Monday, August 6, 2007

True Worship - part 2

My mind has been spinning in so many directions the last couple of weeks, that I don't know where to begin. Even more since the last "True worship" post. So I will just add to the last one and go from there.

I had asked for you to read those statements from John Piper and think about what thoughts came to mind when reading those particular verses, because when I read them, I definitely had a reaction. Years ago, I felt I was falling very short from living the joyful, abundant life that God had promised in His Word. I did not feel like I was living much different from the rest of the world. I knew I should be obedient, and I tried so hard to obey the commands I knew. One very evident command for believers is what we call "The great Commission." This command is to go and make disciples of all nations. Yet it is the command that is most neglected among believers. I became very involved with the evangelism program at our church, but something in my heart was not right. I felt I was acting out of a sense of "duty" as opposed to joy. The Lord brought to mind an analogy of a salesperson. If I were a salesperson selling a particular product, how effective would I be if I did not believe in the product I was selling? By no means am I (or was God) comparing a relationship with Jesus to any product, but the point was that I was not experiencing Jesus in a way that made me excited to share Him. When Dave goes out to sell kitchens, he MUST believe in the product he is selling. There have been lots of ups and downs in his job, and I have frequently asked him how he stays motivated to sell during those frustrating times. His answer is always the same, "Because I believe that Cornerstone is the best cabinet company out there. I believe they will do the best job." I asked him how he would do it if he didn't believe that. He simply said he couldn't. So I ask myself the same question. What is motivating me to share Jesus? Is He not worth sharing? I knew He was, but in my heart, I obviously did not feel that way.

At that time several years ago, I was not enjoying God's Word either. I would read things like, "Your love is better than life" and yet I did not feel that. The bible says God's Word is LIVING and ACTIVE, yet I was not experiencing that. What I WAS experiencing was a conviction that I was not living up to His word. I love how Paul says that Jesus came to fulfill the law, but we are not exempt from it. He asks the question, "So what was the purpose of the law?" It was to lead us to Christ. (Gal. 3) The law shows us our inadequacy. Having the law shows us how we fall short of the holiness of God. My problem was that I tried to obey the law, instead of the power of the Holy Spirit in me to obey the law. I just didn't know how to access that power, even though I knew that power was in me. The bible says, "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you". (Acts 1:8) I knew I had asked Jesus into my heart, but I felt powerless to obey His commands.

I will add more at another time, but I will end with this: Those quotes from John Piper really stirred my soul. Maybe some Christians will read that and think it is extreme, or they think they cannot love God that way. Or they feel that intimacy with Christ is not supposed to be that real. Oh how I ache for those believers who miss the abundant life that God has promised for each of us. God has revealed Himself to me so much over the past several years that I have been accused of being over zealous. And at times I have been - not that you can really be too zealous for God, but it was more of a zealousness for the truth. I was on a mission to have a relationship that I knew God promised in His Word, yet I did not see it being lived out around me. So I think that zealousness came out in a way that was critical of the believer, because I knew people weren't getting it. I wasn't getting it either. As my eyes opened to the truth, I thought I WAS getting it. Unfortunately, every time I had this so called mountain top experience, God would move the clouds away from my eyes and show me where the mountain top really was. I am learning to enjoy those so called mountain top experiences, but still knowing that I have SO far to go.

When I read God's Word now, I truly love it. I can honestly say His love is better than life. I feel affection for Him in my heart, even on the bad days. What a process it has been to get to that point, and yet I truly see how far I have to go. That love I have for Him now, has nothing to do with maturity on my part, or any thing I have done, but just learning to trust and believe Him for who He says He is, and surrendering my will to Him. Next post, I will talk about that word "Surrender." What a process that continues to be.....

Pursue His heart. He promises that if you seek Him with all your heart, you WILL find Him.....

2 comments:

Shelly said...

Girl! This was a powerful post. Your heart and love affair with our Father makes me want to scream Hallelujah in excitement! You clearly GET IT! And Him!

Oh you are just precious! I praise Him for the work He is doing in you, from glory to glory.

He is the Great Reward.

PS - And thank you for your sweet comment on my blog; The other 'To Know Him' commented on my post that you and her are true sisters and friends in Christ. What a precious glorifying friendship the two of you must have.

Toknowhim said...

Fwend,

Do a post on your mountain top analogy... I think others will be blessed by the explanation. Love ya
TKH (Do you know what that stands for?)