Archives For Spirit

I’m going to be interested in receiving feedback on this post. I’ve not read of this anywhere else but simply God impressing this on my heart. So please, let me know what you think.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:1-2 ESV)

From my understanding of Genesis 1, God creates the heavens and the earth at an unknown time before Genesis 1:3 begins. But before God makes light and life, earth was chaotic, dark, and empty. It had no purpose and could not sustain life.

In God’s judgment upon Israel, the prophet Jeremiah declares this:

“For my people are foolish;
they know me not;
they are stupid children;
they have no understanding.
They are ‘wise’—in doing evil!
But how to do good they know not.”
I looked on the earth, and behold, it was without form and void;
and to the heavens, and they had no light.
I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking,
and all the hills moved to and fro.
I looked, and behold, there was no man,
and all the birds of the air had fled.
I looked, and behold, the fruitful land was a desert,
and all its cities were laid in ruins
before the Lord, before his fierce anger.

Notice that the Bible illustrates sin and death by referring to the heavens and earth of Genesis 1:1-2.

But we see the Spirit of God hovering or moving above this formless and chaotic water. This to me is huge proof that God already had planned redemption for mankind long before he declared “Let there be light.”

Then out of this chaotic creation, God speaks into it and light shines forth, life springs up.

Eventually, mankind became so corrupt and filled with violence and every intention of the thoughts of their hearts were evil continually, that God decided to put an end to them. He would destroy the earth with a cataclysmic flood.

Noah and his family are saved by the ark. And after the earth was uprooted by water, everything tossed and turned, and all living creatures outside the ark destroyed, the storm ceased and the waters began to recede.

Noah eventually released a dove who soared over the waters and returned to him with an olive leaf. A sign of life and a sign of peace from judgement.

Though God had not obliterated mankind completely in his grace and long-suffering, we still continued to rebel against his authority. But instead of destroying the world once again, he comes to us as a man named Jesus.

As Jesus begins his ministry, he is baptized by John the Baptist. As the Son of God is raised from the water, this is recorded:

And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Jesus was born into a world of darkness and chaos.

The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble. (Proverbs 4:19 ESV)

The Spirit (dove) moved above the waters of darkness and descended on the Christ who is called the Light of the world, the Life, and the Prince of Peace.

In these instances, the Spirit is seen moving above chaos and darkness as a promise of life and light to come. The ultimate source of light and life being the person of Jesus Christ in whom we find eternal life and light.

The accounts in Genesis, though real events, being prophecy, and the account in Matthew as the reality.

As the Spirit moves in the first book of the Old Testament, Jesus declares, “Let there be light.”
As the Spirit moves in the first book of the New Testament, the Father declares, “This is my beloved Son.”

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worship

Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God,
that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
Hebrews 13:15 ESV

Worship is central in the Christian life. Few people would argue this. Scripture commands us that in everything we do, do it all for the glory of God. Yet so often, whether among other saints or in private, my sacrifices feel so incomplete. Even in my deepest, purest moments, it never seems enough.

I want to encourage you if this is how you feel as well. Because its true. Our praise is never worthy of Him. And it always will be this way this side of Heaven.

God is the Holy of Holies. His glory far surpasses everything we deem as glorious. If we stretch our imagination and envision perfection, He is far more. God’s character is so pure and untarnished that anything less than Him cannot enter His presence. The cheribum, who guard God’s holiness, continually sing, “Holy, holy, holy!” The Seraphim, in Isaiah 6, are shown praising in the same way but hiding their face and feet with their wings before the Lord.

So how are we supposed to adequately praise the Holy of all Holies? Because in Hebrews 12 we are commanded to:

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,  for our “God is a consuming fire.”

Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4 that a new way to worship was approaching. Worship that wasn’t stringent on location, but solely Spirit and truth. When we believe in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection, for our salvation, we are completely changed. The Holy Spirit indwells us, we are newly created, our heart is no longer deceitful and wicked, and our spirit is quickened. These changes are the ONLY reason we can offer acceptable worship.

But we have to be honest. Even when we offer a sacrifice of praise THROUGH Him, its still not completely worthy of Him. Because even though we are holy on the inside, we are still wrapped in sinful flesh. Pride, selfishness, doubt, and fear still seep into our songs and prayers.

Why then are they acceptable to God?

There isn’t a perfect illustration, but here’s the best I can come up with.

My two sons draw and color pictures constantly. Everyday, a new stack of artwork is finished for my viewing. Most you can tell took no time at all. Their name is spelled correctly, just backwards. Scribbled crayon reach far outside the lines of the picture. Or only 10% of the page is even touched. I always compliment but am quick to remind them that they can do better. These were rushed jobs and I know that if they take their time, they can do excellent work.

There’s one page though that hangs in my bedroom. My oldest drew a picture of himself on a swing with me pushing him. Below it he wrote ‘Thank you.’ Granted it was done by a four-year-old so it was in no way perfect. The H in Thank was originally a G, crossed out, and replaced with the correct letter.

I don’t treasure it because of the perfect artwork or spelling. But because I know it took him a long time and he did it to the best of his ability. All to tell me ‘Thank you.’

I have to believe our Heavenly Father is the same way. His children attempt to thank him in their limited and often broken ways. But when its genuine, he delights in the praise because we are his children and he understands our limitations.

Praise God for the Spirit who indwells us. He prays for us when we don’t know what to pray. Our worship is made complete when its done through him. And we constantly need him to be able to worship properly.

So no matter how insignificant you may feel, worship. No matter how broken you are, worship. Give him what you have. He may not receive it if its rushed or done sloppily. And yet he anticipates when its done with the right motivation from a heart of gratefulness. Not because its perfect, but because its from us.