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The Motions

At one of our young adults evenings, we were talking about how we don’t really fear God like the bible says we should.  Many times scripture tells us to fear the Lord as Psalm 111:10 does here:The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.”

There were lots of reasons that were given for why this is the case.  The church doesn’t really focus on the necessity, we haven’t seen God face to face, nothing life threatening has ever happened to us that would make us terrified of His power, and many others.  There were a lot of honest points raised, and one of the most telling in my opinion was when a group said that in church we often go through the motions instead of the emotions.

To see Mr. Bean illustrate this for me, check out this youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bm9mhX1q4o

That’s catchy, the motions not the emotions.
Beyond it’s obvious preachable quality, this sticks with me because it might actually be a huge barrier to fearing God.

If we can create a church experience where most of the people can come and worship God without ever encountering Him, without ever feeling His presence or seeing Him move; then we are in danger of replacing the curtain that Jesus Christ died to tear apart.  

In Moses’ day, the people were so terrified of God that they didn’t even want to look at Moses’ face after he had been on the mountain speaking with God.  Moses’ face had a glow that frightened the people, so they told him to put a bag on his head.  Later this bag on Moses’ head was replaced with a huge veil that ‘protected’ the worshipers from the Holy of Holies, the most sacred place of the temple where God’s presence was.  Only the chief priest was ever allowed to enter, and only once a year to make atonement for the sins of the people.

Jesus’ main mission was to restore humans relationship with God, and as a symbol of this, when he died the Temple Veil was torn in two.  The veil that had separated the people from God’s glory and power had been removed on purpose.  It was time for God’s people to encounter Him directly.   (Matthew 27:51)

Let’s be honest, encountering God can still be frightening even when Jesus is in our corner.  Our sins are lay bear before Him, the expectations on us increase dramatically when the Holy Spirit enters our lives, and we gain access to a new world of supernatural power through the gifts of the Spirit.  
I think that’s why we create services where our people can go through the motions instead of the emotions.  In our cowardess, we would rather have the Temple veil separating us from God, we like the Israelites before us would rather God put a bag on his head, because then we wouldn’t have to deal with the fact that God is terrifyingly powerful and that He has a purpose for our lives that asks more of us than we think we can give.  

I encourage you to be people of courage, to be brave.

“16Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].”  Hebrews 4:16 (Amplified version).


One comment for “The Motions”

  1. You have wonderful thoughts you are mentioning. Thank-you. May Yahweh’s face shine upon you and guide you on in a continued close walk with Him.

    Posted by Tina | March 9, 2011, 8:47 pm

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