John 4:23, 24
“It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself-Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.”
Do you ever feel like a fake?
We all have done it. Lied about our weight at the doctor’s office to fake we are thinner. Bragged we could squat 175 kilograms to fake we are stronger.
Sometimes we even convince ourselves that we can fake our way into pleasing God. If we follow a decent code of rules, occasionally give generously, serve the poor—then God will deem us as “good people.”
God never asked us to only be good people. He asked us to believe and love Him.
Jesus was one of three men crucified that afternoon. Jesus was blameless, and the other two were true criminals–thieves of the people. One of them looked over at Jesus and recognized the truth. He, a thief, deserved to be there; Jesus did not. He saw a Savior who accepted him as is and simply believed. There was no time to redeem his actions or to change the course of his future life for good.
Jesus responded to his simple belief, “Today you will be with me in Heaven.”
I have a theory. We begin to truly worship God and live a good life when we begin to comprehend the vastness of His grace towards us. We are accepted no matter what. There is nothing we can do to earn more of His love. Although, as humans, we long to be our own personal saviors, God looks at the core of who we are. What does He find?
Does your “true self” point to a list of great deeds you have done to prove yourself or are you like the thief? Can you say, “God. This is me–imperfect, stubborn, prideful, and dark at times. You see me, and I ask you to accept me, because I BELIEVE. I promise You, that even through my mistakes and brokenness, I will run home to you and worship you forever?”
The good news is that you CAN stop being fake. Rather, finally surrender the battle and realize that you are deeply loved by the God of the Universe. He sees every hidden corner of your soul and proclaims that you are ACCEPTED.
Now that is enough to make anyone want to just be their “true selves” and worship!
Start today with this song that reminds you of His unending grace and light:
I dedicate this series of devotional writings to my grandfather, Roger Crowell, who passed away on March 31. He was the ultimate lover of devotional books. He had an unbreakable habit of waking up every morning and connecting with God through the writings of others.
Pa, I am glad you are now constantly in His presence.
Love, Your granddaughter — Olivia Puccini