One of my professors once said that there is a difference between preaching and teaching. Preaching always comes back to the person of Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice. Teaching, on the other hand, deals with the Christian life. Today’s blog will be a bit of ‘teaching’.
Psalm 150:6 says, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.”
John 4:24 says, “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
Psalm 71:8 says, “My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.”
Psalm 103:1 says, “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.”
1 Chronicles 16:34 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
We’ve all heard the saying that it’s not about Religion, its about Relationship. Religion is the traditions that we follow, relationship deals with our inmost being and how we relate to the Lord.
Isn’t it amazing that the Lord chose to reveal himself through relationships? That is a concept that we can all understand. It is something that we all have experience with. We have relationships with our parents, teachers, friends, enemies, sibling. Some of these relationships are healthy and others are not. Regardless, the concept of relationship is one that we can all understand.
One of the key aspects of a healthy relationship is good communication. Healthy relationships require solid, open communication. This type of communication does not come easily, it takes work.
When I had just moved to a new town, I was dating a girl who lived a few hours away. We had been dating for a few months and things were going really well. That is, until she had to go on a trip. For some reason, she completely stopped talking to me. I did my best to uphold my duty of calling once a day and texting once a day. I didn’t want to be that guy who freaks out and calls 100 times and texts every 5 minutes. Nobody likes ‘that guy’. This went on for about two and a half weeks. Finally, she answered her phone and tearfully said that she did not want to date me anymore and that she didn’t know how to tell me.
Hindsight is 20/20, and I now have a smoking hot wife whom I love dearly and talks to me daily!
The point is, that the lack of communication hurt more than if this girl would have just told me she didn’t want to date me in the first place.
After a bad break up, or when we are upset with someone, we have a tendency to say bad things about those people. Proverbs 4:23 says that we should guard our hearts because it is the wellspring of life. We will say the things that our hearts feel. It’s inevitable.
In contrast, when we are in a good relationship, we have a tendency to build one another up. My wife reminds me of this constantly. We were watching an NFL playoff game the other day. She was appalled that there were so many penalties for “Unsportsmanshiplike conduct”. Unsportsmanshiplike. I could not contains myself I was laughing so hard. So, I did what every loving husband would do: I posted her comment on Facebook. When she found this out (mere minutes after it was posted) she said, “shouldn’t we build each other up instead of making fun of one another.”
As usual, she was right.
The Lord has chosen to speak to us relationally. Our relationship with God should be just like our relationships with our best friends. We love spending time with our friends, we go out and do things together, we have deep conversations, and we ‘do life’ with them. So, how do we build up our relationship with God? We spend time with Him.
There have been times in my life where I wanted nothing to do with God. I would sit in the back of the service and refuse to engage. There were even times when I left in the middle of the service. Why? I had hardened my heart because I was ashamed. I was ashamed because of something I had done, and I was too scared to bring it before God.
We are not alone. What did Adam and Eve do when they realized that they were naked? The hid because they were ashamed.
When we hide, we are refusing to communicate with God. Worship is communication with God. Worship builds up that relationship, and it brings us closer with the Creator.
What is holding you back? What are you ashamed of? The Lord desires to spend time with you, He desires relationship.
Don’t hold back.