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Learning to Worship

Post started last week one still seems relevant so here goes...

We were in the middle of Math class yesterday when I felt a sudden burden to stop everything and pray for my friend who is in Ukraine going through the legal work to bring home a son. I wavered and felt stupid for one second then decided to listen to this urging and just... Do It!

Afterward I wondered, why do I even waver? What makes me want to question prompts of the Holy Spirit? Why would I even stumble over the fact that that is what is taking place?

Later in the day, I watched a sweet student receive a fresh new school book. First she ran her hands over the front, appreciating the clean, crisp cover, then she brought the book up to her face and inhaled the paper, her eyes closed. Suddenly her eyes flicked open with a look of self awareness. You could almost see the thought flutter across her face, "Did anyone see me do that?"

This morning my verse of the day: Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Cor 3:17

Aahh, there it is. The explanation for our moments of Stop and Worship. And its a good thing; not shameful. I know this, yet I don't. 

Its a little difficult to be comfortable with feelings and emotions when you are raised in an Mennonite culture. I remember attending church services where they had been given "freedom". These were people who were trying to break away from all things Mennonite yet still hang on to a lot of the traditions of that culture...Their aim was good. I am not being critical of was just uncomfortable and awkward instead of being attractive in my teenage mind. There was a lot of lifting holy hands and swaying and falling prostrate on knees. Once, I saw a man become so filled with the Spirit he fainted dead away. Another time, people became so enraptured they began to moan and groan and writhe with what looked like pain to me.

Now that I am older and all grown up (not really) I begin to see more of the Holy Spirit at work in my own life and also in the lives of my friends. I am less critical and judgmental about what spirit is moving me or my people. I am more easily moved to tears by the words of a hymn. I feel the urge to and do raise holy hands to my God in moments of worship. I am not ashamed of this, yet I am this deeply intimate only when it is me alone before my Redeemer. 

 I think we get 'test the spirits to see if they be of God' and 'quench not the spirit' mixed up. When John asked us to test the spirits in 1 John I believe he was warning us against accepting anyone's teaching who does not profess Jesus Christ as Lord. And in Thessalonians the quenching means the personal work of the spirit in our lives. 

The quenching of the Spirit is what we all do when we worry about being caught in a moment of worship unaware. We are too conscience of the Holy Spirit at work in others lives over the work He is doing in our own. Could it be we are sometimes just plain chicken about what we feel convicted to change? Maybe we feel called to do things that our closest people don't see the need to do. Or go places others NEVER even want to think about going.

You. Be brave. Stop doing the things you do for others' blessings or praises. You do what you do to worship Jesus... how HE is teaching you to worship. Remember the lady with the alabaster bottle of oil? Be her. Find that intimate place with your Lord and go there. You will never grow beyond the boxes people put you into if you continue to avoid and quench what Jesus daily wants to show you. Learn to worship regardless of the crowds around you. Let the words of a particular hymn shatter your soul. Allow the Word of God to pierce your heart. Learn to be broken into millions of pieces. God can begin to fill you with Him only when you do.


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