Intimacy With God
It is a well known fact that some Christians seem to experience a much closer intimacy with God than others. They appear to enjoy a reverent familiarity with Him that is foreign to many of us. Is it a matter of favoritism on the part of God? (Note this is chapter 6 of the the article on the very dangerous practice of contemplative prayer)
Taking The Lord’s Name in Vain
The third commandment says "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain ...”. The problem is that most assume that this prohibition is solely aimed at curse words or outright blasphemy. However, this rigid interpretation does not cover the full meaning of the commandment. A closer look at the Hebrew word translated in vain will give us a deeper understanding of what the Father was prohibiting and why.
Should Christians Fear God?
Many Christians believe that “to fear God” means we're to be in awe of Him and reverence Him. But that is not what Scripture means when it says to fear him. All too many (perhaps the vast majority) Christians have a very one dimensional, view of their God, seeing the creator of the universe as a benevolent, all loving, figure that seems to exist only to provide us with more "blessings" (which would make Him little more than a celestial bellhop). We babble on and on about the goodness and love of God, but totally ignore (to our peril) His wrath and judgment. We forget that those who are disobedient to Him, are never blessed but, quite to the contrary, are objects of His wrath. Those who are led by the Spirit of God, are the sons of God and have no reason to fear. However, a person who professes belief, but does not obey the Lord and turn away from the sins and indulgences of the world, are not led by the Spirit of God, and have every reason to fear Him.
The Christian and Worship
Because the primary element of true worship expresses wonder, awe, and humility, at the infinite majesty, grandeur, power, and sheer majesty of the transcendent God, it should be a significant part of every believer's life. However, it is well to be aware that it is entirely possible that you return from church on Sunday morning happy at how much you sang His praises and how good the 'worship' was, blissfully unaware that the Lord turned His face away from you and did not accept your worship. Worse, He asked why you dared to tread His courts with your hollow and worthless offerings, and music He did not even want to listen to? Why?
A New Song
Maybe we applaud praise choruses because so many of us are still in bondage to our sin and those little simplistic chants we can’t seem to live without help put a smile on our face and allow us two or three glorious minutes of relief to forget our troubles with a mesmerizing melody so we can pretend there really isn’t anything wrong with our spiritual lives – Would it be accurate to say they might just be an escape for many of us?