But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship Him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24 NLT)
Which church do you go to? I can almost guarantee that this is the question you would often get asked every time you engage in a conversation with a Christian for the first time. No matter how you start the conversation, someone is bound to stir it in that direction and I’m almost tempted to ask… Does it really matter? Do you think God is going to ask you what church you belong to on judgement day?
Recently, we were talking about the various masks that people hide behind that prevents them from truly encountering Christ and unfortunately, religion was high up there. Don’t you know I was raised in church all my life? Don’t you know I’ve been singing in the choir since I was young? Me too dear.
We make it all about church and religious activities and we see this happen with the Samaritan woman. Jesus was about to deal with her issue but immediately she realised she was speaking to a religious figure she switched the topic to a religious one… “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?” (John 4:18-20 NLT)
Really? I’m about to deal with the truth that has had you bound for years and you are telling me about your church address? Really?
Even her ancestor Jacob that she referred to (John 4:12) was once about the place. When he first encountered God, he said…“What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the HOUSE OF GOD…”… He named that place Bethel (which means “HOUSE OF GOD”)… Then Jacob made this vow: “If God will indeed be with me and protect me on this journey, and if He will provide me with food and clothing, and if I return safely to my father’s home, then the Lord will certainly be my God. And this memorial pillar I have set up will become a place for worshiping God, and I will present to God a tenth of everything He gives me.” (Genesis 28:17-22 NLT).
He was more interested in the place and in paying his tithe as far as God blesses him in return. It was only after life had tossed him up and down that he was forced to go back and revisit his priorities and when he went back… Jacob built an altar there and named the place El-bethel (which means “GOD OF BETHEL”)… (Genesis 35:7 NLT).
GOD OF BETHEL… and not HOUSE OF GOD…
For many of us, things would only start to change when we get this priority right. It’s time to… TAKE OFF THE MASK OF RELIGION.