Growing up, not many children are encouraged to ‘just be themselves’. Most of the time they receive the message that it is better to blend in – to rather not swim upstream and cause commotion. This message takes root and grows stronger as they mature into adulthood – and many times the effect is that they live a life not entirely true to themselves.
The past week I have thought about this message a lot. God did not create us to conform, or to have all Christians act towards him in the exact same way. Yet, in most churches today all believers sing the same songs and say the right things at the right time. I believe God delights in authenticity. I believe a genuine heart pleases Him more than conformity. I believe we need to express ourselves in the way that feels most natural to us – no matter how the world perceives it. Worship can take on many forms – whether you experience God and delight in Him (which is worship) through painting, singing, writing, sports or admin.
I just believe we need to live before God from the depths of our souls and be honest with Him no matter what. If you are experiencing an off day where you need to vent – tell Him about it. If something doesn’t make sense and you are angry with Him, tell Him this! Remember – God knows your thoughts afar off (Ps 139:2), so you can’t surprise Him and shock Him away by what you say!
“God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality).” John 4:24
What do you want to say to God today? Live in His presence as the only version of yourself on the planet. Don’t conform to someone else’s standards – you will rob the world of your much needed uniqueness.
“Behold, You desire truth in the inner being…” Ps 51:6
A little while back I spoke about the human heart’s longing for contentment – and the only place this can be found is in God. Today I want to elaborate on this a bit, by referring to Psalm 84. David had a revelation of the soul-satisfaction that is experienced in a relationship with God. He also spoke about the human heart’s yearning and longing – but He addresses the only Person who can fill this void.
“My soul yearns, yes, even pines and is homesick for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out and sing for joy to the living God.” Ps 84:2
The courts, or the house of the Lord refers to His presence. So if David says he longs and pines after the courts of the Lord, he is longing to be in the presence of God. A little later he says everybody who dwells in God’s presence will be blessed, fortunate and envied. They will be envied because of the total peace and contentment they experience – something the world longs for but cannot find.
“Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are those who dwell in Your house and Your presence; they will be singing Your praises all the day long. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!” Ps 84:4
The last part of this verse also contains something interesting. David says that those who dwell in the house (presence) of God wil be singing His praises all day long. He did not say they HAD to sing His praises, or MUST sing His praises – they WILL be singing His praises. This is because praise and adoration is the most natural reaction to contact with the true, loving nature of God. If you feel you are forced to worship, you have not heard about the goodness of God’s true character.
The best place to be is in His presence. That is where you will find contentment, peace, life, forgiveness and fullness of joy.