Sunday, December 2, 2007

To Be Real: Truthful



“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. –John 4:23-24


In the story of Pinocchio, the little wooden marionette was told by the blue fairy, that to become real he had to prove to be brave, truthful, and unselfish. Pinocchio had a peculiar problem. When he told a lie, it was as evident as the nose on his face! In fact, his nose grew!

There is one scene in the movie where Pinocchio chooses to lie to the blue fairy about why he didn’t go to school. At first his nose becomes a branch, but as the lie grew, his nose sprouted cute little green leaves. He stretches the lie a bit more, and his nose stretched too, and then bore flowers and a bird nest! He adds to his misery by further loosening his tongue, and it grew even longer and the birds flew away. But then the leaves died and he’s left with a big ugly stick for a nose.

It occurred to me as I watched this scene that from Pinocchio’s view, he saw something different than we did. He saw pretty little leaves, flowers, and birdies! How sweet! But from our perspective, we saw how stupid he looked with that tree growing from his face! I think when God sees our lies He sees how stupid we look too. Oh that we could see ourselves in that same way! Some lies are big and some are small, but they’re all lies in God’s eyes, and they’re ugly.

To worship God we must worship in spirit and truth. We cannot be superficial with God. We cannot slap on a happy face, go to church, smile and say, “I’m fine!” to everyone who asks and expect God to be pleased. We cannot quote scriptures, sing “It is Well with My Soul”, yet feel emptiness inside, and pat ourselves on the back for a “good worship service.” God is not impressed with our fake happiness, our false friendships to Him, and the cloaks of pride we put on to hide the truth that is inside. He is not impressed with our prayers of big fancy words spoken to impress the people listening instead of Him. When we do that we worship the people instead of God. How that must turn His stomach!

Do you want to be real with God? Then be honest with Him. Talk to God about what’s wrong – from the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.“ He’s looking right at your heart with eyes wide open! You’re not hiding from Him. Good relationships are built on truth and trust. Faking what’s inside is useless, and puts up walls between you and God.

The Holy Spirit has a name that I love, “The Spirit of Truth”. John 16:13 says, “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” The Holy Spirit, our Spirit of Truth living in us, will guide us to know more truth, and to live in truth. He will hear from God, and talk to you. He will deliver God’s word to you. But you have to be willing to live in truth, to communicate with God on a spiritual level, to set aside all falsehoods, and all pretenses. This is how God wants to be worshipped – in spirit and truth.

So it all comes down to this: Do you want to worship? Then you’ve got to get real with God.

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