It was a cool night; mosquitoes gone for the season, the stars were shining brightly from an ebony sky I could only partially see through the darkened pine needles, like sketchy, thin lines, from the plethora of sapling pines caging my home into a mini-forest. As I gazed upward, a swirling cauldron of discontent, pain, confusion, and drama queen me-ism, I yelled out to God. That was where I was told He lived, so I hurled my quivering voice out and up to Him because I meant He would hear me. I was strong. I was powerful. I had controlled my destiny…until I tried to become a church go-er, that is.
You see, I wasn’t raised in a family that attended Church on Sundays. Moreover, the only times I had been in a church building was at the funerals of the deceased on either one, or the other sides, of my parents’ large families; twelve children on my daddy’s side, and ten on my momma’s side. Yeah, they were that big, so somebody was dying all the time.
As a junior in high school, I went with a friend to my first “real” church service. Not impressed, I felt no need to return for more. Needless to say, I was horribly ignorant about “church,” what it was, and was about.
Not to bore you with details, let’s fast forward to me as a young wife and mother who began to cautiously attend church with my mother in law—mostly to please her, ignorant that I was entering into a new, bizarre, world where I would encounter beliefs, characters, and a way of life that would upend my way of thinking, more times than one.
On this occasion, when I threw my gauntlet down, I had tried and failed to blend in with the “Godly” crowd, you know, wanting to be one of them, yet, mostly ignorant on how to “act” like one of them. I knew I was a sinner and actually didn’t mind sinning. Go figure. However, this testament,
is not about those church members, whom I still dearly love, or my sin.
It’s about the night I threw my gauntlet down before an Almighty God. Ignorant…all the way through! You can smile here, I do.
That night, the stars shinning, at my wits end, struggling to comprehend why my life was falling apart, I became impertinent with Jehovah God. I wholeheartedly flung His word back at Him. I had previously read this, which started it all: And if you worship God, you must worship Him in spirit and in truth. What?? Whew! That kept me up at night. You see, I was terribly vulnerable, out of my fishbowl and falling into a world I knew nothing of. It was sort of the old adage, “out of the frying pan and into the fire” thing; my life, the frying pan, and God, being the fire.
Desperate, confused, gazing up into the starry night sky, I said, “God, your word—I had learned at church that the Bible was God’s word—says that if I worship you, I have to do it in spirit and in truth. What in the world does that mean? I don’t know what “the spirit” means. And I certainly don’t know what truth you’re talking about. All these denominations, Christian sayings, do this, do that, and, the implied one, you’ll get there by becoming more like me. Yeah… Okay…
And then…that starry, cool night…I heard something. It startled me. Now, I don’t know which side of the “hearing from God” thing you fall on, but all I can tell you is what happened that night as I gazed through the pines needles at the blinking stars, and let you make your own assessment. A voice spoke in my left ear. It very cordially, but succinctly, said this: “You don’t know what you are asking.”
Oh yeah, God? So you want to have a conversation, huh? Then, my bold, ridiculous self said, “Maybe I don’t, but YOUR word, YOU said I have to worship you. And not just worship you, but worship you in SPIRIT and in TRUTH. So how can I worship you if I don’t even begin to understand what that means?”
There! I think I’ve gotcha, God!
No! I did not.
The conversation ended. Or, so I thought. But the ocean was calling naive me. Over the coming weeks, months, and even years, as I continued to read the Bible, I was lead to the life of one man. He was quite the character; a man of many talents; unique in his soulful, dynamic, and urgent belief, faith in God. He was a man of anointing, power from God; a man men followed, women loved; a man terrible, fierce in battle, yet gentle enough to swoon people, make demons flee with his music and prose.
As I learned of him, I began to know him as a man my own heart could love, follow. Apparently, God felt the same, as He said this man was a man after His own heart. Yes, you know whom I’m talking about; King David. I bet you thought it was Jesus? Well, Jesus is for another story. Ummm, maybe God was warming up my heart?
Let me say this: Becoming immersed in King David’s life, I became immersed in a power I never knew existed. I feel this same power as I write this. God was with King David, and so were His Word and His Power. David loved God and worshiped God from his heart. He danced out of his clothes before the Ark of the Covenant. He stood up for God, and God empowered David for the people of Israel, even though David was not always perfect. The psalms he wrote, the battles he fought, his life’s endeavor to serve God by serving His people, were all King David’s way of worshiping his God, whom he loved from his heart. His truth, which kept him in God’s destiny for him…? King David wholeheartedly knew and believed that God was the only God, the eternal God who created heaven and earth; the only God who should be revered, feared, loved, and believed in…God…Jehovah. Jehovah, the multifaceted one, the multiplier, many breasted, supplier, peace creating, one. I could go on and on here.
I threw down MY gauntlet of truth on Jehovah God that cool, starry night. But, in stepping forward that night, tripping over my gauntlet, I fell into an ocean called the Bible, the Word of Almighty God, Jehovah Jireh our Provider.
God, Jehovah, my heavenly Father, that night did not get angry with me. He waded me into His ocean of truth, His ocean of power, and taught me the meaning of worshiping Him in spirit and in truth by the example of a man that lived thousands of years earlier. When I think of King David, I still feel the power that surrounded him because of his worship, love of God, and living out his life as God’s servant.
Want to feel that power? Then begin to, in your heart, acknowledge Him as Jehovah God. Tell God you love Him. Now worship Him, our heavenly Father, in your spirit and in the truth that He is Jehovah God and besides Him there is no other God. When you do, you will begin to feel the power of His love. You see, He loved King David. He loved me that starry, cool night when I threw down the gauntlet of my truth. He taught me His truth and true nature of love. Now I know. And so do you. So my friends, let us worship Him in spirit and truth.
Hope you enjoyed my “test”amony!
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With love and inspiration from the Homestead,