critical spirit, Holy Spirit – A Poem
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the critical spirit that can creep into our thinking about others and even about church. In particular, I have been pondering the presence of a critical spirit in worship services, which is manifested when we view a worship service in terms of what we like and what we want to get out of it, instead of focusing on Christ. As I prayed about it yesterday, asking God to reveal the critical spirit in the hearts of His people (including me) and replace it with His Holy Spirit, the framework for a poem came to me. As I sat down at the computer to write it, this is what I came up with.
critical spirit, Holy Spirit
choir was off key
really prayer should be shorter
i prefer the good old hymns
the sermon was too short, or long
i couldn’t hear the scripture reading
critical thoughts cloud my perception
all those old hymns are like dirges
love is a distant memory
protect Your worship service
inhibit those who would do it wrong
restore what I know is right
i desire perfection in church today
that my righteousness would be known
Our God is exalted
Love abounds and grace prevails
You, O Lord, are my focus
Pierce my heart today
Instill an attitude of awe and praise
Restore a right Spirit in me
I desire to worship You today
That Your righteousness would be known
The next time you are in worship, remember to keep your focus on Jesus that He might be exalted. There is no right or wrong way to conduct worship services. As long as Jesus is lifted up and the glory of God revealed, as long as the focus of worship is on the Lord and not on the congregants, then the Lord is pleased. Remember, Michal was unhappy when David danced to the Lord in his tunic, but the Lord was pleased. David was called a man after God’s own heart, and Michal was left barren. (2 Samuel 6:16-22).
“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”
John 4:19-26 (NIV).
I love to sing but I can’t sing a note in tune. I’m not too bad in a large group and can sing praises wholeheartedly . . . . . just as long as there is no one near me singing “parts” or the lead singer seems to be singing in a higher key. Now, one who often leads the singing – and has a good voice – loves to sing “high” and I find it impossible to take part. I used to feel critical or sulk because I couldn’t sing . . . but the Lord convicted me and I now just concentrate on the words and worship Him.
Angela, What a wonderful testimony of how the Holy Spirit changed your heart! It is so wonderful to be able to let go of the critical spirit and worship in Spirit and in truth. I’ll bet the Lord loves to hear you sing His praises even when you are off key. 😉 Peace, Linda
“The next time you are in worship, remember to keep your focus on Jesus that He might be exalted. There is no right or wrong way to conduct worship services. As long as Jesus is lifted up and the glory of God revealed, as long as the focus of worship is on the Lord and not on the congregation, then the Lord is pleased. Remember, Michal was unhappy when David danced to the Lord in his tunic, but the Lord was pleased. David was called a man after God’s own heart, and Michal was left barren. (2 Samuel 6:16-2)”
Very well said!!
It’s truly all about Him and how our hearts line up to what He wants. We may not like what we see or hear but worship is for His glory, not ours.
This is beautiful …thanks for sharing.
Ann, The Lord is our whole reason for worship. It really isn’t about us, but we try to make it be about us so often. I used to be one of those who complained about certain aspects of the services. (I’ve been known to say that Lutheran hymns are like dirges!) But when I focus on Him, my complaining decreases and I even come to enjoy the old hymns because they are a beautiful song to my Jesus. Peace, Linda
Wow, oh Wow. You just sat down and this came to you? Thank you for your obedience and your worship of Him through this blog, your posts and your poems. Your love for Him does not grow cold and it ignites us as well!
God bless you as you lead us to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth!
Deb, Actually the idea and structure of the poem (an acrostic of the words critical spirit, Holy Spirit) came to me while I was kneeling in prayer. The actual words took a bit longer to develop. But I have to give all the glory to Him for even being able to write poetry. And I thank you for being His instrument to wake up the poet in me. 🙂 Peace, Linda