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5 years ago  ::  Jan 27, 2009 - 6:19PM #1
Leight
Posts: 1,438
......having in a measure seen again the unseen  Hand of God,..., heres a question....is your Christianity exciting to you at times....are you at times a God junkie?
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5 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2009 - 3:55AM #2
mom-6
Posts: 511
Good question!

To which I will respond with another question...does your faith depend on excitement to maintain it's continuity?
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5 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2009 - 11:10PM #3
Anesis
Posts: 1,542
Yes, I'd have to say that in my early years as a believer, it was far too emotionally based. It is when I took the emotional component out of my faith that it really grew. Knowing his presence no longer depended on my emotional state....it depended on choosing to believe his promises in spite of not "feeling" him. Imho, that is when I really started to grow as a believer.
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5 years ago  ::  Jan 29, 2009 - 5:27PM #4
voice-crying
Posts: 7,087

Leight wrote:

......having in a measure seen again the unseen  Hand of God,..., heres a question....is your Christianity exciting to you at times....are you at times a God junkie?


What is your real question?

Are you asking true believers in Christ Jesus if we love Him in the good times and in the bad times!  If that is your question, the answer is, yes! Yes.

"Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof."Proverbs 18:21
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 03, 2009 - 3:41PM #5
k-bearsmom
Posts: 1,716
Every single day is truly wonderous with Him !
I drive west from my house to run errands and the majesty of the Rockies loom before me...the peaks glistening in the sun. And I breathe,"Thank You Lord for this beauty!".
I paint almost everyday...('cause that's my "work")...and I pray His blessing and guidance in my art and I sometimes absolutely laugh in joy at what He accomplishes in the process.

"things" get hard at times, but He holds me IN them and guides me through them.

I have no idea if you would describe this as "exciting"...but to live this life with Him and His grace is JOYFUL ! ! !
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 03, 2009 - 4:01PM #6
Leight
Posts: 1,438
...no, yet  yes yet no....I quess what I was really addressing, got addressed in so many interesting ways by Anesis and voice crying and Mom 6.....   it made me think of how it is said of how trees roots grow deeper in the winter, and too of how we are to take God at His Word......however, I was looking backward to a particular passage I remember reading years ago in the "Imitation of Christ" by Thomas A'Kempis wherein the writer spoke of how when Gods Spirit moved, of how it was better than any intimate carnal pleasure...   and I have found His Love to be sweeter than anything of this Earth "Sweeter than the honey of a honey comb"...in His presence is indeed the fulness of joy, yet too our walk is not to be dictated by emotions, but when He shows up, we can be sure in some measure to dance as David did upon seeing the Ark, even out of our clothes as our hearts and spirits greet their Creator......so in a way it was a perhaps somewhat selfish desire to have Him as my first love always present.....in first love....
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 03, 2009 - 4:21PM #7
Anesis
Posts: 1,542
Leight, he is indeed your first love....he is the first love of every believer, for before we knew him, we did not know love.....after all, God is love. I think the challenge many of us face is keeping him as our first love as in the order of love priority. I love my son, but I have to love God more. If I ever have a husband, I will love him, but I will love God more......although those are challenges - it's hard to keep focus on God 100% of the time and to love him more than the special people in our lives.

There was a time I went through.....I sought God and could not find him. I searched and searched...in scripture, in prayer, in fasting, in worship....and I could not find him. And yet during that time I chose to believe - to know that he was with me just as he promised. It was like that for what seemed like a long time, but it was only a few months...maybe 6 months. And then the most amazing thing happened. It was like my eyes were opened for the first time. I "knew" that the reason I could not find him was that I was looking for him with my cognition, and with my physical and mental eyes, and not with my spirit. It was like he so fully permeated me that there was nothing of him external to my spirit for me to find. He was not in front of my eyes, he was behind them. I emerged from that "dark" time with a whole new perspective....I know that during that time the Spirit was in me, molding me and shaping me, working on me from the inside out. The work was so deep that it completely bypassed cognition altogether, and there is no way to explain what the changes were....all I know is that I am a changed person as a result of that time.

While I went through that time, it did not seem sweet.....it was lonely. I was lonely for his company - a sense of his presence. It was a time when because I was looking outward, seemed dark - there was no light "out there"....and I didn't have the perspective to see that it wasn't out there, it was "in here"..... What was sweet? emerging from that time of intense spiritual "work" of the Spirit, and realizing that he never left me after all.....he was there all along just as he promised, and the reason i didn't see him was that I was looking through a human perspective.

Joy in our salvation need not be the hyper-happy and energetic, emotionally charged smile most think joy is.....for me, joy is a deep sense of gratitude for his salvation. It's like his peace.....his joy passes all understanding.
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 05, 2009 - 12:41PM #8
miami-ted
Posts: 981
Hello Leight,
You know, this very subject touches my heart.  I attend a worship service in which I am pretty much the only one that shows any excitement to be there.  Now I know that many say that excited emotions are not necessary to worship God, but I have my doubts about that statement.

Let's look at a couple of examples that really draw at my heartstrings.  In the service where I used to attend there was a message one Sunday concerning worship.  The fellowship there has these big screens and they lit up with the noise of people, young and old, attending a Michael Jackson concert.  Oh there was hand waving and swooning and shouts of 'Michael, Michael, I love you!',  It was a show of pure, total praise and adoration for someone that the attendees considered a god.

The teacher went on to explain after the video ended and all the screaming and swooning over Mr. Jackson was put away that if we feel led to give such emotional praise and adoration for a man who has done nothing more than put together a few neat moves and sings a few ungodly songs, why do most of us feel constrained to sing our songs in a somber and decidedly unexcited attitude in a service that we label a 'worship' service to God?  Why, if we are born again and truly understand what God has done for us through His Son are we not in a completely excited swoon when we give praise and glory to Him.

There are hundreds of people who will rise on the scene that will be able to do what Michael Jackson does and some few of them will even be better than him, but there is only one God in heaven who can provide for each one of us the greatest blessing that we will ever receive and yet when we stand up and praise him it's somber and cold and certainly seems pretty rote.

Now, the second example goes like this.  I attended a Christmas service at my son's girlfriend's fellowship.  We sang several Christmas songs and everyone sat down through all of them.  I stood up!  Yea, everyone was turning around looking at me and even my wife kept pestering me to sit, but I refused. 

Let's suppose that you are involved in some sort of choral group and you have been invited to sing to the Queen of England.  I'm willing to bet every pound against the dollar that you would stand up!  You would honor the Queen in this way.  So why would we even consider singing praises to God honoring the birth of His Son whom He has given to us for our salvation sitting down?  You see, when I'm in a worship service, during the time of singing I am not singing to you, the pastor or anyone else standing on the ground in the service.  I am singing to my God!  I am praising Him and lifting up His name and His power and His glory in song.  Please, please don't expect me to sit and somberly do that. 

I often recall Jesus' parable spoken to Simon as Mary washed his feet with her tears and dried them with her hair.  Jesus spoke of the one who is forgiven little having also little love for him, but the man who was forgiven much had much love for him.  I am that second man and when I consider all that I know God, through Jesus, has forgiven me... well, let me just say I feel like the guy who goes to traffic court and has been cited for driving 120 miles an hour in a school zone and is looking at his license being suspended and therefore probably losing his job. Having to pay an enormous fine of hundreds, possibly even thousands of dollars, which means he probably won't be able to pay his rent or other necessary bills and after losing his job will also lose his home and his family life isn't  so great  so his wife will probably leave him over this, too.  Yet the magistrate looks down upon him and says, "Sir, you have committed a grievous violation of the law, but I am going to be merciful to you and forgive all of the fine and suspension.  Please, drive more carefully."  God has said to me, through His Son, "Ted, I'm forgiving you all that you have done.  Yes, that and that and yes, even that terrible sin you committed there.  Please live more carefully."

Now every day when I wake, praises are on my lips for God has forgiven me all of my great sin.  As I walk through each day praises are on my lips for God has forgiven me all of my great sin.  And when I attend worship service I want to just stand up and yell, "Don't you people get it?  Are you really not as amazed and utterly and completely thankful beyond anything that you can possibly capture in words and music for what God has done for you.  Are you folks really so good that you can stand here and worship God with an attitude of 'ho-hum, I'm a pretty good person and God would have granted me eternal life anyway so I'm not much all fired up about being here and besides what will everyone think of me if I really show some excitement?'

Let's just for a moment put ourselves on that throne in heaven and it's Sunday morning and you're looking down at all the 'worship' services going on in your name.  Over there is one where everyone is dressed up in suits and ties and all the women are wearing nearly formal dresses and they are singing that old song, 'Amazing Grace'.  No body is showing any love through excitement and as a matter of fact as you look more closely at the group you see that 80% of them aren't even singing.  They're just holding the book in front of their faces and lip synching the words.

Now you look over at another worship service.  They're singing the very same song, but many of them are holding their hands high and waving them as a thank offering to you.  There are some who even have tears in their eyes as they contemplate the words of what they are singing.  "..that saved a wretch like me.'  'When we've been there ten thousand years bright shining as the sun, we'll have no less days to sing your praise then when we first begun."  Now I ask you, which fellowship is showing and witnessing more love for you?

God bless.
In Christ and sharing and showing my love for God, Ted.
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 05, 2009 - 1:20PM #9
Anesis
Posts: 1,542
Ted, I don't want to snuff out your experience, but I would like to see you bounce into a service and be emotionally joyful when last week your wife died and the week before you got hit by a train and lost not only your car but both your legs, and the week before that, your son informed you that he had an inoperable and terminal disease...... Will you get all excited and happy and swooning for Jesus?

I'm sorry, my friend, but I doubt it. There is nothing wrong with being emotional in your worship, but sometimes circumstances suggest that we can't always have the excitable and emotional response that would seem appropriate.

If the people in Michael Jackson's audience had all suffered loss the day before a concert, they might still enjoy his music, but choose to not attend the concert...or maybe go and try to enjoy it, but not be able to get emotionally excited by it; the mood would definitely be less than excited. It doesn't mean the like him any less; it simply means they are having a hard time emotionally at the moment.

Imho, worship is an attitude we need to live out, and it has many forms...could be excitement today, and godly sorrow the next. Could be standing, kneeling, bowing, or prone. Could be in emotionally charged joy and bountiful energy, could be in quiet reflection and meditation. Imho, worship is this: In whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord. Sometimes that requires joy, and sometimes it is weeping at his feet. Both are expressions of worship.
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 06, 2009 - 12:13AM #10
miami-ted
Posts: 981
Hi An,

Well, if I believed that my wife had a personal, born-again relationship with Jesus, I can't imagine that I wouldn't be overjoyed.  Why would the trials and troubles of this world have any bearing on how I feel and relate to God.  I can't wait!!!  To sit at the feet of my Lord is one of the single most constant thoughts I entertain when thinking of death.  Oh sure, there are times that I am less excited than others because of some worry or trouble, but believe me they are very few and far between and furthermore unless there has been a real rash of dying spouses over and over again your complaint doesn't answer the general malaise that seems to permeate so many worship services that I have seen and participated in. 

Sure if someone has just suffered a catastrophic loss such as the death of a child or spouse one is bound to be overwrought for a period.  However, I attended a service just last week at the local and very large methodist fellowship here in town and it was even the 'contemporary' service.  During all the singing there was no one showing any particular praise to God and I'm being completely honest when I tell you that for a few seconds I just shut up and looked around and the feeling that nobody was really giving any consideration to 'who' they were singing to and when I quit singing the whole place nearly went silent accept for the singers on stage.  It was like concert performance and everyone was there to be entertained by the band on stage.  PLEASE!!! Don't tell me that everyone's loved ones had died that week.

It reminds me way too much of God's condemnation of Israel through His prophet Isaiah.  "Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom; you people of Gomorrah!  The multitude of your sacrifices what are they to me?  says the Lord.  I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.  When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts?  Stop bringing meaningless offering!  Your incense is detestabel to me.  New moons, Sabbaths and convocation -- I cannot bear your evil assemblies.  Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates.  They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them.  When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen.

Then Isaiah goes on to write how the sin of the people keeps God from them and it once again boils down to what Jesus said, "Circumcision of the flesh means nothing, it is circumcision of the heart which God seeks."  It is praise and adoration for Him who created, sustains and saves those who LOVE Him that God seeks.  Do you know that God has angels who stand before Him day and night constantly praising him, saying, "Holy, Holy Holy is the Lord God almighty."  I am firmly convicted that while He doesn't expect us to be praising him 24/7 as the cherubim angels do, he does expect the praise that we do give him to come from a heart that loves Him at least as much as any earthly heart might love Michael Jackson.  I am firmly convicted that when He looks upon our worship just as He looked upon Israel's that He is not content to see people who are merely going through the motions like this week is the same as last week and was the same as the week before, etc. etc.  He is not impressed when He sees your thoughts that you are standing there concerned what others might think if you were to show a little excitement in your worship of Him.

So yea, if your husband died last week or even two weeks ago and you are struggling with that loss then I expect you're not going to be your normally excited to be worshiping God self  (although I really don't know why), but get over it and get on and remember that Job went through worse trials and tribulations in a very short time than most of us will go through in our lifetimes and yet his response, which by the way God held up to Satan as a model of one who loved him, "The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away.  Praise the Lord!!"

David wrote in Psalm 42:  "Why are you downcast, Oh my soul?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God."

Trust me An, God knows we struggle through some difficult times as measured by the lives of men, but the one who truly trusts in God knows that all of these things will pass and pass much more easily if we continually and constantly give praise and adoration to God for who He is and what He has done for us.  And just as with Job, when God looks down upon those who are truly in the midst of a trial and yet they lift their hands and hearts and voice in praise to Him -- He smiles and says,  "Wow, I know that one loves me.  I could allow Satan to take away his children, his home and all of his earthly goods and that one will still sing praises to my name.  Son, did you put that one's name in the book?"

God bless you An.
In Christ, Ted.
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