I now realize that it upsets some people that we get excited and are filled with joy and raise our hands and sing out from our hearts with everything when we get to praise our Lord and Savior together.
I now realize that it upsets some people when others in the pews want to actively participate in praise and worship and not just watch a performance by those on the stage and behind the podium.
I now realize that some will snarl with judgemental, religious faces when the name of Jesus is sang about from a place of joy and love and worship or when He is preached, practiced, and lived out in the places outside the church and the days other than Sunday.
I’m not making a judgement about the hearts of those who are quiet and reverent about Christ in their lives and in their weekly church services. I realize that the Holy Spirit in them might be on fire and active and moving in amazing ways underneath the surface as they worship in truth and spirit. However, I used to be quiet, and it was because there was no fire burning in my bones, there was no active grattitude in my moment to moment life for what Christ has done for me, and it showed because there was no joy feeding me. I was just going through the motions of empty, dead, religion.
I don’t mock and judge and scoff at those who aren’t excited about the opportunity to actively praise and worship the Lord of Lords, King of Kings. I hope that they are genuinely in love with him and are getting to enjoy the opportunity of praising Him and worshiping Him. I hope that it goes deeper in their heart than what the eye can see. I hope they are being fed and nourished by the Lord the same as we are and that they truly just praise Him “in a different way”.
I just hope that they can understand my excitement, my grattitude, my love for the Lord that cannot be held back because it is like a flood of living waters flowing out of my chest. It is like a fire shut up in my bones that has to come out. It is like I have the very spirit and nature of God in me that wants to be seen and heard by a world in need of Him.
Yes, they will call me crazy. And they are right, because I’m crazy in love with Jesus.
Yes, they will call me irreverent. And they are right, because His light in me breaks through the darkness and crafts a disturbance in this world and the traditions of men.
Yes, they will call me peculiar. And they are right, because He has set me apart for His Holy use, as a vessel for His Holy Spirit to dwell, for His Kingdom come and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
I am not pretending like I’m grateful in order to convince you of my love for Jesus. Who would waste their time with such foolish things if they didn’t truly believe – especially when it is clear that living openly and vocally excited about this Good News brings more persecution and objection from both the religious and the worldly than just holding your tongue.
No, I’m thankful, and I aim to please God, and to follow Christ, and to share truth so that someone else might know this joy add well when He calls them into this crazy, irreverent, peculiar life of being a follower of Christ, not just a Church goer, and not just a child of the world.
As I seek to make sense of the difference without judging – I wonder if it is simply my realizing how much He has truly forgiven me. Maybe He didn’t have to forgive them very much at all. Maybe their lives were never turned away from Him in sin like mine was. Maybe they are great in the kingdom because of their lives of dedicated obedience with only little stumbles since birth, living all their days in the house with our father, and I made it only after returning as the prodigal son.
Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
Luke 7:47 NKJV