‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ Matthew 22:37
I remember the first time I was challenged by this verse. I was 25 and the Lord asked me to raise my hand during the worship service at church.
Worship God with all my heart, soul, mind, and body? You have got to be kidding? That is not dignified. What will others think? What about my flesh getting out of control?
Truth be told, I was scared to death. My flesh didn’t have to worry about getting out of control, it was firmly in control! Finally, I raised my hand.
After the initial wave of extreme self-consciousness passed I felt awesome! I felt free! I had never experienced worship like that before!
This week I have been thinking that one of the most damaging enemies to the Kingdom of God is not Satan, it’s ‘Controlled Christianity’. As a Church leader I ask myself, why I spend so much time organizing well run programs when what we really need is Matthew 22:37 encounters.
Why do we as Ministers focus on perfect services instead of creating encounters? I know one excuse I use is that God wants us to ‘be excellent’. The problem is that I don’t think He means the same thing as we do by this phrase. I believe excellence of spirit is what He wants and not a perfectly timed production.
Another excuse is, ‘let’s not be too weird or we will offend the visitors’. So instead of mirroring the amazing passion Jesus has for His bride the service mirrors the ‘controlled’ love for God I have. Visitors get enough productions from Hollywood. I think what they really want is something real and worth being passionate about.
A Matthew 22:37 encounter takes all I have. Passion is raw. Passion is exhilarating. Passion is not perfect. I will sacrifice anything for what I am passionate about. I think that is why Satan talks me out of it.
I am learning that Christian performance drains me and perfection kills me.
When I see someone spiritually ‘naked’ before the Lord in worship it makes my flesh uncomfortable, so I keep my ‘clothes’ on. Meanwhile, I don’t realize I have become spiritually barren like Michal who was embarrassed by her husband David’s nakedness as a result of passion (2 Samuel 6:16). It offended her.
I can offend others or I can offend God with my lack of passion towards Him. I can look good or I can become intimate with God.
I want to see a whole church full of passion! Not an individual, but a whole church! When that happens, something is going to be birthed! The world is looking for something to believe in that’s real.
In the natural you can’t reproduce without intimacy and it’s extremely hard without passion.
Who cares who is watching anymore?
It’s time to take the spiritual condom off.