I believe, that upon the moment of salvation, an unlock-able goodness presents itself within us. And this goodness is unlocked through worship back to the God who saved us, a prostration of thankfulness. While without God we might be able to do good, we are not good ourselves - we are pride-filled, selfish. Please don't stop reading here - It is only the knowing sinner, kneeling at the feet of Christ, who can do good in reverence to the One higher than themselves. A good that pours from a heart of thankfulness is the good of a humble heart, from a creature transformed. I was told recently by a loved one that they 'don't need Jesus for their life to be better' - my heart so felt the weight of this. Why is it so hard for us to worship? Why do we feel we can get along without the help of the Savior we all truly know deep down created us? To kneel at the Feet acknowledging that the universe does not start and end with us? And why would we want to believe otherwise? It is pride that believes we can know what good is and carry it out successfully without Christ - and this lie is as old as time itself.
What a lost and lonely life without Christ. To wake up each morning and spend a day serving ourselves and our own needs, to do good in order that some cosmic karma will come back and bless us, and to hope that our lives will go as perfectly as planned. Where is the thrill in the aforementioned life? A life of pleasure and self-service is a methodical life - dare I say a dull life. Where is the romance and the adventure in this? I have fallen in love with the God who took my plans and buried them, and instead gave me a life more fulfilling than one I could have arranged myself. With this knowing God, I still have heartbreak and life is far from easy - but I have hope. I can look back through the track record of following Christ, and see how each failure was ultimately used for my good - and I can know with certainty, because I serve a faithful God, that every current loss and future grief will once again be used to strengthen me and make my life a glorification to Him who created all things.
And it is this same God that enables me to do all things for a future glory and slowly take off selfish ambition. It is this same God who unlocks goodness within us through every single act of worship.
What is worship? It is not merely the singing of hymns and prayer, but rather a lifestyle lived perpetually. It is not a lifestyle of self-indulgent convenience, but rather selfless inconvenience that will be blessed either in this life or the one ahead. Worship might be lived out through conversational kindness to the grocery store clerk, enjoying a meal with a homeless person, listening to the needs of another, and doing everything for God's glory and the good of those around us - not ourselves.
The converse life of a Christian is a life lived fighting Christ within us. Not offering hospitality, not giving to everyone as they have need, not loving our neighbor, not letting the car get in line on the freeway ahead of us - this perpetual life of "not" creates for a very unpleasant internal life. The Christian that lives in unforgiveness because another should feel the weight of their sin, is a Christian who allows bitterness to slowly take hold in their life. The Christian that does not live a life of indulgent giving but yet expects from others, is the Christian that lives a life of selfishness. What have we allowed by not allowing Christ to live within us? We have become slaves, and we didn't even feel the shackles ensnare us. We will become hopeless and lost, because we, the mere humans with no answers ourselves, will try to fulfill our lives by seeking hope in all that is fleeting. And ultimately, all that we have made for ourselves with selfish ambition will be lost.
The hope in this, to reiterate, is living a Christ-filled life. Allowing Him to fill us, by living a life of thankfulness. Thank Him by taking care of the world He died to save. Thank Him by forgiving the people He died for so that they might be forgiven. Stop gossiping about your brothers and sisters, and start upholding them to glory - in this you will be blessed. Stop knowing it all, and kneel before the One who does.
Help me, uphold me, encourage me to live a life of worship.
May 2015 be blessed for His glory.
May 2015 be blessed for His glory.