Tag Archives: relationship

Worshipping God?

This post was written in response to the questions “Can all religions be correct and just worship one God in different ways?  If so, does it matter how I worship God?” which were sent in by Lincolnshirepeasant.  If you have a question which you would like answered, feel free to email me at wannabemissionary@gmail.com.

To explore these questions,  I would like to take you down a memory lane.

I was in 9th grade. It was 9am. Monday morning.  Social Studies class.  My best friend, who was more into the social scene than the academic side of school, was sitting beside me in class. Monday morning, 9am...and, my friend, was in class. 

In case you are starting to doubt the credibility of my story, I will have you know that my friend would never skip this class.  Why? Because she had a crush on the dark, young-ish, physical education teacher who taught us Social Studies. He also happened to be married, but that did not keep her from sitting at the back of the class and giggling, nor me from teasing her ruthlessly. Yes, we were immature, in case you were wondering.

My friend thought our teacher was nothing more than a good-looking jock. And maybe that is all he was, but I doubt it.  I learned some stuff in that Social Studies class, and not just about the awkward social interaction between a giddy 9th grade best friend and a very weirded out teacher.

In between giggles, I heard the teacher say something about warship. I was confused.  I mean, I knew that I was a bit distracted, but just a second ago he had been talking about culture, and I was not really following the jump to “warship”.  The teacher kept talking, and I kept not-really-understanding until all of a sudden it hit me: the teacher was referring to worship. At first, I thought he was just pronouncing it wrong.  However, I happened to be that kid who liked to test the teachers.  So I asked him a question about worship. His response revealed that he did not have a clue what he was teaching.

And as I racked my brain for ways I could monopolize on the opportunity created by my teacher’s ignorance, I stumbled upon a second epiphany. I did not really know what worship meant either.

So what is worship?

While I am sure that we could ask a lot of people and get many different answers (or befuddled looks of confusion), I would like to offer a couple of thoughts.

Worship is not about you.

Worship is not about the worshipper.  Worship is an act of adoring, honoring, revering or admiring. The important one involved is the recipient, not the worshipper.  If the worshipper maintains the focus, then it is not really worship.  Think about worship like giving a compliment.

Worship requires us to focus on God instead of ourselves.

A good compliment focuses on the recipient.  A compliment which draws the attention back to the person giving the compliment, is not really a compliment at all.

Because worship requires the one who is worshipped to be kept in mind…

The One who is worshipped must be known.

The person who gives the compliment needs to know about the recipient in order to compliment them.  The better you know someone, the more able you will be to compliment that person in a meaningful way.  Likewise, worshippers need to know about who they worship. Worship which is directed towards someone who is unknown does not really mean much.

This brings us to the question of whether or not all religions can be correct and worship the same God.  While I personally believe that there is one God, I do not believe that all religions can be correct about Him, because the gods which are professed by different religions are so completely different. How could such contradiction be worshipful?

Is it really a compliment if it is not based on truth?

The other risk you run if you do not know who you worship is that you may not be worshipping the God who you need to be worshipping.

In Exodus, God tells his people to quit worshipping others: “ You shall  tear down their altars and  break their pillars and cut down their  Asherim 14 (for  you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God).”

Worshipping God seems pretty important, yet…

Worship is humanly impossible.

You need God’s help to worship. Worship is by faith; faith must be received. Worship involves obedience; direction must be provided.  When God directs, he must also provide the strength to do what He wills. Worship has a cost. It requires  sacrifice. We are good at being self-centered; we need help to become God-centered.

Abraham is a man who really got worship. You can read his story here.

I am not saying there is one specific way to worship.  I believe that there are many.  The important thing is to worship God on his terms, not ours.

Are we really worshipping God if we are only willing to do what we want?

Anyone can choose to worship Jesus.

In one of my favourite passages, Jesus speaks to a Samaritan woman and says,  “22 You worship what you do not know;  we worship what we know, for  salvation is  from the Jews. 23 But  the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father  in spirit and  truth, for the Father  is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that  Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes,  he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”

That about sums it up right there.

It does not matter who you are.  You could be a Jew or a Samaritan, a hot-shot jock teacher or a giddy teenage girl. If you choose to believe in Jesus and want to worship Him, you will be able to.

It does not matter where you are.  You could be on a mountain, in a church, or sitting in front of a computer screen.

All that matters is who He is.  You can depend on Jesus to help you worship in spirit and in truth. 

Do you worship anyone or anything?  How do you do this?

Relationship with God?

This post was written in response to the question “How can I have a relationship with God?” which was sent in by Dan.  If you have a question which you would like answered, feel free to email me at wannabemissionary@gmail.com.

 

Dan, your question is a great one.  I think many people wonder about Jesus, especially around times like Easter and Christmas, because they think that it is important to go to church on these days. While going to church can be good, it can also be confusing.  Different churches have their own culture, and if you are not in the church all of the time, the new culture can make you feel foreign and lost. I know what it is like to sit in church and not understand what is going on.  It is disappointing.  It is frustrating. And it sometimes does not help you answer the questions which really need to be answered.

To answer your question, I will first share with you a brief explanation of how I started my relationship with God.  I will then give you some pointers in how to grow in that relationship.
My relationship began the day that I realized that I did not deserve to know God. Someone explained what the Bible said in simple terms to me:
1. God loves humans and wants to have a relationship with us so that we can have full spiritual life.
2. We separate ourselves from God by choosing to follow our own ways instead of his. This is called sin, and results in disconnection from God, or spiritual death.  Once our relationship with God is broken, we have no way to get it back ourselves.
3. God chose to come to earth as Jesus, live a life which had no sin, and then take the death that we all deserve on the cross.  He showed he was God when he came back to life after 3 days. He died for everyone, so anyone who wants to have a relationship with God can just accept that Jesus made the way for that, and ask God.
4. We must choose to accept Jesus for ourselves. No one can do it for us.  It is our choice.

I chose to pray to receive Christ.  I told God that I have separated myself from God and gone my own way.  I told him that I do not have a way to make myself right.  And then I said that I believe that Jesus is God, that he came to earth, that he was without fault, that he died the death that I deserve, and that he came back to life on the third day.  I thanked him for doing this for me, and asked him to help me start a new relationship with God.

If you want to start a relationship with God, know that He is waiting for you.  It does not matter what you have done in the past.  He loves you.  You can pray the same thing that I prayed if you want.  What matters is the attitude of your heart.  If you want to know God, I encourage you to pray now.

If you have chosen to do that, I am excited for you!  If you have chosen not to do so, I encourage you to consider what is keeping you from believing in Jesus.

Once you have chosen to receive Jesus, your new life with God can start!  I promise you, it will be exciting if you are willing to let God direct you.  Here are some ways you can get to know Him more:

1. Pray, which is just talking with God. That is a really great way to grow in your relationship.

2. Read the Bible.  I suggest you start by reading about Jesus life in the book of John (you can find it here: biblegateway.com).  Find friends who can help you understand it.  You can count me as your first friend who wants to do that!

3. Tell others about your decision.  Maybe others want to have the same hope.  Or maybe you can find friends who already have faith, and can help you understand more about God.  You can find such friends at some churches.  Just make sure it is a church which believes that it is by Jesus’ grace that we are saved.:)

What are your reasons for believing in Jesus, or not?