Out of the Overflow

Pure V:S Trash

As I was preparing for worship, I found myself not wanting just another song service.  I know what it is like to have the spirit of God heavy during worship and what it is like to just sing songs. I sat in my office looking through different songs and listening to different artists hoping for inspiration.  The Holy Spirit brought to my mind a passage of scripture, it is found in the book of John chapter 7. I had to reread it to make sure that I had understood it correctly.  Jesus was at one of the many feasts the Jewish people had.  Now, these feasts can become empty and just another social obligation for most of those in attendance when in the hands of sinful men.  At this feast, however, our Lord Jesus Christ was in attendance.  As I read this passage, I got the feeling that He came to a point where He could not handle the empty religiosity of it all.  On the last day of the feast, He could not handle it, He just had to say something.

John 7:37-39 (ESV) On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”  Now this he said about the Spirit,whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

There comes a point when we all get frustrated and we can not take it any longer.  That point where we have got to say something or we will explode.  This is the point where the true nature of a person’s heart is shown, the point where they are uncovered.  In the scripture we see God’s heart and it is full of love!  Jesus gets frustrated and He wants to give living water, He wants to pour out the Holy Spirit.  Jesus wants to bring an end to the empty worship service by filling up their worship service with eternal life and the Holy Spirit.  In other words, He wants to put God back where He belongs and fill up the empty space.

This was where I was at that very moment, I wanted people to allow God to be the center of their worship but how could I do that?  The Lord showed me that it was out of the overflow of His heart that He cried out.  He promises that if we come to him that “we will have rivers of living water.”  I felt a deep conviction, if I was indeed allowing the river to flow what was in my heart would look just like the Detroit river.  I realized that there is a river that flows out of each and every heart but the source is either the Holy Spirit or the flesh.  I had to make a choice: was I going to just sing songs out of the flesh or was I going to pursue Jesus and receive the river of living water that came forth from the Holy Spirit? I realized the songs do not really matter, what really mattered was if our worship was from the overflow of the flesh or from the Spirit.

Worship from the Heart

I was challenged the other day when a congregation member came up to me after service and said “Wow worship was great today!”  I pondered that statement for a moment and then realized he was talking about the music selection and how it sounded.  This got me thinking about a worship service and what makes if great or better yet what brings glory to God.  I know that above everything else God is interested in the heart of man.  Do we trust Him or not.

The question of whether we trust or do not  trust has never more present than when God calls to Abraham and commands him to sacrifice his only son.  You see, Abraham had been promised all kinds of things, like that his descendants would become a great nation.  I wonder if at any time on the journey to sacrifice Isaac, if Abraham had any second thoughts.  I can not imagine him not having thoughts of doubt raging through his head.  If it were me, I do not know if I could go through with it; but Abraham pressed through the fear, the doubt and built an alter and bound up Isaac and placed him on the alter and was ready to sacrifice him, when the Lord stepped in and provided another sacrifice.  Now this may seem extreme but I believe that God was wanting for Abraham to eliminate his doubt, so that he could fully trust God.  You see, sometimes God allows us to go through things so that we can learn something about ourselves that God already knew.  The only response to this is that we worship God!  Maybe, Worship is more about abandoning all trust in our abilities and falling unflinchingly backwards, off the top of the twenty five foot ladder, into the abilities of the sovereign God.  What if, Worship has more to do with the posture of our hearts and less to do with the music set or the vocal and musical abilities of the band?

Now this is not meant to give license to the lazy person who “does not have time.”  We should always strive to give our best to God.  Meaning that we should develop our vocal abilities, strengthen our musical skills so that we can give God our best. Yet, as a wise man once said “When you have done all you can do, you have done all you can do.  So don’t worry about what you can’t do because you’ve done all you can do!”  When we have practiced, prayed, fed our selves daily on the Word of life and worshiped the living God keeping in mind that our hearts are surrendered to Him, that allows a great worship service.  God wants our hearts to trust in Him and allow Him to provide!