“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23 – 24; ESV
I don’t know about you, but in my upbringing, I was taught that when you entertain someone at your home, they are the guest and we serve them. If they are hungry, you offer them food. If they are thirsty, you offer drink. You make every effort to make them feel at home and part of the family. Why? It is because they were your guest. When or if they offered to help with dishes, you kindly allow them to relax and you did the dishes. I still believe and practice this in my home.
Another practice was to have an empty chair at all times at the table. Why do this? If someone came to visit during a meal, they were always welcomed to sit and join us in the meal. And if there was something they wanted to eat and it was not on the table; if we had it, it was made for them. Regardless of what we had to eat or how much we had, we made sure the guest would have something to eat.
However, there is a down side to this belief: when we would go into someone else’s home, I expected the same from them. This wasn’t always the response I received. When I asked my mother about why this was, in her wisdom she shared that not everyone thought the way we did. I then asked her why we did it then. She responded that it was the right thing to do; even though not everyone would do it. My mother also went on to say that we shouldn’t expect to be served by people but that we should always be ready to serve them because that is what God wants us to do; to take care of other. Great wisdom!
When we come to church, what do we expect? Do we come with our list of demands and requests for God? Do we think, even subconsciously, that God is our waiter and He takes our orders and brings us whatever we want? And If we don’t get our order just the way we wanted it, we leave vowing never to return again unless they (God/Jesus/Holy Spirit) get things right for us? Like a restaurant, if the setting isn’t right, the music isn’t our style and the “food” (the message) isn’t what we desire, we move on to the next church to hear our version of what the message should be.
And this mindset isn’t only for the church; it also applies to our inner being in relationship with God. Sound theology and true biblical teachings are being replaced with “feel good” theology and emotional stimuli because we want people to feel good about life. Sermons on sin and defining what sin is (according to God, as found in the Scriptures and not man’s idealism of what sin is) are becoming extinct because we are trying to become a “user-friendly” church and not a spirit-filled God-fearing church. We clutter our hearts and minds with the latest church leader’s book on how to live life instead of focusing on what God’s Word (the Bible) shares. We accept the teachings of man on matters of morals and ethics verses what God teaches. And we have taken the throne of God and removed it from our hearts to put up different thrones for the gods we find mirror our beliefs. We justify our actions in life by man’s standards rather than allowing God to lead us into justification found in Him alone.
If you are wondering why God might be absent in your life, ask yourself these questions:
- Did I save God a seat in my life? – Am I allowing God’s throne to be present in my life or did I keep Him away?
- Am I making God feel like a welcomed guest or do I view Him as my servant?
- Do I pay more attention to man’s teachings and theologies or do I hold fast to sound theologies found in the Bible?
- Is my heart more focused on “what’s in it for me?” or “what can I do for Him?”? – This is a very important question to ask!
- Am I willing to admit sinful thoughts, beliefs, and actions as described in God’s Word or will I simply ignore that sin exists?
- Am I willing to change that which God reveals as sinful; meaning to stop doing what is sinful in the eyes of God?
How you respond to these questions will determine if you have saved a seat for God in your life or if you told Him there is no room to come into. Will you have an empty seat for God? Can you serve Him and make Him feel at home in your heart? Can you truly worship Him as the Scriptures listed share? Please make God part of the family… He did this for you!
You will always have a seat in my heart! Please help others to do the same because I know You desire this. Let us be focused on serving You more than our thinking that You should be serving us! Allow us to honor You every moment we have. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.