Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ritual idols or idle rituals...

Do you raise your hands during worship? Do you pray out loud?

Why? Why do you do these things? Is your heart in it?

Often times the aforementioned actions are done to impress those around you. Or maybe you do those things to hide the lies of your "private" life and private sin from others. Or you do them just because you feel like it is what you are supposed to do. When this occurs these all become ritual idols. You spend so much time thinking about these things that they themselves become an idol. 

Others may be thinking that there is no need to raise your hands during worship or no need to pray out loud. Be careful, do not let these actions become idle rituals either. There is meaning behind the lifting of our hands. It shows surrender and we are designed to worship. Just send anyone to a sporting event, concert, (or whatever it is that gets someone excited. You scream, raise your hands, jump up and down, just to name a few). Praying out loud (or even just speaking confessions out loud) are necessary. The power of our words is incredible. I was unaware of this myself until just this last year. That is why it is so important to speak life in to others. Speak into their hearts intentionally to exhort and encourage them. Even speaking of yourself and your own life requires positive words and thoughts in order to nourish the fruit that you are capable of bearing!

You have to put your heart into all you do. Otherwise these outward actions simply become just that. If it comes down to the Christian life; are the outward actions not the easy part?
I say yes and I know this from experience. It is simple to show up raise your hands during worship, tell everyone how great you are doing and then go out get drunk, sleep with someone, and deal with depression alone in bed later in the week. So where was your heart in all of that? Why not do the difficult part and truly surrender your heart and let these "rituals" not only be physical actions but get the spirit involved. Even those that are not Christian believe in a spiritual realm. In fact many of them put their hearts more into what they do and believe than many Christians. 

It is time for Christians to get past the easy part and get to work. As long as you have breath you should be living deeply and surrendering that life to Him. If we all truly put our hearts in and surrendered our will we could truly change the world. 

Are you in?
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