Why is it so hard to worship God or have any kind of walk with Him?
I ran across a statement similar to this not long ago, forget where.
The church I was in, when I was first there, seemed to be fun and I had no idea that worship could be so much fun. But then…but then. We had to be there (in church) as it was a requirement. Didn’t we love God enough? We had to shout and dance and cavort. Didn’t we love God? We had to be there at social functions like a pot luck – 100% attendance for the whole church. Saturday morning visitation in the freezing cold and wind in winter and the hot (95 at 10 am) humid mornings in summer. It was another requirement. After all, didn’t we love God?
If we were not jumping around during song service we were not worshiping. Sometimes the altar calls went to 11 pm. Most of us had jobs we had to go to Monday morning (and Tuesday through Friday too). And get up at 5 am to go to the church to pray before going to work. And then the revivals. One year we were having so many revivals I was nearly exhausted but that didn’t matter. Didn’t we love God.
Then there were the standards of dress and hair. Don’t cut your hair. Don’t even trim off one split end. Don’t even pull out the hard knot, pick it out gently (obviously said by men who had short hair). Skirts down to the ankle. A lot of the young women liked the “pencil” skirts and shuffled along. I sometimes hoped there was not an emergency where they had to RUN out of the church to save their lives. Splits in skirts had to be sewn down to the hem line. (Then one day the Pastor said we could sew them down to 4 inches below the knee which helped some). Sleeves down to the wrist. In our hot Kansas summers we could wear sleeves to just below the elbow. It was still too hot.
If you cut your hair you lose power. If you wore your skirt and sleeves too short someone was bound to be lusting after your knees and elbows. Give a Bible study or go to the “Bad Place”. Speak in tongues every single day so you know you still have the Holy Ghost. Pray an hour a day, everyday. Invite someone to church – oh the contests we had to see who do bring the most visitors! Read the Bible through every year.
The list just went on and on. I had lost sight of my Jesus. I did not like what I was becoming – judgmental about those who did not come to our church the one with the Truth. No other church had the truth like we did. I remember sitting on the pew for awhile, thinking, “Where is Jesus? Where have they put Him?”
At one time, I was told salvation is so easy (pre-Pentecost days): Just believe on the Lord, He is savior and He died on the cross. The cross had all but disappeared. Like Fudge’s book: Christianity Without the Cross. Where had the simplicity of salvation gone? Why was it so complicated?
It was man’s rules that dimmed the hope of salvation and grace. Man’s rules that tried to keep people in control and in a church building. We were told God only lives here in this place. And we believed all this. I don’t read my Bible every day now. But sometimes I pick it up and read a bit and it seems to mean more than when I rushed to read x chapters every night and felt guilty if I missed a few days reading. Why should we feel so guilty if we didn’t follow all the rules? Why should we feel ashamed? Jesus did not preach that. Paul did not preach that. The Bible does not teach us to be/feel that way. Jesus really got onto the Pharisees about all their rules and regulations. Why do we need all that?
We don’t. Building a relationship with anyone should not be contingent on rules and regulations And so it goes with God. He loves us unconditionally. No conditions except that we worship him only and know that Jesus is the one who paid the ultimate price. That is why He said “It is Finished” and died.
I only hope and pray that those who are still following so many rules will see the light in Jesus and stop all the nonsense.