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Posts Tagged ‘reverence’

This verse precedes several verses that have been held in great controversy, particularly by women. I am no different. But before I get there, I think I have slid over this first verse that actually stands alone: submit to one another and why . . .

Ephesians 5:21
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

I don’t think anyone would have trouble with this verse if it said, “Love one another out of reverence for Christ.” But, because the word is translated as “submit” or “to be subject to,” we get a little hinky about it. It sounds like doormat material. But, isn’t love about submission?

Unlike the idea of “one-upmanship,” a believer is to practice, “one-downmanship.” It’s seeing enough good in another to give him/her the opportunity to rise up, to go first, to try first, to speak first. It’s about valuing other. And that’s love, isn’t it?

In business, managers are encouraged to give credit to the team, to lift them up, to count their praises because it’s the team that makes the whole operation work better. It’s the ones on the frontline who make the leaders look good. A supervisor who praises his/her staff profusely (and authentically), is usually much appreciated and much loved by that staff.

It is no different in daily life with people I encounter every day.

Why does Paul tell us to do this? If we submit and love others, the Christ (that anointed One) will experience our reverence. And we do it because we want to show reverence. We want to be in that place of holiness.

Two Rivers by Mark Bausch

When I read about wisdom, I am told it begins with the fear (reverence) of God. Now, I get a detail, (again) if I submit/love (look to the very best in) others, then I can enter that reverent place. I am in a confluence with Christ. And that is pleasing to the Holy Spirit within.

I can’t make someone submit/love me. I can only do my share. Granted, it’s supposed to be mutual. But just because I’m not getting that sweet treatment doesn’t give me permission to act differently.

This is what so many of us fear. If I “submit,” what promise do I have that the other will submit to me? Answer: no promise, no guarantee. In fact, the other may never reciprocate.

But submit/love comes from a place of personal strength backed up by the power of the Spirit within. Jesus was the ultimate example in submission/love.

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John 4:23
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

So, if worshiping in the spirit is what the Father seeks, apparently, there’s a lot of worship in the flesh. What does that look like?

Most of the definitions for worship include words like reverence, adoration, homage, and veneration. If a person is doing these actions without an authentic intent… if he or she is just going through the motions… it is a lie. A person can go to church every week, stand up, sit down, kneel, sing, and recite and yet, do it without an ounce of reverence, adoration or homage.

In order to revere God, we must acknowledge our relationship with God. It is one of the reasons that other scriptures [e.g. Proverbs 1:7] speak of “fearing God.” I am not advocating that we become so afraid of God that we can’t enter into a relationship with God. But we must recognize that God is sovereign.

I believe I have gone through the motions more often that I would like to confess. I catch myself in church, while the pastor is praying, thinking about my schedule and what I must do after church. I catch myself, while singing, thinking about the worship leaders. I catch myself, even during communion, analyzing the quality of the disks and juice. Neither my heart, my mind, nor my spirit is in a state of attention, must less adoration.

Worship in the flesh is just going through the motions. God forgive me. Worship is a choice to be transparent. Worship, by its very nature, must be authentic or it simply isn’t worship at all.

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