In the 35 years of life and ministry I’ve lived so far, I’ve noticed a tendency in myself to try to exert energy in an attempt to make things happen. It’s not that I don’t believe hard work gets rewarded, however when our hard work and self-reliance replaces the easy yoke of Christ where He does the heavy pulling, we’ve probably lost track of our purpose. One of the temptations in worship is to somehow exert enough energy so that you can by sheer effort push through into the very presence of God. It never works though. At least not for me. At some point I suddenly realize what I’m doing and take a step back and change my whole approach to God. I’m already a son. I don’t have to work to enter His presence, in fact it’s the opposite. As a loved son, I already have free access. Singing louder or dancing faster probably isn’t the key to better worship.
One of the other areas I try to exert energy toward is seeing prayer answered. Praying louder, praying longer, praying while waving my hands…and so on. One of the things I’ve learned from growing up in a pentecostal church is that if you aren’t getting results all you need to do is pray louder and yell at the devil. I’ve since had to unlearn that as I’ve found that approach rarely works. At times our intensity will move the hand of God, but I think it’s actually the intensity of our heart that moves the hand of God. Notice I didn’t say frequency. We sometimes confuse intensity with frequency. It’s not about how many times our heart beats for God but how deep it is felt. The heart that beats heavy for God is the heart that moves the hand of God
I was worshiping the other day and God gave me a picture of myself standing in front of a mountain. In the picture I was pointing at the mountain and telling it to move. It was a picture of Matt 17:20 – “if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Initially I only saw myself in the picture and nothing was happening. The mountain wasn’t moving and I was just standing there pointing. Sometimes that’s how we see ourselves in this verse. We believe that we have faith and in fact we probably do, but no matter how loud we pray or how many times we speak to the mountain it rarely seems to move. The sick remain sick. The lost remain lost. Our financial situation doesn’t turn around. There is way too much unanswered prayer out there.
Recently I came across a hilarious commercial from Volkswagen that illustrates my point so well.
Little Darth Vader had very little success in using the force until a “greater power” intervened and turned his fantasy into a reality! In the picture that God gave me I saw Jesus standing behind me also pointing at the mountain. I don’t know how many times I’ve pointed at a mountain in my life only to have it do nothing. But when we line up our hand with the hand of God that’s when things really begin to happen. He’s already pointing his finger at the mountains before us, but He won’t do anything until we line up our pointing finger with His. He is the force behind us.
May you be experience the moving of mountains in your life and…may the force be with you.
(To help make this liturgically correct you may reply back…”and also with you.”)
If you are a starwars fan, be sure to check out my friend Rob Petkau’s website at genesiscustomsabers.com for all your light saber needs and wants.