Sometimes, you just need to change. You've probably noticed by now the new look to my blog. Several of you have been sweet to comment or send me emails on it. I've had the same blog background since 2006 when I first started my "Forecasts and Faith" ramblings. The old look would have sufficed, but it was getting stale. It wasn't as easy a decision as you might have thought because it involved change and I like consistency. I like routine and I like tradition. Isn't that how our worship can be sometimes?
Being the born and bred Baptist gal I am, I like tradition. But over the last year, the Holy Spirit has convicted me that tradition isn't where He's moving anymore. Pick a church that sings the same songs, keeps the order of worship the same, and prays the same---chances are, you won't find the lost getting saved or lives being rededicated. Why? Because the church has become stale. Oh, you probably won't notice it, especially if you like the way it is. It's often harder to see the forest when you're standing in the middle of the trees.
I was so locked up in tradition and the spirit of religion until it was smothering out my ability to worship in church and privately. Satan is fully behind this spirit of religion--the same old same old, because that's the way it's always been and being judgemental of others who worship a different way. Knowing we are supposed to learn from history, this religious spirit will try to get us locked into old traditions. Satan is satisfied with whatever he can do to quench the Holy Spirit and keep the Spirit from advancing. After all, if Satan can't keep us from salvation, he'll at least try to stop us there.
I've had those white knuckle experiences before. You feel the Lord wants you to worship Him and you want to, deep down, but you resist raising your hands in total surrender to worship because someone sitting next to you may think you're a chandelier-swingin' momma. Or, you really feel the urge to shout "Amen" or "Hallelujah" but you bite your tongue because someone next to you may think you've started speaking in tongues. (I know I'm being a little facetious, but you get the point).
Hebrews 13:15 says, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise." When you sacrifice something you give it up. You put someone other than yourself first. I believe God wants us to put away our inhibitions, our concerns, and our fears about worship and give Him the praise. If you and I aren't giving it all up in worship at church or wherever we may be, we haven't sacrificed a thing.
The Holy Spirit wants to produce passionate lovers of God, but we can't when we aren't willing to get out of our comfort zone, whether that's through music, prayer, or praise. It's hard to be passionate about a God who no longer talks, heals, delivers or manifests in some way.