DELIBERATELY PURSUING GOD
THE TRUE WORSHIPPER IS A GIVER
Father God, open the eyes of our heart that we might receive the revelation of your word through your Holy Spirit in Jesus Name, amen. Which came first – the giver or the worshipper? Well, they are so closely tied together who can separate them from each other? But…do we give as an act of worship or do we worship as an act of giving? Of course when we receive the love of Christ into our heart we automatically worship God and thank Him for His grace and love. Then as we progress in our learning and develop in our intimacy with Him as our “Lord” we take on His nature and character which is – you guessed it – giving. I believe if we have never received the revelation of “giving” we will never comprehend the full meaning of worship! Likewise if we are uncomfortable in His presence we will not understand the joys of having the generosity of Christ. I cannot see how anyone could have glorious fellowship with God in worship and not have a sensitivity and awareness to other peoples needs. Those who give of themselves in worship to God will “naturally” give of themselves to others!
We all will agree that giving our heart and will to Him is the ultimate act of love and surrender. Laying down our desires and plans at the foot of His cross is what the disciples done and was exactly what Jesus wanted the rich young ruler to do. We remember the young man making the comments about how he had done many good deeds and followed the law and no doubt did operate on a level of giving but he would not completely let go of “his idea” of serving. The problem with us deciding how much we give is that God does not see that as walking in the spirit but rather he knows it is still us trying to control and “micromanage” how we live. For example, tithing is a demand not an option and those who just put in what they feel they can afford is not living the “abundant” life, neither can they experience the joy, freedom, peace and fullness of His presence in worship. Because of their lack of faith (which is sin) they create an arrogant “illusion” to God’s divine order.
Worship is a product or “fruit” of what we feel in our heart about a certain person or thing and we will always give all that we have to what we love the most. We have seen and known those who were possessed with what captivated and stimulated their interest – and how it seemed to consume them. Whether it is a hobby or us trying to accomplish something or maybe even being infatuated with another person, these passions are all around us. The problem is that God wants to be the center of our focus in all things and considers anything else an “idol” that would hinder the development of our personal relationship with Him. God created us, chose us, delivered us and called us to surrender our “desires” and take up His cross and our devotion to anything else in this life is an insult to Him.
When our heart is filled with love about something it spills over in the form of praise and adoration. We will always naturally choose to express this “overflow” with an outward proclamation of our convictions and emotions. For example people who “worship” their restored classic vehicles will spend many hours tinkering with it, polishing it, bragging about it and showing it off. Some people have molded their bodies into a “shrine” of pride and beauty to the point they cannot step away from the mirror long enough to see or care about anyone else. To others it might be their home, their career or their collectibles but the point is still the same; what we love the most is where we give all our attention. Our highest priority in life is what we give our dreams, visions, time, energy, devotion, commitment, conversation, dedication, protection, defense and finances to without shame or hesitation. This is what quickly and thoroughly reveals where we hide and guard the hidden treasure of our heart and exposes the identity of our worship.
We have all heard how the organized church is divided into two camps but yet both camps are found to be completely willing. One camp of ten percent does all the work and the other camp of ninety percent is completely willing to let them do it. As sad as this is true, we can see beneath the surface why this is so. Only the “narrow path” dwellers have actually discovered that the Christian life is based on giving. They have walked through the fire and allowed God to burn out their selfishness. They have “painfully” learned how to lay down their will and have been given the grace to allow God to pry their fingers loose from what actually “possessed” them.
When we realize that worship is not just singing a worship song but rather it is thinking about giving and enjoying being a giver – that is a revelation from God’s throne! When we realize that worship is an attitude that identifies us with who we are as a follower of Christ we will see the world with more mercy and love. Revelation does not fall out of the sky and hit us on the head but it is more like hide and seek. The mysteries that can be discovered in the spirit realm will never be revealed to us watching television every night and filling our minds with worldly distractions. When we search for truth with all diligence we are given nuggets of enlightenment, then one day God flips a switch that directly illuminates that one portion of truth. Then we add it to our list of truths that we “know that we know” and continue building our understanding. With line upon line and precept upon precept as we continue to pursue, study and meditate we begin to notice an “outline” of a much larger picture of life than we ever imagined: and thus our views are formed. Developing the mind of Christ allows us to see with the eyes of our spirit the way God sees. And of course this directly affects what we think, say and how we act. Advancing in our knowledge and learning how to execute spiritual wisdom is how God allows us to see “through a glass darkly” and yet continue to excavate truth like an archeologist that spends years patiently and joyfully digging at one site.
Luther used to say that, “Each saint needed a three-fold conversion of their heart, their head, and their pocketbook.” God is looking for a vessel He can pour THROUGH. He is trying to train us in this dispensation so we can rule and reign with Him in the New Holy City of Jerusalem that is coming. If we do not learn to “sow” His blessings, we will be very disappointed in the harvest we reap now and in the next age. We need to believe that every dollar in our keeping NOW must be used so as to best promote the interest of His Kingdom. The greatest thing we can do for God, for others and ourselves is to consecrate all that we have to the Lord. Selah. There are three things a person can do with themselves and their possessions. They can selfishly hoard them; lavishly waste them or intelligently spend them. Only the one who spends it freely and gladly in obedience to God’s Holy Spirit will experience the full meaning of life. The person that worships God in spirit and truth and becomes a channel that God can flow through, will always be clothed with the garment of praise and will never lack for any need. The Lord owns it all; we are not really owners of anything only temporary caretakers and distributors of His blessings. The greatest deception in the world is the idea that money can make a person happy – and we will never have any spiritual satisfaction with it until we give it all back to Him.