When Jesus isn’t enough
I become sorrowful and mourn.
I look in desperation
for a life that could be more.

The things I’ve done,
the people I’ve hurt,
the darkness inside
seems always to lurk.

When Jesus isn’t enough
I search and cannot find
the life that I long to live
it’s like I’ve become blind.

Why is it that no matter what I try
I cannot find my way?
The way that leads to happiness,
it seems so far away.

The people all around me,
they seem so happy in life.
They seem to know what road to take,
but me I’m filled with strife.

Are these people really happy?
What is it they possess?
Do they know something I don’t know,
or simply give their best?

When Jesus isn’t enough,
life it seems so hard.
No matter what I try to do
I seem to not go far.

Nothing in this world brings joy,
nothing tangible.
Nothing that will fill the void,
that was created so long ago.

There must be something more to life,
than just living every day.
There must be something guiding things,
something more that I need.

You see when Jesus isn’t enough,
life isn’t just quite right.
We long for more, we do our best,
but always come up short.

Jesus is the way the truth and the life,
and no one can deny,
that when they put their trust in Him
and follow with their life

things will change,
lives be restored.
The past renewed,
sorrows no more.

But we must seek,
we must trust in Him
He’s waiting at the door.
So open up and call on Him to be your only Lord.

Don’t worry about what others may think.
You’ll see that there is more
to living life in only strife
when your trust is in the Lord.

So call on Him and follow Him
He’ll never lead you wrong.
He’ll give you life and restore your past
to lead you through this life.

He will teach you things about yourself
that no one else could know.
He’ll reach deep down to raise you up,
from the fire down below.

He loves you now and forever more,
He wants you as His own.
So trust in Him and Him alone
and He’ll lead you to His home.

Where there are many rooms
in His Father’s house with room for many more.
So love the Lord your God
and trust Him with your life.

And remember there are many more,
who need Jesus in their life.
He’s always more than enough,
because He is the giver of life!

Worship as though you are Saved!

When is the last time that you thought about how you worship God? For me I guess I had never really thought about how I worshiped God, instead I tended to focus more on whether or not I was getting something out of my worship experience instead of worshiping to praise God. Over the past few months I have really been taking a look at my worship and what I found was that a lot of the time I was not really worshiping God, instead I was actually seeking an emotion or response.

Matthew 15:7-9 (ESV)

You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me: in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

When we are approaching God with a wrong heart, with a self-seeking heart, we are being hypocrites. We do not honor God, though we may say we are praising and worshiping Him. Instead we dishonor God by thinking of ourselves more than Him.

Matthew 15:18-20

But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person.

Worship is a heart issue, not an emotion issue even though worshiping does elicit emotion, after all can we really approach the Most High God and not be overwhelmed by all that He is? When we are initially saved, if we truly give ourselves to God, it is an act of worship and submission. It is a time when we realize that we need God and that He is worthy of giving Him our lives, even if we do not fully understand what that means at the time. But we must not stay as infants who rely solely upon milk and must be fed by others in order to survive.

1 Corinthians 3:1-3

But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh.

Hebrews 5:13-14

For everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

We who call ourselves Christians have been saved by God’s grace and because of this we have taken on a new identity. We are no longer the world’s and we must change our ways. If our conversion does not transform us then how can we say that we have been saved? Furthermore can we even say that we have been saved? If we have truly been saved then we have died to our old selves and have been given a new life. No longer do we belong to the world, to Satan, but we belong to God and have been given a new identity in Him.

1 Peter 2:9-12

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deed and glorify God on the day of visitation.

God’s grace and love are not something to take for granted. When we are saved we become priests of God, a holy nation, a people for his own possession. We become these things so that we may proclaim to the world how excellent God is who by his grace has shone is face upon us and called us out of darkness. Take that in for a moment…we are priests of a holy nation of God’s possession. When I think about this the words of Amazing Grace come to mind. “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see.”

If you have been found then proclaim it, it you can see then let the whole world know and give God all of the glory, and honor, and praise that He deserves. Do not be content with living the same way that you did before you were saved lest you turn away from God and fall back into your old ways. When we truly understand all that God has done for us and approach His throne and worship Him with a right heart we cannot help but to praise Him.

Worship is not about us…it is about God. Do not think that you are truly worshiping God if you are not filled with joy. Do not think that you are honoring God if you just go through the motions. Do not think that your praises will be heard by God if they come from an evil and selfish heart. Instead let us humble ourselves and remember all that God has done. Remember His creation, how He led His people out of captivity and the crippling rule of Pharaoh. Remember how God fed us manna from heaven as He guided us daily to the Promised Land. Remember that Jesus died for us so that we could have life. Remember that when Jesus ascended He gave us the Holy Spirit and through Him the power to do even greater things than He did. Remember all that He has done in your own lives, how He has provided, how He has sustained, how He has taken care of you.

If a friend saved your life would you forget it, would you talk stop talking to him or talk to him as though he did not matter? No. If someone gave you a million dollars would you honor them by be ecstatic to see them by thanking them for all that they did or would you simply go about living life as you had before? In Christ we have been given everything, we have been given life everlasting, we have been given a royal priesthood, we have been given the power of the Holy Spirit to guide us, to comfort us, and to help us to do the things that Jesus did and even more.

My friends, we must not take God for granted, we must not take worship for granted. Let us worship Him with all of our hearts and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives. If we sense God telling us to do something and it does not go against Scripture then pray about it and follow if you believe it is from God. God is not silent! God is not dead! And God deserves our whole lives, the lives that we said we gave Him in the beginning.

When you sing to God, sing to Him alone as if no one else is around. If you are struck with reverence and feel the need to kneel before God then kneel before Him and show Him honor. If you are excited to see Him, then show Him. Do not be conformed to the ways of the world or hindered by what others might think. Instead think about what God might think. Do you want God to know that you love Him and cannot live without Him or do you want Him to think that you are more worried about your self-image, what others might think, or about getting what you want rather than honoring Him?

How we worship God directly reflects how we think about God and vice-a-versa. Somewhere along the line I forgot about this and put my worship life on auto-pilot and diminish, but NO MORE! God is alive! God is the Creator and the Sustainer! I have been given new life and I am thankful and will praise God with all of my heart. I do not want to dishonor God by having Him think that I do not care that He pulled me out of the grave and gave me life. NO! I love my Father and by his grace and power I will do my best to honor Him in all that I do.

I have made my choice, have you? Will you honor God or will you turn your back on Him and approach his throne with an evil and unrepentant heart? God knows, we cannot fake it. If you have fallen away then get back up and run back to God. If you have not given God your all then start today. And if you are already doing this then raise others up around you, teach them about God and show them how to love God with all of their heart. Our life in these earthly vessels is short and thus we only have a short time to make a difference in this world and because life is short I do not want to have to worry about whether or not I have truly accepted God and have been saved. I want to know and to stand strong knowing that I serve an awesome and powerful God.

Temptations are common

Temptation is something that we all have. We all deal with it in our own ways, but we all have it. Temptation in and of itself is not a sin, but all too often it quickly turns into sin through our indulgence. Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire, when that desire is allowed to continue it gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death (James 1:14-15). We all have desires in our hearts that lead us down different paths. Unfortunately those desires are wrapped in flesh and if we are not careful they can lead us straight to sin. Have heart though because if you are with Christ you died with Him when you entered into the watery grave and we believe also that we live with Him upon being risen from the water, just as Christ rose from the grave (Romans 6:8). When Christ died he died to sin once and for all and we must also consider ourselves dead to sin and alive in Christ. We must not let sin rule in our body by obeying its passions, for sin no longer has control over us (6:10-14).

It may feel as though we are under the control of sin at times, I know that I have certainly felt this way, but we always have a choice because God will never allow us to be tempted beyond what we have the ability to escape from, for He always provides a way out (1 Cor. 10:13). It is a misconception of many that once we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior that we will never have temptation and will never succumb to sin, but the reality is that God wants us to worship Him and follow willingly. Sin will actually draw us closer to Christ if we allow it to by leaning on him in prayer and petition, by keeping our spiritual eyes open and searching for the way out that God has provided for us. It has been my experience that the times that I have let sin win there has always been a way out that was provided to me, but I chose to ignore it. Can I say that this is a common problem. It is not easy to resist the enemy and you are not the only one who struggles with this. Paul who authored much of the New Testament was in the same boat and even says in Romans 7 that he does not understand what he does because the things that he does not want to do are the very things that he does and the things that he desires to do he does not have the ability to carry out.

Paul is speaking of the war that is fought within us everyday in our own lives. There are times when we succeed in the battle, but it is not over for there will soon be another temptation lurking around the corner. Satan is the father of lies (Jn. 8:44) and wants you to follow him by deceiving you and distorting your vision and your very thoughts into believing that things will be easier if you just give into your desires, but you and I both know that it will not be easier and will definitely not be better. We know the feelings of despair, guilt, and helplessness that we feel afterwards, but those feelings are not from the Father. They are indeed from the enemy, the very tempter who told you that it would be ok to do it just this once, that no one is looking, that no one would ever know. Satan is the master of deception and only comes to steal, kill, and destroy all of the good things that we have in life, but Jesus if we chose to follow Him will give us life to the fullest(Jn. 10:10).

Protect us Lord from our inner desires, protect us from the desires of the flesh that lurk around the corner waiting for the perfect moment to temp us. We thank you that there is always a way out, a way to flee from the temptation. Father help us to see the way out and to be able to identify these temptations for what they are, lies of deception put in place by Satan who wants us as his very own. We are not his though, because of your Son who has paid the price for us already. Lord we praise your name on high and marvel in your glory! How blessed we are to have a Father who loves us and protects us by giving us a way out. Help us to be a light to the world, help us to stand beside one another in our struggles, and to take a stance against the enemy who wants nothing more than to destroy us. Help us to be ready for the war that is all around us. We are your warriors and we say “yes” to you and “NO!” to the enemy. Guide us Lord. In Jesus name. Amen