Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Warship Turns To Worship

John 4:24 "God is spirit and his worshippers must worship in spirit and truth." -NKJ-

Psalm 34:9 "O fear the Lord, you His saints! For there is no want to those who truly revere and worship Him with godly fear." -Amplified Bible from biblegateway.com-

A year or 2 ago I shared my 1st worship experience that I had ever had with the King (Jesus). It had taken me years to warm up to the idea of actually enjoying the 30 minutes of songs and worship before my pastor would get into the message for the day. I often wondered why people were so weird (raising their hands and crying, etc...) at church. Years later I was at church during spring training and before we got to our seats Blake had warned me about a teammate who was there with us by saying "Jules, this dude lets loose during worship so be prepared." I knew this guy pretty well and had played with him and he had all of our respect regardless of what he did off the field. We were all believers who were sold out for Jesus in our own minds but when I saw this guy sing and cut it loose during worship I was very uncomfortable but it was a different type. I was feeling small, I felt like I had more to give and get (I was holding back) and that day it started to burn in me. Fast forward 2 years, I'm on a men's retreat crying because God had revealed to me that my sinful pride has been in the way from allowing me to experience another level of God's goodness. I cried my face off and shouted (in worship) at the top of my lungs out to God, hands to the sky"He (God) is mighty to save!". I felt God's presence like never before, the Holy Spirit running through my veins filling me up with such an intense sense of life, I'll never forget it. My relationship with the Lord would never be the same and I knew it, I was so pumped to have this gift.

Now, I get a smaller version of the Holy Spirit running through my veins in church, one that isn't as intense as the way I had been moved in those mountains (Sierra Nevada - Lake Arrowhead) that weekend. I occasionally wonder why and this morning it hit me, it hit me real hard. The reason I don't experience the Lord like I did that weekend on the retreat is because of my sin. I continue to make the choice not to press in on Sundays, I just go half way (give or take a few). I don't cut it loose, and it's my sinful pride or maybe laziness that keeps me at a distance when God is calling out to me with arms wide open "come closer my son, I have more for you"! I have been allowing myself to believe this lie that I can only dive deep when I'm in the mountains on a men's retreat and that is a ridiculous lie. It makes me wonder what other limiting beliefs I have in my life that need to be squashed. Bottom line is that's it's time we cut it loose in church and fight the war over worship. Our pride (or whatever it is for you) and God are at ends here and this battle is going on inside of us and we have the final say as to who wins this war. Are you willing to fight this battle are you strong enough to wage another war against sin and death? What limiting beliefs is the enemy telling you to keep you in the back of the bus and off the frontline? No more, no more....

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Quest For Character

We're all chasing something. No question about it, if we unpack our desire and motivation it comes right down to a quest for some feeling we want to experience. John MacArthur wrote a small book "The Quest For Character", in which he references 2 Peter 1:5-8, the character of an effective disciple/saint.

2 Peter 1:5-8 "... make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you posses these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."

If we make our primary goal to obtain all these characteristics, we'd be pretty well off in the peace, purpose, and fulfillment department. Reality is that we don't and I'm as guilty as any. It's hard, life happens and in a world where distraction is a battle every minute, how can we win? Think about how distracted we are, we will have in person conversations and check in coming text messages at the same time likes it's no big deal. How rude is that, how rude am I? What I want to challenge all of us on today is to stop at the end of each day (on the ride home or wherever) and ask yourself if you added or built any of these characteristics today. Make it a priority to grow in these areas and see what happens to your life and walk.

"Love is not a separate quality distinct from other virtues. ...it's the perfect expression of them combined."
Johnny Mac "The Quest For Character"

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

For you Waino

Lecrae, Flame, Tedashii, Thi'sl at Legacy Conference 2010 from Rapzilla.com on Vimeo.