I don’t want to be one who stands back and pokes holes in the work others do.
Not hanging back on the sidelines whispering, critiquing, shouting disdain when one steps out of the boat and onto water – when one braver and truer, ignores the wind and waves – choosing only to see and hear the Master, to show full trust by reaching for the impossible.
At His invitation.
(Of course, we can come! To be where He is? What else would He say?)
Never siding with the enemy and filling another’s well with dirt.
Deep holes are dug for receiving water, quenching thirst, relieving parched throats and refreshing the weary. In a fallen world can we have too many wells offering the Living Water?
Nor do I want to hurl criticism at extravagant worship and gratitude expressed and love poured out, from hearts overflowing with humble thanks for the undeserved gift of Redemption.
The woman, with life and heart broken, opened the only treasure she owned. And spilled costly, fragrant oil on the Messiah, oblivious to the sneers of critics standing by.
I don’t want to just stand by or worse, criticize, in the presence of real worship.
The shepherd-turned-king leaped and praised, leading the procession through the city streets and bringing the holy box back to where it belonged. Later he rebuked the one who should have rejoiced with him, instead of watching from a high window, repulsed.
After the temple was built, another king heaped sacrifice upon sacrifice, lifting the aroma of the great offering to Heaven… then sent gifts of food to those participating and residing nearby, encouraging all to celebrate in the accomplishment. Finally the Israelites had a place to worship, fixed in one spot, grander than anything they had seen before.
How often has my heart overflowed with adoration? How many times have I sat at His feet till the very last minute, heaping praise and voicing thanks over and again, because I dared not leave, hating to separate from the Divine, knowing I would miss His presence?
A lonely widow with barely enough to survive, brought all she had and dropped the two coins into the collection bag. Unseen except by Him – who surprised all by announcing she had given more than everyone else.
Jesus noticed and commented then. And Jesus notices still.
Out on the sea He scolded, Why did you doubt, Peter? Difficulties arise when you take your eyes of Me.
After the temple celebration He told Solomon, I am pleased with the work accomplished and delighted by your worship. Ask Me for whatever you desire.
And to those who came with desperate need but faith overflowing, He praised. And He had the stories recorded, to be read by generations to come – to those of us who have not seen, yet have chosen to believe.
Whispering disgust and poking holes and stopping wells are signs of unbelief.
(And without faith, it’s impossible to please God.)
Like the man who buried his talent.
I knew you were a difficult man, so I hid what you gave me and stood back waiting for your return. Here, you can have it back – it’s yours.
The master was not pleased. Nor was Jesus.
Think of how much the man missed by not doing something good with the gift He’d received!
Praise goes to the ones who believe and try… to the ones who dare… the ones who step forward and say, Here I am… just a worthless sinner. But I love You, because You loved me first… and You keep on loving. Can You use me?
Not to the ones who find fault. Not to the ones who do nothing.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The God of the universe and Creator of all there is gave the most extravagant gift, offered the most costly possession: His Son.
And oh! How the scoffers scoffed!
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ… and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God… – Ephesians 2:4-8
He opened up the stores of His riches and released the springs of eternal resources for you and me.
And my response should be to pour out worship – in spirit and in truth. With all my heart, devoted, humble, submissive, adoring, planted on the firm ground of the revelation that Jesus is God.
He said to them, But who do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven… – Matthew 16:15-17
When confronted with the truth of who Jesus was, Peter couldn’t help but declare it. And when some were offended by Jesus’ message, again Peter spoke up.
From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, Do you also want to go away? But Simon Peter answered Him, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. – John 6:66-68
God had opened up his spirit to grasp the truth.
You are the Christ – there is no one else. What more do we need to know?
I can bring a lavish offering.
You can sacrifice your most precious belonging.
You can speak bold truths revealed to all in creation, in the resurrection, in everyday life.
We can sing and leap and praise with every muscle and all our might, or we can bow in quiet prayer.
When the heart is in line with her Creator, Father, Savior, each is an act of worship. An expression of your personal response to what’s been revealed, to the work God is doing around you and within you.
Don’t pay attention to the critics. We need only to love Him, keep listening, keep following, and make His goodness known.
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. – 2 Chronicles 16:9