Monday, October 10, 2011

Unwilling Living Sacrifice

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1

In just about every Pentecostal or Charismatic church I’ve ever been to, there is an evil  Monster of Praise  that alienates the church members even before the pastor of the church ever brings in the word. While in the mist of Praise and worship he snatches the praise of those that need it and perverts his own praise in the wrath of his holy indignation. Like a praise police he thinks he is tasked with the godly responsibility of determining the fervency of the churches praise.

Sometimes the 
Monster of Praise  is seen as a member of the Praise and Worship Group or as a leader within your local congregation, someone of authority. But when that person becomes so moved by the worship or praise and presence of Holy Spirit, then looks around the church and sees someone standing arms folded almost completely oblivious to the presence of Holy Spirit that is so filing everyone else then he thinks to himself “
What is wrong with that person?
Provoked by the wrath of his own righteous indignation, and roused by the piety of his own holy anger, he tries to motivate that person into praise by pointing them out to the congregation with statements like; 
"Jesus rose from the grave, and you can't even get out of your chair to praise Him!" or "I can't believe you're not more into it. God is in this place! I can feel it!!
However if this  Monster of Praise  were truly in the spirit he/she would be able to discern how the blank looks and folded arms are being replaced  with offended spirits and angry grimaces, because of his poor attempt to motivate them to worship. The sad thing is that most of the time this action is accepted by the pastor and so every week the Monster of Praise attacks another member. resulting in either  fake praises by members who don't want to be singled out as unworthy,  or they leave the church altogether because that can not bear the public ridicule by these so called Christians.

Now praising God becomes an epitaph to the bad spirited experiences they had at that church. Thinking he was ushering God into the sanctuary, the  Monster of Praise was in fact causing those that may not know God as well  to become more and more hesitant about the things of God and the Christian life as a whole. 1 Corinthians 8:9 warns that we not become a stumbling block to the weak,  and Romans 14:13-23 demands that we do not cause another to stumble
First thing we should remember is that we don’t set the stage for what is fervent worship to God. So when we began to try to make our fellow believers live by our standard of fervent worship and praise, we are saying to God “Father if Your Word and my praise aren't strong enough to move them into worship, then I will embarrass them into your glory” This is wicked at the most spiritual level

Today there is a sinful acceptance within the church that teaches if we praise harder and give harder and pray harder fast longer we can move God into blessing us more. Acts10:34 tells that God is not a respecter of men. We all know God blesses whom He pleases (Romans 9:10-13), and it rains on both the rich and the poor, yet our action make scripture of no effect.

The origin of our worship cannot be a bargaining chip for the anticipation of future blessing. Because of this wrong view of God, pastors and worship leaders are often caught berating sinners and embarrassing those whom they think are lazy worshipers.
True worship is a response to what Christ has done for us,and we should be in a constant state of gratitude. It should not just be done in the sanctuary or when we sings hymns. True worship is done at the temple, by the priest, and as a sacrifice. In 1 Corinthains 3:16 , Paul calls us God’s Temple; 1 Peter 2:9 and Peter reminds us that we are a Royal Priesthood, and in Romans12:1 Paul instructs us to be Living Sacrifices. Yet without Christ Jesus we are none of these things.Therefore worship is a response to what Christ has done for us, reflective in our praise, from our heart and because of His sacrifice, as an act of our obedience. 

Yet True Worship is So Much More.

Consider that Christ is the sacrifice and the priest, that which was offered as propitiation.  He mediates God to us, but also mediates us to God. This Christ did and suffered out of obedience to the will of God. This was and is still Pure and True Worship. And as it is the goal of every Christian to be more like Christ. we must work to present ourselves a living sacrifice. Yet nothing good of trying to present someone else a living sacrifice 

As the Holy Spirit sanctifies us we become more and more dead to our sin. And a dead sacrifice will remain on the altar until it is devoured by the fire or becomes corrupt and stink. But he who is not  dead to his sin will become a unwilling living sacrifice, and  will surely climb down from the altar, or be pushed off the altar by the piety of others.
How people react to our praise and worship or even the spoken word is not our concern. Anything we do to try to get a response usually ends up leaving people trying to muster up something on their own, ratcheting up emotion, or white knuckling their guilt-driven devotion to God. It won’t usher God into the place it will only push Him out because the sanctuary is full of anger and discuss and rage.This the enemy finds more pleasure in than the father.

So the next time our congregations seems bored and aloof, perhaps instead of embarrassing them into giving their all, forcing them to unwilling climb upon the altar) maybe we can find ways to call their attention to the Living Christ, present in our midst. Maybe we ought to be ready to take our own broken lives and turn them into beautiful offerings, living sacrifices to and loving God. 

So should we stand or should we sit in worship? should we scream at the top of our lungs or meditate quietly in the presence of God? Which is right? I have no idea, but I do know God desire those that would give Him real worship,  and How that looks for you is between you and the Father. this is the freedom that we have in Christ.
Sole Deo Gloria
T.Charves FireSpeaks

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