I was paid one of the highest complements yesterday. I was quoted from the pulpit, in a positive light! I’ve been serving on the praise team for a few months now in this new church. And a few weeks ago I was approached before church and given a challenge to do something I was already doing. I took it as a complement, but at the same time my flesh wanted to be insulted by it. Because although I knew I was already doing this, it apparently wasn’t coming across as though I was.
I took this burden up onto stage with me at the beginning of service and began laying it on the altar as I sang. And of course, the more I sang the closer I drew to God and the brighter His light shone on the truth. I am doing what He wants me to do and no one can ask more of me than that.
In that moment, right on stage, I fell to my knees in gratitude and revelation. And through the tears that streamed down my face and blurred my vision I looked out at the congregation and told them about the first time I got up on a stage to sing for a praise team and really wanted to raise my hand in praise but I was too terrified to do it. Inside I wanted to lose myself in praise of Him, but outside I was afraid of what everyone watching me would think. “Oh, she’s just one of those crazy hand-raisers.” And then during the song, the Holy Spirit said to me, “I know you want to raise your hand to praise Me, go ahead and do it.” “But LORD, they’re watching me!” And He said, in one of the most pained voices I’ve ever felt, “Are you ashamed of Me and what I’ve done for you?” “NO!” I thought as my hand shot up in the air where it has stayed ever since.
As I told this story to my congregation I explained how, as they could see (indicating my prone position on the floor with tears streaming down my face), I’m not worried about losing myself in worship of Him anymore because, “I don’t care what you think of me”.
They laughed, and some of my friends even clapped. Well, apparently that really stuck with the speaker because she used it for a part of her sermon this week.
Part of today’s reading reminds me of this.
“And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to the LORD to look and many of them perish. Also let the priests who come near to the LORD consecrate themselves, lest the LORD break out against them.’ And Moses said to the LORD, “The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for you yourself warned us, saying, ‘Set limits around the mountain and consecrate it.'” Exodus 19:21-23
In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve walked with God and talked to Him face to face without shame or fear of death, yet here we see the LORD telling His people to “stay back” and “don’t come near or you will die”. What
happened in the time between to cause such a change of reaction from God? Well, Adam and Eve chose to believe Satan instead of God. This caused them to hide from God rather than run to Him when He entered the garden. It also resulted in the first bloody sacrifice in order to cover their naked sin with animal skin. (Genesis 3:21)
Yet still today there are those who run from the presence of God rather than to Him. Why?
Perhaps, they haven’t been introduced to the Truth yet.
His name is Jesus.
“I am the Truth, the Way and the Life. No one come to the Father except through Me.” – John 14:6