True worship takes place in the invisible, spiritual place of the heart—a heart whose pride is broken. A broken and contrite spirit is the first step in worshiping our Father; He is near to those. He will only accept worship from a humbled heart and a surrendered mind. This is worshiping “in spirit.” But it must be tempered with the truth about God’s purpose and plan to reproduce Himself. Only after humility comes exaltation. The head is bowed before it’s crowned.
Humility is the only spiritual clothing we are to wear in our worship of the Father. In fact, without it there is no worship. Humility is a purified expression of gratefulness to our Father who has cleaned up our sin-stained hearts. It is like the white raiment that He clothes us with, a pure garment without spot or wrinkle (Rev. 3: 5). Humility is the spirit and attitude we must have in order to worship the Father “in spirit and in truth.”
Humility Not Man’s Forte
However, being humble is not one of mankind’s strong points. Humanistic hubris has replaced reverential awe of our Creator. Man is in awe of himself. Natural man is born with the world in his heart, along with its desires of the flesh and eyes, and the “pride of life” (Prov. 3: 11; 1 John 2: 16). And this pride seems to say, “Hey, world, it’s all okay because I am here and I have got it all figured out.” Man puts himself first, loves himself first, and generally centers in on his own abilities to solve the problems of life. Natural man basically worships himself. He gives little thought to a Supreme Being who is wiser and more powerful than himself.
But there is a reason that natural man is on the earth. God created him for His own specific purpose. God wants to use him to fulfill His purpose of reproducing Himself in man. But natural man is so full of himself that there is no room for God’s Spirit of love, joy, and peace to enter in and begin the reproduction process of Himself. God can’t live in the house of pride. There is no room for Him at Prideful Inn. God needs first for us human beings to become humble. He will not manifest Himself in vessels filled with pride because a man with no humility would take credit for the “glory to be revealed in us” (Rom. 8: 18). Just look down through history at the dictators, who were blessed with earthly power. Look how they heaped glory upon themselves, taking credit for their exalted station in life.
In order for us to contain the Holy Spirit in His fullness, we need to be humble. But therein lies the problem. Man—even childish, immature Christians—are loathe to humble themselves. Even after the 30 fold baptism into Christ’s death and the public testimony of the new direction of one’s heart, we still need more and more humility in order to grow spiritually. We are told by the Spirit in scripture to humble ourselves. If this is not done, the Father, because He loves us, steps in and provides trials, tribulations, and sufferings that He uses to humble us.
The Answer to One of Life’s Great Questions
Why must Christians go through sufferings? Because God cannot dwell in a body filled with pride. So God allows us to go through sufferings which brings humility. And this, in turn, draws God closer to us because of His love for us. We then come to Him and worship Him with a humble heart and spirit.
This is why the Spirit through the apostle Peter tells us that there will come a “trial of your faith.” These trials purify our faith like fire purifies gold; they sharpen our belief in our great Father (I Pet. 1: 6-7).
These trials of your faith are called the sufferings of Christ in us. Peter tells us to “think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you; but rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy” (I Pet. 4: 12-13).
Pride prohibits God from entering into us to reproduce Love (Himself). Trials, temptations, tribulations, and sufferings humble us that God may enter. When He does, we then feel His Spirit of Love inside our hearts, and Love begins to grow and manifests itself to others. We then go before His presence praising Him and thanking Him for His love and mercy upon us. This is how the reproduction process works. The diamond of love is produced through fiery pressure of sufferings. Knowing the truth about God reproducing Himself in us opens the doors of true worship. This is worshiping God in truth and in spirit.
When I Was a Child
When I first became a Christian, I did not understand about the sufferings of Christ. I did not want anything to do with the trials, tribulations and sufferings. I like most newborn Christians just wanted to bask in the newfound joy, love, and peace that I had found in Christ and His brotherhood. And it was a wonderful time in the swaddling clothes of Love. God’s servants held me close and nourished me spiritually, feeding me with the warmth of the milk of the word. And I grew, although I was mostly alive for what I could receive of my Father. But it was only later, through the trials and sufferings, that I understood these precious and painful truths that I now share. For these truths about sufferings can only be understood when we comprehend His purpose, which He will only reveal to a humbled soul.
We have been called unto a glorious walk with our Savior—a walk that leads to manifesting God’s full glory, replete with the “greater works” than even the Seed Son did. When He comes back, He will crown the faithful over comers with a “crown of glory that fades not away.” But to arrive at this 100 fold level of maturity, we must endure with great patience the trials that bring the humility needed to insure His visitation into our lives. As Peter tells us, “Be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble.” We are to humble ourselves “under the mighty hand of God.” God’s hand contains five fingers, a symbol of his five-fold ministry offices. These are His apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers (I Pet. 5: 4-6; Eph. 4: 11-12). Without them, there will be no “perfecting of the saints,” no “work of the ministry,” and no “edifying of the body of Christ.”
Kenneth Wayne Hancock