Thursday, October 10, 2013

Are You Wearing the Right Underwear? Part II

For those of you who accepted my challenge last week; why all the discomfort, guilt, embarrassment and feelings of inadequacy?  Where are we instructed under the New Covenant that we must practice such legalism in order to be true worshipers of God?  Worship means to “prostrate oneself” before the one being worshiped.  While the Spirit of God may occasionally throw us to our knees, true worship does not include ritualistic activity at a specific time and designated place whether that is in a basilica or at our devotional spot at home.  Worship is showing reverence to Him in every conversation spoken and every thought considered, no matter the outward circumstance.  Worship is not something performed under specific conditions, but is a move of the Spirit that can not be resisted.
Jesus declared, “…, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem... A time is coming, and has now come, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks” (John 4:21 & 23). 

While there are still a few nagging rituals lingering in my life, the majority of them have been stripped away.  Considering that my spiritual approach is foreign to most in the “Christian” arena, I’m often strongly judged for my lack of compliance to the general expectations.  Sometimes the judgment is verbal, often it is not.  Facial expressions are worth a thousand words!   Luke speaks of Jesus describing such self-righteous indignation;


"Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank you that I am not like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess. And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Luke 18:9-14). 

Thinking that we must practice specific rites and perform certain rituals in order to be right with God is what Scripture describes as “setting up idols” in our hearts.  When we live by these kinds of laws, we’ll always feel as though our efforts are never enough!  They are considered “idols” because our focus is on attempting to fulfill them rather than on the One whom we desire to worship. 
This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “When any of the Israelites set up idols in their hearts and put a wicked stumbling block before their faces and then go to a prophet, I the Lord will answer them myself in keeping with their great idolatry” (Ezekiel 14:4).
While our attempts may be genuine, the God who created the sunflower to track the sun is not impressed with our efforts to follow the Law.  Not only has it already been proven that we are not able; He gave His Son to death for this very reason!  When we continue in our efforts, we are ultimately proclaiming that what Jesus did on our behalf was not good enough! 
Those who claim to live by the Law and demand that others do the same, must then realize that they don’t get to pick and choose which Laws they want to follow.  So, while you are out shopping for the right underwear and getting circumcised (Gen 17:13-14), the rest of us will be enjoying the fulfilling spontaneity to worship God with a circumcised heart (Romans 2:29), according to how His Spirit leads us.   
You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love (Galatians 5:4 & 6).
Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ (Colossians 2:16-17).

P.S.  Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at:  You may also contact me at:
             Bonnie Jaeckle
             In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life
             Diagonal Progress
             505 Jefferson St.
             Diagonal, IA 50845

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