We finished our class this week with the challenge to hold fast until the day we are numbered with the worshipers of God in heaven. (more on the worship of heaven in a later post!) Until then, we can experience God’s Holy Spirit every day. But let’s be honest.
We don’t. I don’t.
Why? God is always with us. So why aren’t we aware of God’s presence through the Holy Spirit?
I think part of the reason is our heart attitudes. Our heart attitude can help or hinder our awareness of the spirit of God at work.
Here is the first of three heart attitudes from Bob Kauflin’s book, True Worshipers, that I am working to instill in my life so I’ve phrased them as challenges. I am not these things all the time, but by the grace of God in Jesus, I’m trying and trusting. So here goes. First…
I am Desperately Dependent
Again, I’m not very desperate or dependent. I AM very middle-class, affluent and white (majority culture). That means I am self-sufficient. If I’m honest, I act like I don’t need the Holy Spirit. And then I wonder why I’m not aware of this presence.
Ironic, isn’t it?
Here are two practices that I’ve found helpful in fostering dependence in my life and therefore a greater sense of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer – When I started as a worship pastor, I was told that we needed to pray more as a church. I agreed. I was also told that we should use the Brooklyn Tabernacle church as a model so I read a couple books about the church. What struck me was the dependency on the Lord that fueled their prayers. They had nothing. They were faced with crime, relational breakdown, lack of money and lack…lack…lack. The only place to turn was to God in prayer.
When we pray, we are reminded of the Holy Spirit at work in and through us. When we are desperate, we pray. Desperation and prayer are connected. Dependency and prayer are connected. And that connection makes us aware of the Holy Spirit.
Confession – I also believe that confession is vital for us in order to face our self-sufficiency. First, we need to confess that we still are sinners in need of God. Our self-sufficiency doesn’t display God’s power and grace, but our weakness does! When we confess our sins, we become more aware of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. We are become more aware that he is God and we are not.
Secondly, confession gets a bad rap. Too many people think of confession as a time to beat ourselves over the head. Instead, we need to remember that we are children of God. He loves us and wants us to grow into the likeness of his son, Jesus. Confession isn’t a time for abuse, but growth. Confession isn’t a time to wallow in pity, but to experience the work of the Holy Spirit.
All of this seems so obvious in my daughter. She thinks she is more mature than she is. And while she can do much more at 10 than she could at 8, she is still a little girl. She is still dependent on her Dad. I have a full 30 years more experience than she does.
Maybe that’s one of the reasons the Bible calls me a child of God?
Maybe that’s one of the reason God is called “our Father“?
Father God, help us be desperate for you. Helps us to be aware of our dependence. We are made of earth and are so limited. But we live like we will never die or face limitation. Through prayer and confession helps us to remember that you are Father God and we are your children. Amen.
This is the first of three blog posts on heart attitudes connected with worship. To hear the final True Worship class that presents all three and connects them to the worship of heaven, you can find it here…
Thanks again to Bob Kauflin for his thoughts on worship. These three attitudes come from from his book, “True Worshipers” which has had a huge impact on our ministry!