Which God Are You Worshiping (Worship Series Part 14)

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Photo credit: Pinterest

We are being transformed by who and what we worship (love, adore, commit our time to, devote ourselves to). I started thinking the other day, what if we believe we are worshiping God and we are simply worshiping a god created in our own image?

The Bible gives us many descriptions of God. What if we just pick the ones that we like and worship that God. The God who looks like us, who appeals to us, who makes us feel good…

God is the most loving, truthful, & generous Being in the Universe. However, I often wonder if the God we worship is the God created in our own image. He is a caricature that we can identify with. He’s pleasant, but not powerful or holy. He’s good, but not so good. He loves us, so that means He must agree with us and what we do. You see, we begin to imitate who we worship. If we are worshipping a god created in our own image we become more selfish, self centered, and unlike Him at all. We equate love with feeling good instead of choosing to do what’s right. We pick love that’s comfortable, instead love that is costly. We miss the opportunity for true transformation into His likeness because we are worshipping a god we created, not the God of Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob.

My favorite passages in the Bible are either about Jesus or where Jesus is speaking. I study Him. I meditate on what He said & how He lived. I fix my eyes on Him, the resurrected King. He is the center of the Gospel. Jesus wasn’t interested in people pleasing. He did only what He saw the Father doing. He offended many. This God of love said, “Pick up your cross, deny yourself, & follow Me. If you love anyone more than Me, you’re not worthy to be My disciple. Go and sin no more. You are either for Me or against Me. I’d rather you be hot or cold, not lukewarm lest I spit you out. Not everyone who says Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father. Many will say have I not done these great things in Your name and I will say, ‘depart from Me, I never knew you.’ If you do not forgive, you are not forgiven” in doing so He perfectly represented the love of the Father. Part of love is righteousness. God’s love is not like our human love. This is the Jesus we worship.

How can a loving God say such things, that some will not enter heaven or I’d rather spit you out? Because God’s definition of love is not the same as ours. We can equate love with feeling good. God likes to do things that make us feel good. Yet He also disciplines those He loves, and He is holy. If we forget these attributes of God it leads to trouble.

Earthly parents teach, train, empower, love, and discipline their children. It’s part of love. Any parent who tells their child, “Do whatever you want, no consequences,” does not love their child.

If we want to know who God is, we pick up the Bible and read it. We see a God who loves passionately, yet corrects and disciplines His children. We see a God who is righteous, just, merciful, and also brings judgment on those who do not repent. We see a God who empowers and encourages, yet also rebukes. We see a God who helps the weak, and opposes the proud. We see a God who values repentance-heaven rejoices when one person repents. We see a God who values the sinner, yet says, “Go and sin no more.”

May we worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. May we devour the Word of God with the Holy Spirit. May we grow to know God for who He really is. And worship Him in Spirit and in truth. He’s worthy.

Love,

Erin

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Worrying is Worship (Worship Series Part 13)

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Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God,~Philippians 4:6.

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?~Matthew 6:27.

Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth,~Colossians 3:2.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus,~Philippians 2:5.

I heard a minister say something this weekend that hit me as true. She said much of our praying is worrying with our eyes closed. She said we are talking about our problems instead if talking to God who can solve our problems.

I honestly believe we can worship the problems or circumstances in our lives. It’s called worrying and complaining. We are giving our undivided attention to the problem instead of focusing on the solution. We exalt the problems above God.

How many times have you been in a prayer circle and everyone talked about and prayed only about the problem? There was no exaltation of God being above the problem. There was no worship of who God is and His ability to solve any problem. Instead of words of faith, there were words of doubt, unbelief, and planted seeds of worry.

One of my favorite verses is, “God will keep in perfect peace those who’s minds are stayed on Him,”~Isaiah 26:3.

You see it’s almost impossible to worship God and worry at the same time. When God is exalted, we see how big He is and how small everything else is in comparison. We can respond in faith to our circumstances. It’s challenging, yet it can be done.

It starts with feeding our minds the word of God. When fearful thoughts come we can rehearse what’s deposited in our spirit.

There have been layoffs in my company the past year. For awhile my head was plagued with thoughts, ” You’re next! The economy is bad. What are you going to do?”

After muddling around in those negative thoughts for awhile I sensed the Lord saying, “No one can take anything from you without my permission.” God affirmed His position as protector and provider. My security is in Him, not my company.

The evil one always presents the worst case scenario.

What if you lose this job?
What if you have this sickness?
What if you are rejected?
What if you fail?
What if it’s the end of the world?

He’s not positive and loves to see people worrying instead of worshipping and enjoying God.

God says:

I will supply all your needs according to My riches in glory.
I am the Healer.
I will see you through any and every situation.
You are accepted in the beloved!
You learn from your mistakes and move on. I will perfect everything concerning you.
I will come again and set all the wrongs things right.

God invites us to pray about everything and rest in Him! True worship isn’t ignoring the problem, it’s surrendering the problem to God. It’s staying focused on who God is and what He’s doing.

Father, help us to set our eyes on you. To remain focused on you. Bless us with heavenly perspectives. Shower us with Kingdom revelation. May we cease exalting anything or anyone above you. May we rest in your unfailing love. In Jesus name, Amen!

Do You Know Him? (Worship Series Part 12)

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God is multifaceted. Meaning He is not one dimensional. As soon as we place Him in a box and say, “This is how He will respond,” He often turns and allows us to see another part of His character or nature.

I am not stating God is flakey or shifty or unreliable. I am stating He can be mysterious. He longs for us to know Him personally and not simply through second hand knowledge.

Who is God to you? How do you define Him? Here are some of my responses…

He is truth. He is life. He is holy. He is pure. He is love. He is good. He is faithful. He is wise. He is righteous. He is just. He is mercy. He is compassionate. He is glorious. He is the beginning and the end. He is the everlasting God. No one stands above Him. He is Sovereign. He is Redeemer. He is Healer. He is creative. He is wonderful. He corrects those He loves. He is amazing!

He is my Heavenly Father. Jesus is my best friend. The Holy Spirit is my Comforter, Teacher, Guide, and fills me with gifts and love. He is attentive. He speaks words of life. He asks challenging questions to get to the heart of matters. He sings. He laughs. He speaks my love language. He sets up divine alignments and appointments. He wows me. He brings freedom. He saves and delivers. He forgives completely. He is kind. He encourages. He knows me. He cares for me. He is good to me even when I don’t see it. He sees something good in His kids. He cares more for His children than any earthly parent could. He’s misrepresented and often misunderstood. He doesn’t need, but wants our love. He loves when we say thanks. He loves when we selflessly love others. He is concerned with why we do what we do. Knowing Him is so worth it.

We become like the One we worship. Jesus said, “Abide and remain in me and you will bear much fruit. Apart from me, you can do nothing,” John 15:5. The world will know we are His by our fruit (character).

How does this all fit together? Good question.

1. God invites us to know Him. This starts with relationship with His Son Jesus. No one can come to The Father except through the Son.

2. He tells us to abide and remain in Him.

If we do not know Him and are not abiding in Him, we will not truly be worshipping Him but the God created in our own image or imagination. Without the Spirit of God and relationship with Him we are relying on our flesh and what others tell us about Him.

Worship is intimacy. How awkward is it to be vulnerable with someone you don’t know? To love someone we don’t know?

God reveals Himself to use in this beautiful way. He sends out a loving invitation, “I want to be with you.” Our response to this invitation is an eternal covenant. It’s far more intimate and serious than a marriage covenant. Marriage is on earth only. The covenant with God is eternal. We become one with God. He dwells in us through His Holy Spirit. That is 24/7 habitation. Married people aren’t together 24/7. Nor do spouses know everything about each other. God knows everything. He invites us to know Him.

Lastly…

God doesn’t need our worship, we need Him. Our worship (love, adoration, devotion) changes who we are for the better. Worship takes our eyes off ourselves, our problems, our desires, and places them on Him. When He’s the highest priority, life flourishes.

Father help us to know you, truly know you. May our hearts be knit tightly into yours. May we seek first the Kingdom of God and all your righteousness. May we develop a deeper knowing of who you are. In Jesus powerful name, amen.