“‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”
As I closed my eyes to take in the words of the song “Healer” by Kari Jobe during worship on Sunday, I could sense God’s presence speaking to my heart. After a few minutes, I could also sense those around me begin to stand. For a moment I contemplated joining them, but I didn’t; I remained seated. Why? Because I was in God’s presence in my seat. God was ministering to me. To stand would have been to leave His presence–to leave His presence to be like man. Now I am in no way implying that those around me were not in His presence, but I am saying His presence was with me in my seat. It was in my seat I sensed God sharing His truths with me. It was in my seat God was speaking love and peace to my heart.
And as I remained seated with my eyes closed, God also showed me it takes just as much courage to remain seated when everyone else stands as to stand when everyone else remains seated. I’ve seen this played out week after week. The worship team will be singing a song, and the song will lead someone to stand. This is wonderful. God’s presence inspired that person to stand. And then it happens: the worship wave. Another person stands, then another, then another, until at last almost everyone stands. But why do they all stand? What has led each person to stand? Was each person compelled by God’s presence to stand? I don’t know, for only God can discern a person’s motives and intentions. Yet I do tend to believe not everyone stands because God inspired them to stand. Rather, they stand because they don’t want to be the only one still sitting. They stand because it is supposedly the spiritual thing to do. All good Christians stand and sing, right? Wrong. Standing up to sing doesn’t make one spiritual; this is a commandment of man, not of God. What God wants is our hearts–whether or not our physical bodies are standing, sitting, kneeling, or lying prostrate.
Man may look out our outward appearance and attempt to gauge our spirituality, but God looks at our hearts. It’s not about the song. It’s not about the sitting. It’s not about the standing. It’s about Him. It’s about what God wants. And what God wants is us–all of us–and all of our hearts.
“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
1 Timothy 1:17