Jack and Jill

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God’s Thoughts to Me

You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men” (Matthew 15:8-9, NIV).

But the time is coming – indeed it’s here right now- when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (John 4:23, NLT).

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after

So Far Away from Me

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In 1985 Dire Straights released their album, Brothers in Arms, with the hit song, So Far Away. Poetry through music, according to me!!!

Whenever their lead singer, Mark Knopfler, laments his loneliness, shivers of delight run up and down my spine! “I’m tired of being in love and being so alone when you’re so far away from me”.

These words from the song capture the heart of our Pappa when Isaiah brought His message to the Israelites about His distaste for the farce of their religious show and pretense.

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He informed them through Amos that He was tired of their religious festivals and solemn assemblies.

He refused to accept any of their offerings and sacrifices or to listen to their noisy hymns of praise (Amos 5:22-23). Our Pappa turned a deaf ear to their prayers for their hearts were so far away from Him.

Another peculiar thing has surfaced amongst the churches nowadays: Praise and Worship teams to lead the congregation into the presence of our God!

In many instances, these bands have become the main feature or attraction to lure people into joining the congregation.

But we read in Hebrews and 1 Timothy that there is only one mediator between man and his God, and it is definitely not Peter, Paul, Mary, the Pope or the pastor.

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Our Lord Jesus has not abdicated His position to anyone or anything. He is the Narrow Gate, the Way and the Truth, the only One who can usher us into the presence of our Pappa.

I recall the words of a youth pastor friend of mine on how the worship leaders know which set of notes to play just before the altar call.

Apparently this specific octave has the ability and great potential to manipulate the minds of the congregants and stir up their emotions.

As I was pondering the act of worship, I was heartbroken to see how so many have cheapened this holy act of love.

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I  knew I had to find the true meaning of Jesus’ words to the Samaritan woman at the well about the kind of worship that would bring joy to our Pappa’s heart.

Worship and praise have become like Jack and Jill, hoping to draw living water from the Fountain of Life by going up the hill of the modern interpretation of praise and worship. We all know that they, together with their empty bucket, tumbled down this hill.

Religious worship is totally self-centered and focuses on the worshiper’s actions and experiences.

It is bound by time, place and all the different procedures involved. This kind of worship is defined by what we do and plays along in the game of humanism.

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We gather together in the parameters of a program, a place and time … we sing … we pray … we listen … we give … we serve.

We do and do and do and do some more. This is truly a do-it-yourself kind of worship experience!

When we look at true Christian worship, we find it totally the opposite of what we have become accustomed to.

Worship in spirit and in truth is a daily lifestyle where we always express the “worth-ship” of our Pappa’s character through an intimate bond of love between two kindred spirits.

As we allow our Lord Jesus to worship our Pappa by His Spirit of Truth by living His life in and through us, He enables us to love our Pappa with total abandon, unashamed, unbound and totally free.

This is the mystery Paul spoke about to the Colossians; God’s mysterious plan which is Christ Himself (Colossians 2:2).

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Religious worship has taken the “in spirit and in truth” part and replaced it with things like emotion and mind … enthusiasm and orthodoxy.

Of this kind of worship A.W. Tozer wrote in the 19th century, “We have lost our spirit of worship and our ability to withdraw inward to meet God in adoring silence … I wonder if spiritual worship was ever at a lower ebb.”

I know I am taking the risk of being misunderstood and want to clarify my argument. I am not against beautiful gospel music; in fact, I love it.

I am not against a band playing when saints assemble together in the unity of the Spirit … there where everyone is captured by the beauty and love of our God … there where every heart is closely knitted to our Lord Jesus.

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Dear Ones, let each one examine her own heart and cease from man-centered religious worship.

Let us learn from a dear old saint, Brother Lawrence, who explained this mystery of worship of our everyday life, as the moment-by-moment privilege of practising His presence.

Much love and sweet blessings xx

Mia

Linking-up with

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23 thoughts on “Jack and Jill

    • Dear Elizabeth
      It is in the silence that I hear Him best. When my heart is noisy, I can always feel Him nudging my soul to quiet waters!
      Much love
      Mia

  1. Yes, not in the holy mountain or in the temple in Jerusalem, but in Spirit and in truth (verity or inward truth)…

    I think that a perfect picture of what we are called to do in our worship of the Lord is first to become madly in love with Him as Mary demonstrated. Her’s was perfect worship. There were no religious trapping or hang-ups in what she did that day in the house of Simon the Pharisee. She was unabashed in her worship of Him. She wept upon His feet, dried them with her tears, smothered them with kisses and then finally poured out the alabaster vile of precious ointment on Him. She held nothing back. There is so much to learn from this story…

    And one of the Pharisees asked him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. And, behold, a woman in the city, who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat to eat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had bidden him saw it, he spoke within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that touches him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have something to say unto you. And he said, Teacher, say on. There was a certain creditor who had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, You have rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, See this woman? I entered into your house, you gave me no water for my feet: but she has washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. You gave me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in has not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil you did not anoint: but this woman has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I say unto you, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little. And he said unto her, Your sins are forgiven. (Luk 7:36-48 KJ2000)

    Simon the Pharisee gave the very least to Jesus that day and even withheld what was considered the minimum in that culture when showing hospitality, but this woman held nothing back. She had been a harlot and had been forgiven much as she had an encounter with the living God in Christ. All she could do was weep on His feet, dry them with her hair, cover them with kisses and finally anoint His feet with that precious perfume. She had been forgiven much and she loved much… that is true worship from the depth of ones being.

    When real worship started in heaven John saw the 24 elders get down off their thrones, lay out on their faces and cast their crowns before Him. Worship that is in Spirit and in Truth holds nothing back. There is no high and lifted up places among worshipers when true worship begins. All true worshiper seek out the feet of our Lord and cry out, “Worthy is the Lamb that has been slain.”

    “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.” (Rev 5:13 KJ2000).

    This rock band performance that passes for “worship” as men and women parade around on a stage, imatating their worldly counterpart is NOT worship. I was a roadie for a Jesus rock band in the early to mid ’70’s and I watched what started out as worship with humble little groups of “Jesus People” who had musical tallent turn into raw commercialism and soon the worship was dead and cold. I think the problem is that most who try and “worship” in the churches, unlike Mary, have forgotten or have never seen what they have truly been forgiven of and set free from. They have forgot that they are sinners saved by His grace and have been forgiven much. Too many have too high of an opinion of themselves and who they are and thus, they love little. Thus worship has become a duty and a performance. It is very seductive to stand in front of a crowd that is chearing you on as you “worship.”

    “Hear, O daughter, consider, and incline your ear; forget your people and your father’s house; and the king will desire your beauty. Since he is your lord, bow to him;” (Psa 45:10-11 RSVA)

    True worship can’t be done until we forget the house and forget the people and pour ourselves out on the King! True worship is an inward thing and comes from an unabashed love for Jesus our Lord and Bridegroom.

  2. Dear Mia,
    The gift of the every day practice of His presence…I appreciate how Brother Lawrence writes about it and lived it. And music, when it is led by God’s Spirit and not formulaic, is such a gift. Blessings to you 🙂 P.S. So glad to read about how your son knows his artistic gifts are from God.

    • Dear Dolly
      Yes, dear One, when His Spirit is in control, everything is for His glory, even a sigh deep from the heart.
      Much love
      MIa

  3. Great post…I am all for good music that honors the Lord and even stirs us emotionally. David soothe Saul with his music. Sitting in silence just thinking on Him is probably when I worship the best.

    • Dear Rebekah
      Tozer was a wise man! I learned a lot from Him. That one dressed in sheep’s clothing can be so subtle in his deception.
      Much Love
      Mia

  4. Mia, I’m on the worship team at our church and I’m grateful for a worship leader who has kept it as much about worship and Jesus as possible, instead of ‘formulas.’ My spirit just feels ‘blech!’ when it’s like that.
    Thanks for sharing your sensitive heart.

    • Dear Jody Lee
      I am so glad to hear your worship leader gives all the glory to the only worthy One, our dear Lord Jesus.
      Much love
      Mia

  5. ” this mystery of worship of our everyday life, as the moment-by-moment privilege of practising His presence.”– Yes! Thanks for linking up, Mia, and for your very kind words at my place. Your realness and gentleness is lovely. Kimberly Coyle will be hosting at her place next Monday on “the Sink”. {I’ll be out of town}

    http://www.kimberlyanncoyle.com/

    • Dear Nacole
      Yes, He is truly present in every moment of every day. He supplies the grace to live each one of those moments.
      Blessings
      Mia

  6. Mia, I love this! I don’t like missing worship at church, but when I do I find that His presence within suffices in the absence of the music I missed with my congregation. Breathe Him in breathe out worship… Blessings to you, friend! Love Rachael @ Inking the Heart

    • Dear Rachael
      I am soooo glad you experience Him when you gather together. His presence within is what it is all about.
      Much love
      Mia

  7. My favorite: “Religious worship has taken the “in spirit and in truth” part and replaced it with things like emotion and mind … enthusiasm and orthodoxy.” It’s in the extremes that we miss God. Thank you for the reminder of what is important. Stopping in from Wednesday’s Word link-up.

    • Dear Nancy
      I am saddened to admit that I often mistook emotion for spirituality. Yes, we need to be so careful for all these BIG things.
      Blessings
      Mia

  8. Mia,
    Brother Lawrence’s book was so eye-opening to me, with regard to worship in the everyday moments. That line about washing pots and pans being sacramental.

    Thanks for writing in community with us at #TellHisStory.

  9. MY GOSH, ARE YOU GOOD! :-D… and though “Jack and Jill” became a problem for each other… him breaking “his crown”… by the restoring action of God’s resurrection life in “Jack” he will put together the pieces of his “crown” – broken in arrogance and neglect – and restored to her former beauty this precious crown will make him whole!

    Loved that little rhyme… is so perfectly fitting the present exchange I have with Mike. I know you meant it different… but reading it its ” other Truth” stand before my eyes immediately!

    … and so I changed that little rhyme… I hope you don’t mind:

    “Jack and Jill” went down the hill
    abroken – without “water”
    it’s “Jack” restored – mending “his crown”
    forever joined thereafter!

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