The speaker started Day 6 asking us a direct question – “What problem do you think you have to solve in the church?” He explained that God is showing you the problem not to complain about it but to solve it! This might be through prayer or may be through more concrete steps. My mind immediately went to the seminar he gave on “party spirit” which was dividing not only Christendom but also our Catholic Church. This tendency to form cliques in the church and not participate in the programs of the other group because it was different or merely because you were not a member has seeped into our community. We have forgotten the essence of being one which was Jesus’ earnest desire in John 17:11 echoed by Paul who pleaded in 1Cor 1:10 “I beg of you…to agree among yourselves and do away with division; please be perfectly united with one mind and one judgement.” Indeed we must do away with inter-society pettiness before we can even key into the broader ecumenism movement.
This is also seen in the ideology of some of us who consider themselves more spiritual than the other or those who term others as “holier than thou.” There was a time when this phrase used to bother me until I came to realize that the person who considered such a person to be “holier than thou” was the one who had the inferiority complex. We are indeed called to be holy and whether the person who sees this, considers it as a show of arrogance or pride is entirely the person’s problem. Only God truly knows the intent of the person’s heart and quest to be holy, so do not be deterred if those around you consider you such. Instead, be encouraged and pursue holiness even more fervently.
The speaker also encouraged us to tell others when things are not going well in order for it to be corrected. He warned us against being self-conscious and not speaking up since they may be truly unaware of their actions or omissions. This reminds me of James 4:17 which states that “anyone who knows what is good and does not do it, sins.”
We were also urged to be guided by the Word of God to correct others and I think this is the most difficult aspect of correcting others due to its sensitivity. Sometimes your correction may come off as arrogant which may or may not be the other person’s projection of their inferiority complex or simply due to their unwillingness to be corrected. To avoid such impressions, Paul advises us to correct in love as seen in 2 Timothy 2:25 – “…kind to all, always teaching and patient with those who do not understand and gently correcting opponents…”
UNDERSTANDING POWER OF WORSHIP
The speaker referred to Psalm 22:3-4 to explain that God is closer than we realize because He is “enthroned, the Holy One, the praise of Israel.” He pointed out that for every problem encountered, there is a solution nearby and referenced Exodus 15:24-25 where the Israelites grumbled upon reaching the bitter waters of Marah “The people grumbled against Moses…Moses then cried out to Yahweh who showed him a piece of wood, and when he threw it in the water, the water became sweet.” The solution to the bitter water which they could not drink was in the form of wood nearby but their grumbling cost them something. They were made to REMAIN in the wilderness and not cross over into the Promised Land.
He explained that apart from every solution being available to us when we worship God truly, we must also encounter the breakthrough power of God called dunamis. This power is prayed for by Paul in Ephesians 1:19 which is a dear verse to me -“…may you understand with what extraordinary power He acts in favor of us who believe.” Extraordinary power…this is what God gives us as we worship Him. This dynamic power is like dynamite and we all have it ready to burst forth within us. He stressed that it differed from inertia which was the usual energy, since we need to activate this power to enable it become extraordinary.
The speaker also mentioned that when we worship God all the problems that surround us melt away as seen in the confusion which erupted in the camp of Israel’s enemies in 2Chron 22:20 “As they began to sing their joy and their praise, Yahweh threw the invading armies into a panic and completely destroyed them.” When we worship, we cease to remember our problems and receive God’s blessings. He reminded us that God’s blessing is for the world and that when we have problems, our first solution should be to praise and worship him and that we must use the blessings that will follow for the world and not hoard it for ourselves.
He recommended that we read a book by Marlin Carothers called the Power of Praise and tap into this dunamis power obtainable from worship. He also issued a serious warning against those who do not raise their children as they should and teach them how to worship God. He asked what would become of the next generation and whether we would be able to sustain the legacy which was passed unto us by our parents. To be honest, I honestly couldn’t answer that and resolved to continue to give God the best of my worship while seeking to make my children an arrow in my quiver as mentioned in Psalm 127:3-5.
May God help us all to connect and draw continuously from this dunamis power that is made available for us in the true worship of God. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.