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Open Doors and Dinner Dates - A Heart of Worship - II

Updated: Jan 3, 2022



When I was about twelve years of age, I participated in my very first music group. I think there were six of us in the group, all around the same age. One evening we went to perform some songs at one of the local schools, and a few of us were scheduled to share our salvation testimonies. I was one of them.


My turn came, and I started to speak. However, as nervous as can be, I’d decided that my real salvation testimony, the one you’ve read about in a previous post, wasn’t good enough, so I made one up. It’s okay to smile at this point - don’t get religious on me! :) It get’s better.


The further I got into the story, the more emotional I became, and the more the group thought it was because of God. But it wasn’t Him, I was emotional because I knew I wasn’t telling the real story, and I was feeling bad.


Have I just lost all credibility? Lol. I was twelve and insecure, peeps! :))


From out of the blue, this story came to mind as I was contemplating with Holy Spirit before writing this post, and it’s been hovering there since - so, I’m following it. Maybe it’s just a reminder for me, from Holy Spirit, of the grace that I so freely have, need, don’t deserve, whatever!? Maybe it’s a reminder of my broken humanity keeping me humble. I’m sure it’s both of those, and then some.


But maybe it’s also a little glimpse into the Church. Yes, in our broken humanity, no matter how hard we work, our efforts are like chaff, driven by the wind. All is vanity and our labours are in vain, unless I AM build His house. And His house is you! His house is me.


 

He’s Not About to Stop Now

On the Island of Patmos, in his vision John hears the Lamb saying to the Church; “See, I stand at the door and knock. Anyone who hears and opens the door, I will come in a dine with them; and they with me.”


Today, I am moved by strong conviction and heightened anticipation, that Jesus is knocking and Holy Spirit is about to move, again. Our Father is raising in Us His standard, against the enemy’s final flood.


We are the sons and daughters of the One who made covenants with mere men, parted seas, and destroyed enemies - He gave manna, milk, and honey. He felled walls, and gave courage to slay giants. He displayed His glory in fire and smoke, yet He met with man on a mountain.


Our Father gave us Jesus, the visible image of Himself, who turned water into wine, healed the sick, and He raised the dead. Eyes were opened and broken hearts were mended. Then, once, and for all, He gave up his own life and took on ours, so that we could give up our lives and take on His.


He didn’t do all that for nothing, and He’s not about to stop now. He’s God in us.


“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no heart has ever perceived, any God but You. You work on behalf of those who wait for you.” ~ Isaiah


“But God has revealed them [His works] to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” ~ Paul


It’s Coming. Again.


As our world sinks deeper into the quagmire of deception and confusion, the more I realize that I have an even deeper need to sit at the table with Jesus; to listen, and let Him reveal the deep things on His heart.


In 2017 while sitting at the dining room table in my home, I encountered Jesus sitting with me. No, He wasn’t physically on another chair, He was at the table in my heart. At 49 years of age, and after a lifetime of ministry involvement at every level, a revelation of Him, His utterly finished work on the cross, and His phenomenal grace for humanity, explosively transformed my life. Yes, the big adjectives are on point! But why only now? Why did it take so long?


In a previous post I mentioned that while at Bible School I gave up on the stuff of Christianity, but not on God himself - I’ve never given up on God. While I don’t understand Him, nor His mysterious ways, I love Him. Now, years later, the trend continued, and, in faith I was walking a difficult road with Holy Spirit. It was a risk, and it came at a great cost, but it resulted in a decluttering of my life.


Now, the vacant space gave my heart the capacity to embrace something different. In hindsight, I learned that what I’d been looking for, for so long, was glaringly simple; yet impossible to see while shrouded in the cognition and works of our modern styled Gospel.


The pharisees had the same issue, and Jesus addressed it in them, too. “You search the scriptures, [and busy yourself with your traditions] because you think that in them is eternal life; but they point to me, [but you still don’t see or receive me, and I’m standing right in front of you!]” Paraphrased to point.


New wine cannot be poured into the old wineskin, so He won’t do it. This is multi-layered, and still relevant.


“And it will come to pass in the last days,” says God, “that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; …” and then Joel continues on descriptively, apropos to today.


It’s coming. Again.


Paul adds. “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?”


Where the Rubber Hits the Road

The manifestations of the Spirit are just that, His manifestations - they are not the understandings of human intellect, nor the works of a man's strength, neither of which our Father has delight in.


I’ve come to learn that modern worship was one of those dishes on the table of the heart, which Jesus wanted to clear.


Don’t crucify this conversation, or me, just yet, though. My previous post is pertinent to understanding my journey to get to this point, and how I can even dare make this seemingly apostatic statement. (I think I’m making up a new word. :) If you have not yet read the post, please do so before you continue here. It’ll help with important context, and I’ll get live a little bit longer! :)


There’s a concept in psychology which says that the human response to fear is either, flee, freeze, or fight. Pick one. I have. But my fight isn’t with the Church, it’s with the one who want’s to deceive us and make us worship him - he’s still playing the same game, remember.


Our modern worship has become inseparably conjoined with both music and works, and the implications of this are limited fruit from both - possibly one reason why we are where we are in history.


Here’s an example, where the rubber hits the road: We call the gathering of the saints a worship service, or our song section our worship.


We may say, "But we know differently!", but with an honest look at our common language, words, and actions, and an honest assessment of them, we’ll discover what has now become, without thought, habitual.


This is a consequential thought. In the past it may have been written-off as nit-picking, and as one person said, just semantics, but true worship is fundamental to the human heart, and therefore not.

Within modern academia, we’ve developed a professional and specialized Christianity; and in that we’ve inadvertently created a chasm between those who lead worship music and services, and the common people, whom are now dependent and need to be led into and in worship - a concept, in Jesus, absent from our Father’s heart.


I Still Love Music


Here we are at the end of 2021, in a world gone mad; full of uncertainties and fears, mankind is being abused. Humanity is under duress to conform to a world government and it’s self-righteous authorities - them, having Pharaoh’s heart, they have no regard, nor fear, for Christ. They are, in fact, anti.






Battered by the wind and waves, our boats are taking on the very water we’re being called to walk on. In the midst of this storm, and at the tables of our hearts, we are being called to simple worship, for here is where our hearts stand firm.







Let me relieve some possible angst, as I conclude this post. :)


I believe that music was formed in the heart of God, and, because we are His likeness it is deeply rooted in our human hearts, too. Music is a beautiful gift, and one which has the capacity for powerful influence, to affect, and effect, our lives.

I still love music, but it’s time for dinner dates with Jesus - the season demands it.


 

Now Switching Gears Completely - I have some art for you.

In support of Hupenyu Village Trust, in Zimbabwe, I’ve just added a SHOP page to my blog site, where you can find some of my spectacular photographs, and which I know will look stunning in your home.

When you buy one of these artworks, printed on HD Hi-Gloss metal, the profits go to help the trust’s day to day operations, as well as to help compete two houses and a skills learning centre.


I’ll continue adding more art as it comes available.


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