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Emotional expressions of Christians are usually an evidence of the harmony of the soul and spirit. When Believers are obedient to God’s Word, the window to the spirit is opened and a spiritual satisfaction flows upward causing the mind to be renewed. Whenever this dualistic nature of man harmonizes, the body becomes the outward evidence of contentment. What we have than is the unblemished characteristic of a true Believer. So many Sunday worship services are forced expressions that generate a feeling of excitement. One cannot entice the Holy Spirit to move within the assembly by simply generating fleshly emotions. We can holler, jump, dance, and shout hoping that God will evidence Himself in our midst, but unless our motives are pure, we have actually driven the Spirit further from our gathering.
The lifting of our hands and voices to God, as an outward expression of worship, is to be offered as a result of our service and obedience. When we fail to live and share the Word, there develops a spiritual stagnation that affects our attitudes and behavior. Our incomplete actions take a toll on our happiness and contentment. Helping to fight off our wounded conscience, we hobble into our place of worship to acquire a quick “spiritual fix.” Craving to “feel” the presence of the Lord, we allow our minds to control the experience. The more the spirit has been neglected, the greater the opportunity for the mind to control the worship experience. What happens is that the flesh generates emotions that counterfeit a true spiritual movement. The louder the music, the longer the service, the misuse of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, the carnal testimonies: all contribute to generate “strange fire.” (Lev. 10:1) People will leave their “sanctuaries” with a temporary sense of fulfillment.
The proof of the authenticity of our worship experience is what happened during the past week. Did we show a readiness to avenge any disobedience? Was our zeal for the Kingdom exhibited? Did we come to the place where even though we didn’t feel God’s presence, we knew He was there? Did our problems become opportunities for spiritual growth? Did we experience a renewed hunger for the things of God? Were we ready to express the hope of our calling to those seeking real Truth? Did our Bible study and prayer life take precedence over TV and our other secular activities?
As we study Scripture, we see God’s displeasure with those who profess to love Him, but fail to show their love. The book of Malachi contains God’s displeasure with those who confess to be His followers, yet exhibit an inconsistent behavior. God sees and hears what we do and say every day of our lives. There is nothing that escapes His notice. As we enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise, God is there to receive our offerings. If we have been a blessing to others, we have also been a blessing to God. If we have been of service to others, we have been of service to God. If we have loved others as God has loved us, we have loved God. If we have obeyed God’s Word, we have shown our obedience to Him. If, on the other hand, we have neglected to live a life of a servant and have served our own desires instead of His, then our praise and worship is an offense unto God. God is offended when we gather with other Believers and express our love for Him with no thought of how we may have failed to please Him during the week.
Instead of waiting for a Sunday experience to try and relieve our guilty conscience, let us serve Him daily, and then with a pure conscience, let us worship Him as He is meant to be worshipped! Instead of hoping God will show up at our next worship experience, let us bring Him with us, and together with other Believers, we will understand what is true worship.
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