Growing up in America we are conditioned to pursue happiness which really means success. That success has been the driving force of our wealth-seeking missions in this country. For some, success has defined who we are, it has placed value on souls and it has created some of our most hurtful stereotypes.
Imagine a man without a high school diploma trying to take care of his loving family of five, in the ghetto. Hollywood made a sitcom of it called “Good Times”. Once America was ready to see it, Hollywood produced a show about a successful Black family with the husband as a doctor and the wife as a lawyer and they called it “The Cosby Show”. And today we further celebrate the elevated position of the Black family as they further blend into mainstream American and abandon or struggle not to abandon who they are. Hollywood calls this show “Black-ish”.
Success has been the reward for many other shows (once mainstream America was ready to see it) for gays and lesbians, Hispanics, seniors and Asians. Success in television has led to major corporations (in real life) allowing minorities and women to advance to executive management. The sciences are also benefitting from this success as they are now accepting of studies done by minorities and research from other countries. Success has definitely changed America over the years. In many areas we can claim success.
Significance is a horse of a different color.
We have had great Americans of great significance which we are indebted to today. Innovators, scientists, entrepreneurs, political leaders and civil rights activists have all changed this world for the better. You can’t help but wonder what the world would be like if the emphasis was on being significant and not successful. Success is something you do for yourself. Significance is something you do for someone else.
So I’m reminded of the good Dr. Jonas Salk who in 1952 developed the first effective vaccine for polio — he could have decided to be successful with it, but instead he wanted to be significant with it. So despite having millions of dollars because of his vaccine, he settled for the thousands of dollars he already had and when asked who owns the patent for the vaccine he said the people own the patent.
Therefore, to change the world, you have to desire to be significant. You have to decide to elevate others over yourself. You have to be willing to do for others what they can’t do for themselves. You know, sort of like Jesus.
We have all heard the old adage of “fake it, til you make it” and of course we know what this means. This speaks directly to potential. One of the saddest states to be in is to look back at you life and realize that you did not develop to your full potential. The only scenario worse is to be at the funeral of a person who never reached their full potential.
Potential is defined as something that can develop or become actual. It’s not automatic and it’s not always the end of the world when it doesn’t happen. I have a friend who had the opportunity to play professional basketball. He got a college education out of the deal, but every now and then he looks at his life and thinks about the what ifs. He has actually done well for himself, but he can’t see that because he’s caught up looking at what didn’t happen instead of enjoying what did.
There are many people living like this and what’s worse here is that some of them live their lives out as failures. They carry this defeating attitude with them where ever they go. Their view of the world becomes skewed as to see everything as a negative. They are truly wounded.
What they need to realize is the greatest thing about potential is that it’s really never too late to develop into something. The most important ingredient in this equation is our belief system. You are what you believe you are. So if you think you can, you will. If you think you can’t, you’re right!
Often times these folks of little faith just need someone close to them to say, “you can do it!” Successful people tend to come equipped with this option already planted in their heads. They have a little voice that says “you can do it!” every time the going gets tough. For the doubters this is not so. They take every opportunity to doubt the possibilities of anything positive.
So, for those of us who help, we need to jump at the chance to support the folks around us. We know and understand that some people really need you to literally speak possibility into their lives. In most cases they just need this little push and then they can get going. But without our encouragement, these potentials have no hope.
Worshipping is woven into the fabric of our very being. Without instruction we will worship anything. Some are worshipping people, animals and things.
It’s not hard to understand exactly why we were given the intellect and the ability to worship. Worship is paying homage to a worthy object of affection. It is an expression of the gratitude we feel for that object based on our understanding.
God, then, would be worshipped because of what we understand about him. Our father’s grace, mercy, longsuffering, love, faithfulness and forgiveness are just a few things in a long list of attributes that should stimulate our desire to show our gratitude and worship him.
True worship, then, would be worshipping God in spirit (that’s your spirit) and in truth (the revealed understanding of who he is). I can attempt to worship God in my flesh. This is when I respond to God based on my senses. So if it stimulates me, I will use it to worship him. Worship before Christ was done this way. There were things to touch, taste, smell, hear and see in worship. The burnt offerings, use of incense and the shewbread were all a part of the ceremonial worship. I can also attempt to worship him mentally which would be based on my own understanding — it will appear zealous, but not according to knowledge. I can attempt to worship him based on my emotions. The philosophy is that it makes me feel good so it should make God feel good.
Today, God calls us to a much higher worship. One that requires the use of my intellect and understanding of who he is. It requires the submission of the heart of the person worshipping and the sole use of things God created and nothing we created with our own hands.
God now wants the sacrifice of praise, which the bible defines as the fruit of our lips praising him. Christ left us a feast to participate in and unconditional love is to be shared throughout. God wants us to have a consuming worship that pays homage to him and stimulates his love between us. It is also the start of a week that should be filled with the true worshippers offering themselves as a living sacrifice for him all week until we are united again together on the first day of the week. We are the lively stones that come together to form a spiritual house where he joins us.
Simple, natural and authorized. God should dictate how you worship if your worship is about honoring him. The father is seeking such to worship him — now what about your worship?