written by: Alexandria Brown
Authenticity. I feel like that word, authenticity, has been so used and abused in both good and bad ways. It has become such that when we hear it said that it’s meaning has been diminished and/or tainted. We hear you must be your authentic self, true to your heart. Meanwhile the Bible tells us that, the heart is wicked above all else.
I was curious with all of what we are experiencing nowadays so I looked up the definition of what authentic means. The original definitions says things like:
Genuine, truthful, honest, undisputed origin, being actually and exactly what is claimed.
Then, I was shocked to find the “new meaning of authentic” that it can be believed or accepted.
All throughout Psalms, Proverbs, and most of the Bible we see how important it is to live a life, not just righteous on the outside, but on the inside as well. We see over and over that God looks at the heart. He knows our plans and intentions as well as our actions. Over and over again Jesus calls out the Pharisees for their outward actions not being authentic, genuine, real.
I have to admit sometimes my outward actions are not a great testament to what is going on on the inside. Sometimes my life does not accurately reflect what is going on around me and in me. Sometimes, I push and I pull and I do and do and do and I choose not to come into His presence.
Sometimes, I am unwilling to let go of control. Sometimes...
Let me tell you about and interaction I had with my daughter a couple weeks ago.
My daughter is on our worship team rotation about every 6 weeks. My children are young and do not drive (thank God, I’ve seen them on the power wheels and ATVs) which means that when mom and dad have to be at the church early for practice or service prep they have to come as well. Sometimes they help set things up and other times they get personal time with phones or games or friends during practices before service. They know that as soon as preservice starts that they need to put things away and that it is God’s time now. Our focus, our attention is on Him and what He wants to do. (They really are amazing to watch.)
This particular Sunday my child missed a good chunk of one of the services because “she didn’t feel like it.” At the end of service she asked if I would put her on next batch of scheduling for worship. My response to her was simple. If you can’t worship off of stage, you won’t worship on stage. This is one of our core beliefs for our team and it was not a punishment rather a simple reminder which she understood.
As the day went on, turns out this reminder was not only for her. Over the next week or so I felt the Lord reminding me over and over again of that simple statement. If you don’t worship off of stage, you won’t worship on stage. Don’t get me wrong, I had been praying and doing my duties, going through the motions. AND I knew that that was no longer enough. I had not been going to God with the struggles and hurdles that I had been experiencing. He already knew them, but I was not allowing Him the opportunity to move in those areas. I had it. I could do it. I was in control.
I was wrong.
I was coming to God with a “fake it till you make it” type of attitude. I know the scriptures. I know that God already knows. That nothing surprises Him. That He wants to be involved. He wants me to give Him my burdens and cares. And still I was not authentically worshiping Him the way He hoped I would. Our worship, our love for God is not a to do list. It’s not when things are only good or only bad. It is constant. It is growing. God doesn’t want me to wait until I have it all figured out. I think that in order for me to truly be authentically me I need to first and foremost be my genuine self with God. He is safe. He already knows everything anyways. I can trust Him and so can you.
Happy, sad, mad, or glad - He wants you! Talk to Him. Listen to Him. Let that become who you are not just in public but in the quiet place where you wait on the Lord. I promise you He will come.
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