Love is the strongest desire we have in our nature as a human being. Man is compelled from the day he is born to seek out loved ones. As children we search for affection, and as teenagers we seek out others who have like interests. By the time we are young adults, the desire to connect with someone is tremendous, and that is where mistakes are made. Throughout the rest of our life we reside with those we have chosen to love. It is a complicated formula of hormones and environmental tendencies that drives us to one another. Jesus Christ came down from heaven and found mankind in an all-consuming compassion searching for a lost love that had been taken away from us through the fall of Adam. He took our feeble weak souls and gave us something to hope for.
After His resurrection, the Lord sent forth the Holy Spirit to call out the apple in His eye. To seek out those who wish to pursue the love of their life, a bride, if you will, who will be the brilliant gemstone of all His creation. The bride comes into the presence of God not as a poor dying scoundrel, but as the bride of Christ who dresses in pure white linens, sinless, and is pristine as the first snow. And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:17) How is the bride recognized? By the fruits of her spirit, which are love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:21-23)
The bride of Christ is a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. (1 Peter 2) He is our Lord and we should worship Him just as the beasts, the elders, and all the creatures of the universe. “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” Who should worship the Christ? Should it be a group of kindergartners who neglected their studies and enjoyed the pleasures of this world? Absolutely not! This is why it is so important that church leaders take a stand, even if it costs them their job, because the church will continue to fail its followers until it isn’t a church anymore. How terrible it will be for those who think they are saved, but are still lost in their present condition—the many who trust their Christian leaders who have failed to mark the path of salvation. How terrible to be a barren fig tree with only leaves and no fruit.
Worship is not something we do for a couple of hours on Sunday. It is not some performance we attend, or a class we partake in. It is a lifestyle of change where we are daily, hourly succumbing to the will of God. Everyone is different, everyone works at their own pace, and everyone is at a different place with the Lord. We all have different personalities so every person is their own sanctuary of belief. There are, however, a few biblical directions we can take to see progress in our daily worship. In this world of noise we have to find a place of peace and quiet. Our bedroom, a closet, or study. We should take some time and prepare our place for worship. The basics are a Bible, a highlighter pen, and a dictionary.
I firmly believe that most Christians talk too much during prayer time. We should rest quietly on our knees and wait on the Lord. Instead of reciting a prayer we have said over and over, petition God from your heart just like you would someone else. Speak a prayer thought then give time for the thought to be absorbed in your mind. Never rush in God’s presence, but always be relaxed and calm, unknotting all the muscles in your body. Pray to your heavenly Father to open your spiritual eyes and ears. All worship should include Bible study. It is not enough just to read the Bible, we are to consume it, to make it part of our being. This allows the Holy Spirit to have a work inside of us so He can counsel, guide, and convict us of our trespasses.
How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to God’s word: With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. Blessed are You, O Lord! Teach me Your statutes. With my lips I have declared All the judgments of Your mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much As much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word. (Psalm 119:9-16) Once we have wrapped our mind around euphoric prayer we will never go back to the mundane approach we took before. Prayer is a conversation between two, an intimate fellowship that more often than not surpasses all words. Our heart will always respond when the Lord pulls us closer to Him.
One of my favorite times of worship was when I was picking up kids to go to church. We had a fifteen-passenger van filled to the brim, listening to hymns, and all of us would be singing at the top of our lungs. It was a wonderful worship experience that not only I enjoyed, but the kids loved it too. I would always have kids call early Sunday morning wanting me to pick them up first, and when we got out of church everybody would say, “Al, take me home last.” Christian music can always be a great time to worship with the whole family. It brings us closer because the hymns remind us what we have in common, Jesus Christ.
One of the greatest revelations I discovered in my teens was the reading of Christian books. There are many things in the Bible that are difficult to understand, and Christian authors certainly help us to understand difficult Biblical truths. Test everything with the Spirit of God. Always compare scripture with scriptures. A Biblical truth will always have other scriptural text as a reference. In the Bibliography are my heroes of this world, and it is a good place to find some interesting reading. There is enough Christian material there to last you a lifetime. This will lead to divine guidance, which results in a God-conscious life. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)