hmm I guess God is not interested in how we dress? “Therefore, I urge you, brothers in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Romans 12. What does this have to do with how I am dressed? A lot! It’s clear here that we are not supposed to conform to the ways of the world. Notice how The Church has begun to pattern its dress after the standards of the world. This has even filtered over into going to worship! I guess we should really just want to hang out. sip a cup of coffee and be comfortable here too?
There is nothing wrong with freedom of expression. But what is proper and improper and who determines when or where? Does it matter that I go to worship looking like I’m on my way to the beach. Or if I look like I just woke up and threw on my most comfortable outfit! Or perhaps I was going to mow the lawn and decided to come to worship first. Or just perhaps I am going bowling after service and don’t want to make a change? It’s okay to wear a suit and tie sometimes if you are a pastor, minister or part of the praise team. Well maybe not because since its March madness everyone can just come in their Jersey’s representing their favorite team. By the way ladies it’s okay to just pull on a pair of leggings because the jersey’s are as long as some of the dresses and tops you wear? Oh my! I have just stepped on some toes! What’s wrong with wearing jerseys? Hmmm tell me when did going to worship have anything to do with your favorite football or basketball team? I am for team JESUS!! But do not penalize me because I do not wear jerseys! Hmmm what happens if I show up in causal dress when everyone else is dressed up for a special occassion or program? I know I am just too ole fashion or just plain judgmental? Maybe so!
Worship is supposed to be about GOD! Worship is supposed to be about us being thankful and grateful that JESUS died on the cross for us! He overcame sin in the flesh, lived a sinless life, died, was buried and rose from the dead with all power and authority! We are to give Him the GLORY! What is so casual about that?
It’s okay to pray at the altar and ask for healing, restoration and or some of our physical, emotional, mental or material needs. Its okay to sit in your seat if you prefer. It is okay to shout, scream, laugh, run around or do whatever? It is the posture of our hearts that GOD is looking at… GOD can and will supply in HIS time whatever is in HIS Will for us! But worship really should not be about us asking for something all the time. It should be more about GOD and us thanking HIM. Worship is devotional time to praise and adore the Lord; for all that He has done, is doing and will do!
Now how should we present ourselves? Look to the Lord and let Him direct you and not to the masses. I know we ought to be comfortable. We want to make everyone else comfortable too. We don’t want anyone to feel like they are being judged or unworthy, or that we are looking down on them? The truth is we all are unworthy. Jesus sacrificed His life on the cross for us all and at least we should make and attempt to put our best foot forward!
His Blood has priceless cleansing POWER!
What if Jesus returned today? Would you want to run home and change?
What if I do not have anything to wear? Well what did you wear to that dance you went to, or to that wedding, or the ballet, or that sorority or fraternity dinner, or to the prom or any other dress up event? Right; that’s different. Think about this for a moment. But you want to “dress down” when you come to worship God!
Check it out
The Old Testament gives us a vivid description of the Temple and the clothing that the priest was adorned in. It is clear that they put their best foot forward. Many went through purification rituals to prepare for worship. Leviticus has a plethora of laws and regulations that had to be adhered to prior to worship. There has been a gradual shifting down of the dress code as well as the moral behavior… No wonder sin is abounding and “anything goes!” Just perhaps all this dressing down has put the Church in such a relaxed mode that it’s made many feel that there is no need to change because we are to just “come as you are!” Yes indeed come as you are! But we are not to stay as we are! God is all about transforming our lives from the inside out!
See Part 2
Worship goes far beyond, just having an emotional experience. It is during worship one can actually experience a closer encounter with the Lord. Worship includes adoration, exaltation, magnification, glorification and the giving of thanks to the Lord! Webster defines worship as; an extravagant respect admiration or devotion to an object of esteem; reverence paid to a divine being or supernatural power. God’s principles for life, living, marriage and the family as well as “True Worship” are continuously being abandoned. God is Omnipotent; meaning all power! God so deserves pure unadulterated praise! God created us to worship Him. He did not program us like computers or make us robots. It is out of His love and mercy that He allows us the freedom to choose to do so. This is not the same as being religious. True worshippers must worship Him “In Spirit and in TRUTH.” God wants us to live a life of worship. He wants us to live to please Him! “For though we live in the world we do not engage in war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world…” II Corinthians 10.
Ezekiel is a great example of a man that chose to live a life of worship and obedience to God. Despite what was going on about him, he lived what he preached. Look about us and see all that is happening! Today it is also so very important too that your main focus for life and living for the Lord become your number one priority. Instead of focusing on just the here and now look deeper. This is why worship is so very important. “Be still and know.” When your life is built upon the “solid rock” principles of the Lord’s Word you will be able to endure even in this day and time and not compromise your godly principles and values. We must learn to TRUST GOD regardless of what happens. As children of God He still wants us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding in all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight.” Proverbs 3.Today we are currently experiencing a “famine of righteousness.”
One must only visit the corridors of Scripture to see time and time again the consequences of what happens when the world, a nation, or group of people ignores what God has to say. Ezekiel was willing to forego the praises and misunderstanding of God’s people. He did not receive a warm reception, nor was he welcomed. They instead had chosen to accept and embrace the ways of the world. Our devotion to the Lord must be more than talk. Sometimes it requires that we make grave sacrifices. Our future and eternal life rest in the Lord. God never forgets those who are faithful! The name Ezekiel means; God is strong or God strengthens! True success in a spiritual sense is not how the people respond to us, but it is how we respond to God! Ezekiel was called to an “obstinate and stubborn” group of people. We too are often called to share our faith with unkind, ungrateful and abusive people. Yet, God Our Father has promised to never leave nor forsake us. It is vitally important to develop an intimate personal relationship with Him. ALL of His promises are true! The Lord wants us to share the Gospel regardless as to how we might be perceived, even today when we are experiencing a “famine of righteousness.”
When studying the book of Ezekiel if you look closely you will see just how closely it relates to what is going on in the world right now. Ezekiel genuinely wanted the people to understand who God is! He was sent to the children of Israel to remind them of God’s principles for life, living and worship. The children of Israel were not a nation who did not know God. They had just become “rebellious”. They had turned their back on God and instead embraced the ways of the world. Ezekiel went to great lengths to get their attention. For over two decades he wrote, preached, warned and pleaded with God’s people to return to His principles. In reading Ezekiel one must not be so removed from him that he is thought of as a fictional character with an irrelevant message. To embrace the overwhelming genuine concern he exudes one must put on their spiritual ears and listen attentively. Ezekiel tremendously, ferociously and vehemently cries out as he prolifically expounds God’s Truth. Since he had been labeled as being “strange” the people were quite reluctant to listen. Ezekiel went so far that he even humbly acted out with great dramatization the need to be obedient. He personally modeled a Godly message to the people. He himself laid bound on his side facing a clay model of Jerusalem for 390 days and ate a simple meal of wheat, barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt baked into bread cake weighing about 8oz., that was cooked on cows dung. He then turned to his other side and lay there for another 40 days. This was an additional reminder to remind them of their 40 years spent wandering in the wilderness. Ezekiel went to great lengths to get their attention. He earnestly wanted them to return to the Lord! He even shared his vision of the corrupted Temple. They were experiencing a “famine of righteousness.”
There was absolutely no doubt that the “hand of the Lord” was upon Ezekiel. They however simply refused to listen. Ezekiel personally experienced “The GLORY of the LORD” on many occasions. Over sixty times throughout the Book of Ezekiel he repeated “Then they will know that I am the Lord.” Ezekiel was known for his strangeness. He took grave measures to demonstrate his dedication to the Lord. The many prophets before him had also been ignored. Their unfavorable messages were overlooked and thought of as negative. Yet despite the odds God kept, sustained and strengthened them. The Lord said to Ezekiel; “Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you…” He said “Son of man I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; and they and their fathers have been in revolt against me to this very day. The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn…” The Lord told Ezekiel to speak HIS WORD to them whether they listened or not. Ezekiel was given a scroll to eat. As he ate it, he said “So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.” They simply just did not want to receive the message that Ezekiel presented to them. God’s Word will yield conviction but there is a savory lasting sweetness when digested! They could not see how they had allowed the world, politics and its foreign customs and ways into the Temple. Ezekiel was able to experience the “Glory of the Lord” because of His obedience. God is so ASWESOME!
Today it is really no different, the world and society in which we live continuously attempts to embed its principles within the people of God. To make acceptable what God has said is not acceptable and to cloak and present itself as though one is practicing unconditional love. Yes, “God is Love” , but He is also a just God. According to Nahum; “The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, He will not acquit the wicked.” Deception is all about us. Today because of it we too are experiencing a “famine of righteousness.” God’s principles for life and living are continuously put on the back burner. Ezekiel is such a good example because he had a real concern for the abuse that was taking place within God’s Temple. Sin was rampart among the people of God. Many of the leaders had simply lost their faith and were trying many alternative ways. Ezekiel was shown firsthand the “wicked and detestable things that they were doing.” They had banned together and plotted wickedness. They had embraced and accepted quite worldly practices and worship that was not acceptable to God. They had allowed the world into God’s Temple. The Glory of the Lord departed from the Temple.
This is why it is important that we are not drawn into superficial or emotional worship. Manipulation does not move the Lord! God is worthy of “True Worship.” We need to daily ask for the infilling presence of His Holy Spirit. We can depend on the Lord to keep us safe in an unstable world, when we are experiencing a “famine of righteousness.” It is very important to know that despite how things appear; “God is in control.” Ezekiel again is a great example! He displays how God may require you to do some things and give up some things, that one from a carnal perspective simply cannot comprehend. But looking through the lenses of one’s spiritual eyes you can better grasp the spiritual significance of the action. God always leaves a remnant of His people. God always has something better for us! This is why it is so important to know firsthand the Word of God! God’s Word is rich in a plethora of lessons of disobedience, betrayal, spiritual warfare, power and love. Jesus became the Word wrapped in flesh! True victory is always found in the Lord and abiding within His principles.
God sometime requires us to do some seemingly strange things. True “security and significance” can only be found in God! When God’s Spirit is with you, you can expect to be ridiculed, misunderstood or rejected. It is in seemingly hopeless situations that God is able to do a great work through you or to you! There is nothing more important in life than your relationship with the Lord. We serve an all knowing Omniscient God. Our Faith, Hope and Trust must always be in the Lord! Jesus’ Life, Death, Crucifixion and Resurrection were for a purpose! It is because of Him we have eternal life which equals SALVATION! God is so Awesome! Hebrews 4 tell us, “For the WORD of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in ALL CREATION is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account.” PRAISE GOD! God always has a personal interest in the lives of His children, even when there is a “famine of righteousness.”