Let’s face it; at times we can be pretty hard on ourselves. We seem unusually keen to a certain level of self-condemnation. The enemy traps us into believing that we will never be good enough to be in God’s presence to worship and love Him. But this is just another one of his lies! The Bible calls the devil the father of lies and a deceiver and there is no truth in him.
When it comes to corporate or personal worship, we fall into one of two categories. We love the Lord and we worship uninhibited with all our hearts. Or we love the Lord still, but do not actively participate and we leave involvement in worship to others around us. After all, the band and singers are great and some folks just love to worship like that – so some think.
Notice, both groups love the Lord, that is never the issue and God knows that. But our reasonging can get us off focus.
Today I’d like to focus in on the group that has not yet broken through the barrier of self…cause that’s where the struggle is.
Effective worship and service is relational in nature. We don’t serve, sing, give or worship God because we are obligated to, we do so because we LOVE to. A marriage based on obligation doesn’t stand a chance of survival! Sooner or later, we will not be able to fulfill obligations or we’ll grow tired of them. That is why husbands, wives, friends, and any form of relationship, in order to stand the test of time, needs to be based on LOVE. When we love, act, give, we enjoy spending time and relationship happens because it all is a natural outflow of love in our hearts. The Bible emphasizes this in 1 Cor. 5:14 where it reminds us that “Christ’s love compels us…” which means that God’s love keeps us connected to Him at the exclusion of everyone and everything else. Do we love God as we should? He loved us first, giving his own life as a sacrifice for me and you. Let’s love Him in return.
We are flawed when we think we need to attain a certain status with God. We move from grace to merit and this is an incorrect approach. Of course, we praise and worship our God, but He does not bring his presence in our midst because we believe we have done what it takes to deserve it. Why, you may ask? You see, while we clearly need to position ourselves for God to bless us with His presence (and we do this when we praise, worship and spend time with Him) we are not to think that it is our doing that brings about the manifestation of His presence; because we have the right songs, verses, and the right music. God’s presence is born out of sincerity and truth in our hearts, not out of a formula. The Bible reminds us that God desires truth in our hearts (Psalm 51:6). He is looking for a broken spirit and a contrite heart that is grateful for the presence of Almighty God, not just the right methodology. Remember He is a relational God and His love is undeserved. If our merit or formulas could conquer His heart, Jesus would not have needed to die on a lonely cross.
- No condemnation
This is probably the biggest of our misconceptions when it comes to God blessing us with His presence and also where we are toughest on ourselves. Most of us don’t spend hour’s everyday praying or reading the Bible and singing angelic worship songs. The cares of life, maybe issues at work or problems within our families cause us to get to church with thoughts swarming around our heads like a storm. Distractions can overtake us and we find it hard to sit still and quiet our thoughts.
The Bible is clear that the devil’s purposes are to steal, kill and destroy. He will ravage our thoughts and whisper lies – if we give him the right to. We have the ability within us, the power of the Holy Spirit, to reject his lies. So he whispers we’re not good enough? That is true, we are not and will never be. Our salvation is by grace not because of our good deeds. So while the enemy relentlessly states the obvious, that we are not worthy of God’s presence, God welcomes us in all of our unworthiness and pours His love and grace on our lives. Amazing isn’t it?So what are we to do? We are to submit ourselves to God, resist the devil and he will flee. (James 4:7) If we learn to continually reject his lies and accept God’s truth that we are loved, cherished, blessed, the head and not the tail, victorious – not losers, etc… we will eventually gain ground and he will loose the hold he may think he has on us.
There are no special formulas, no abracadabra’s to experiencing God’s presence. He is willing, ready and able. The devil hates it and tries to dissuade us that God is loving and that He would not accept us as we are. But let me assure you today, God WILL accept us as we are, with our messy past, difficult personalities, cranky attitudes, but also with an open heart, a willing spirit and a great disposition.
What will our response be? Will we believe God’s truth or the enemy’s lies?
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)
That truth shall set us free. The choice is ours.
Davide has a unique communication style that has given him a platform in the marketplace to use his “get the job done” skill set.God has instilled in Davide a passion to equip the body of Christ through teaching, mentoring and speaking life through experience and wisdom of years.He is deeply passionate about pursuing and cultivating the presence of God. He currently lives with his wife of 31 years, Lois in Charlotte, NC. They have 3 amazing children with their married spouses.