Jesus was born with no place to stay so they placed Him in an animal trough. He lived His life with no place to lay His head until He laid it back against the cross and gave up His life. Salvation was originally given to the Jews, because God had chosen them out of the world to become a holy nation. Unfortunately for them and fortunately for us, they rejected the offering of the Son, and through the ministry of Paul the New Testament revelation was born. So God went about the process of taking on the soul of man through the process of regeneration—setting man aside from the lusts of the world, and restoring us again so we could be in fellowship with God. The human soul is more like God than anything ever created, and it is unique in how it responds. This is why we preach redemption. It frees up our soul from sin so we can be like our heavenly Father.
Our true pastor, our counselor, our true leader in worship is the Holy Spirit. Without Him none of us can worship. He leads the heart to worship God in an acceptable manner. Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27) The Holy Spirit takes our prayers and transforms them into something acceptable to God through our mediator, Jesus Christ. The Jews had the Shekinah glory residing in their temple, and we have God’s glory shining in our heart.
Many go to church to fellowship with other parishioners and to hang out with like-minded people, putting their relationship with God on a back burner. We have to be absolutely sincere if we are going to worship God and receive growth as a result. The formality of religious rituals very well may not have any meaning at all. It is possible to go to church, sit in a pew all your life, and go through meaningless motions to no avail of the soul. What a sad state of affairs we are in when someone spends their entire life making offerings to God and has them all rejected. Folks, we are going to have to start being honest with ourselves and honest with God about our present spiritual condition. God knows your sins, He knows what you have done, and He knows what you will do in the future. If we pray for Him to save us or cleanse us, and we have never done anything to reach in God’s direction, we are only lying to ourselves.
Many times we sit in church listening to the eloquent prayers the pastor reads to us. These prayers are not meant for God, they are meant for those who are in attendance. Our prayers do not need to be long or wordy, rather they should be almost embarrassingly simple. It can be a feeling you are having at the moment, a heartfelt affection you have for a sick or dying loved one, or a personal crying out to your heavenly Father. Jesus Christ kept His relationships and His life simple. I think sometimes the Quakers’ simple life was more in tune to the life of Christ than our busy hustle and bustle that we endure on a daily basis. With our stressed-out life we tend to create personalities with different people. We may be known for one thing with this group and something completely different with another. When we try to live up to all our personalities, life can become very complicated. Simplicity and humility is needed to worship God in an acceptable way.
The soul is in the shape of a pocket formed to fit the contour of God. If God is not present, the pocket gets filled full of lint, old tissues, and other junk that has no innate value. The pocket has to be emptied before we can put our hand into it. The soul is the same way. We have to remove all the junk we have collected over the years to make room for God to enter. How much of the garbage of bad habits, immoral trash, and junk that we think about is blocking the entrance to our soul? The pocket being part of the jacket that God wants to cloth Himself in must be clean. Who would want to wear a dirty jacket? Once we have cleaned out our souls we need to be cleansed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ so that God may enter into His natural dwelling place. God cleanses us through Christ’s sacrificial blood, by the flames of the Holy Spirit, and by our practiced obedience.
The soul is the natural dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. The soul was created to become His home, or His resting place. If, for a minute, we think about our own home, none of us would appreciate someone else coming in and trashing the place. It is disrespectful. God made the soul of mankind in His own image so He can dwell within us comfortably and without embarrassment. He doesn’t just come and visit, but resides within us even through our death, and unto all eternity. Only sin can separate us from the habitat of God. We cannot worship God with unconfessed sin in our heart. He simple stands on the outside of our soul asking to come in. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. (Revelation 3:20)
This is the mystery of the divine and human union created in Jesus Christ. He combined the human element with the element of God, and has taken His joined nature of beauty and amazement up unto the right hand side of the throne of God so that whatever God is, Christ is also. He who has seen Me has seen the Father… (John 14:9) Our faith tells us that when we worship Jesus Christ we are also worshiping the Father because Christ is in the Father, the Father is in Christ, and Christ through the Holy Spirit is in us. He is the Lord of all existence and the Lord of all life. “The life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us.” (1 John 1:2) We have many kinds of life in creation. We have animal and plant life. We have the life of intelligence and imagination, and we have spiritual life. All was created by Jesus Christ through the heavenly Father.
The world is a painting being created stroke by stroke by the brush of Jesus Christ. As we work our way through life we cannot see the whole product, but Christ has the finished picture in His mind, and we as a group of “Christ-like followers” are working all the time to move the project to completion, fulfilling the will of God. What is so amazing is even the archenemy of God, Satan, unwittingly fulfills God’s will. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. (Romans 8:28-30)