The word this week is 'AUTHENTIC'.
The word is synonymous with being genuine. Not a copy or a cheap substitute. In laymen's language, it's the real deal! It's something that is sorely missing in many today. When something is authentic it is highly prized and valued. That application may be made in many different ways but none more important than in worship.
Every hour of every day those who are redeemed in the blood of Christ have the opportunity to be authentic in our worship. This is NOT reserved for some religious exercise a couple of times a week. Authentic worship is true worship! It is highly prized and sought after by our Lord who makes it all possible. It should be more highly prized and sought after by those who are given the opportunity.
Scripture reminds us of the importance of being 'authentic' in our worship on a daily basis! John 4:23-24 says, "The hour is coming, and NOW IS, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him MUST worship in spirit and truth."
Pastor Jeff Overton shares this insight on this subject--
"The Father is seeking true worshippers. That is a powerful statement that we read in this passage. I love that He does not say that He is looking for traditional worshippers; contemporary worshippers; Baptist worshippers; red, yellow, black or white worshippers. He is looking for true worshippers. A true worshipper is defined as one who will worship Him in Spirit and in truth. In other words, He (The Father) is looking for, seeking authentic worshippers."
God is NOT seeking superficial shallow activity. God is seeking those who will come before Him, NOT seeking what they can get out of worship but simply to worship the Father. The true worshipper prepares himself/herself through humility and then presents themselves with gratefulness and thanksgiving as each stands in awe of God's mercy and forgiveness.
The true worshipper approaches God being first emptied of the flesh and then filled with the Spirit who enables what is offered to be authentic. That is what makes it valuable. Authentic worship recognizes and acknowledges that our very being depends on God. This worshipper knows it is all about the One who made abundant life and eternal life possible.
Authentic worship has no personal agenda. Love for God and others removes entirely our grip on personal preference. The goal becomes to consciously release who I am and everything I possess to His governance and oversight, repeatedly; as the opportunity presents itself.
This is where many who come to worship fail to worship with authenticity. As long as it's about me then 'it' will be directed by me and for the most part at me. And sadly, the One most important in all of this is ignored; repeatedly. Worship then becomes something to do instead of a response of His Spirit at work in my very being on an ongoing basis.
When worship is authentic--it will be the result of what scripture emphasizes in Acts17:28- ‘For in him we live and move and have our being..." *(great verse to put to memory)
This two-fold question to consider in closing is simple--
Is what you are currently practicing religiously authentic?
Is being authentic more important than simply appearing to do what is deemed authentic.
Unless and until our very being is authentic what we do will be 'fake' on some level; a cheap substitute that is more superficial than supernatural. It is a disgrace that dishonors our Father in heaven! It is a sin which must be repented of and not repeated casually.
God desires our best each day and frankly deserves nothing less!
May the Spirit of God move in your spirit this week toward authenticity in worship!
Hope to see you Sunday and every day engaged in authentic
1 Corinthians 15:58