How to worship God in spirit and in truth? Freely and intimately? This is the big issue of interest to many today. I have tried to listen to the Lord. Sometimes I heard and rejoiced. Sometimes I failed. But I persist to hold fast to the word of God and keep on. The truth is I am still learning to walk by the Spirit. I pray that each reader of this blog pray the prayer of Paul, ask the Lord to give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. In the spiritual realm, practice makes perfect too. God has given us the capacity to practice. Today I am led in my spirit to share the following.
I find that we often mistake our born again status in the spirit with living a new man in the flesh (body and soul). The truth is I am still dying to self daily and am not fully there yet. As I age I realize like Paul that I need to look forward and press upward and not look back. He wrote to the Philippians’ church that he had not attained the goal yet and he merely forgot the past and pressed on to the future which was his next step in his calling in life.
No matter how spiritual we may claim to be, Christians have to live an ordinary human life, working in an organization and interact with other people daily. Often we conduct business meetings. During such meetings we discuss matters pertaining to business. For example, we may have a working committee to discuss the building of a school for the poor children. We may come from different walks of lives and have our own specialized professions and ways of conducting them. Each member contributes his or her specialized knowledge and discuss and (ideally prayerfully) come to some consensus. During the discussion some of us may display the manner and pattern we are used to in our respective corporate execute and or military commanding careers. Some members may take offense of such ‘slips’ of manners.
After the event, someone may go home and find that it hinders his worship or prayer. He then decides to ask for forgiveness from the person he thinks he has offended or he thinks she has offended him. If this becomes a regular practice and that he cannot worship the Lord freely and intimately and must clear all the ‘hindrances’ he perceives to exist (often others have not remembered or have not even noticed), it has become a legalistic deception on his mind. The thief has come in to steal his peace and hopefully destroy his health. As I ponder and discuss this subject, I am led to the teaching of Paul’s life.
In Acts chapter 16 the Holy Spirit recorded (through Luke who penned the book) how Paul had a vision and was called by the Holy Spirit to proceed to Macedonia to preach the Gospel and later he and Silas were arrested and put in the dungeon. At midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, worshiping and praising God freely and intimately. They then encountered a miracle: earthquake, and chains opened, and freedom! An unbeliever and his whole family were saved! Paul and Silas did not have a chance to think of any hindrances from worship (like saying sorry to those whom they could have offended). Indeed during their persecuted days often Paul and his co-workers had to travel in good speed covering many grounds and people groups. In those days (about 2000 years ago) they did not have modern transport or the digital communication technology we have today. No one had mobile phone or internet email etc. No plane or motor vehicles on land. There was no way any Christian on constant move and running for their lives as in the early churches (and persecuted underground churches today) to have easy readily available access to ask someone for forgiveness before he or she can freely worship God. Does that mean the person cannot worship God until he or she next sees the other party and ask for forgiveness? Does that mean no Christian can worship God unless he or she is completely dead to self? Of course this sounds ridiculous and not Biblical. But we still tend to apply God’s word legalistically when we deal with ourselves, especially over the matter of healing. We tend to limit the love of God when we deal with our own lives. But this should not be the case, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
God has no favoritism. He does not favor others more than He favors you. This is called ‘GRACE’. UNDESERVED FAVOR.
Coming back to the matters of a business meeting, just state at the beginning of the meeting that we address all matters of ‘offenses’ if any at the end of the meeting and forgive one another for not dying to selves during the meeting. Then we all walk out a new man or new woman, in Christ. Let us not hinder ourselves in worshiping our God freely and intimately. He is worthy of my whole attention.
Bible verses (Paul’s teaching on the Holy Spirit led life) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,[a] who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
(Romans 8:1-4 NKJV)