With the language immersion in full stride, it has been a newfound passion to discover the roots and meanings behind why words are written or spoken the way they are. English is my first and ongoing passion as I continue learning to be a more effective communicator of God’s Word. Two words I have intentionally noticed this past month were Conflict and Worship. It has been a great meditation and focus as I have discovered a great connection between the two that just so happens to coincide with what has been in my heart to share with you!
To Start let us enter a classroom and consider these two words and how they relate to each other in our experience.
late Middle English: from Latin conflict- ‘struck together, fought’, from the verb confligere, from con- ‘together’ + fligere ‘to strike’; the noun is via Latin conflictus ‘a contest’.
Old English weorthscipe ‘worthiness, acknowledgement of worth’ (see worth, -ship).
- the level at which someone or something deserves to be valued or rated.
The Conflict of Worship
What is worthy in your life or the culture that you would identify to be a part of? The answer to this question can be quite an appalling realization as it also reveals what you would likely contest with others. The very things you deem worthy are the same things that you will seek alliance in to defend. Thus, a conflict is born not of many nuanced variables as some would propose, it is born out of a difference in worth-ship. Living in a land so saturated in conflict, it has been eye-opening to see the truth of what defines a nation and its culture. As we learn the language, we get a glimpse and taste of the heart of the people that speak it. Each new word opens a window to the people, and each new phrase successfully executed connects us with this culture that is not our own. So much of the language is steeped in the Orthodox Church and it is very apparent that to be a Serbian is to worship or ascribe great worth to the Orthodox Church whether you are an active participant in it or not. There is so much worth ascribed to this institution of the state, it has been preserved through occupations, through wars, and through countless reforms of the nation. The Orthodox Church holds the heart of the nation and directs this nation’s worship. It is intrinsically connected with the language and is deeply connected with the people here. As I learn the language, I am learning a religious way of life, a culture led by an institution as old as the Byzantine Empire, and a mindset bound by strong moral principles of a long-standing brotherhood.
Cyril and Methodius were among the first to systematically write the Slavic languages for broader use and dissemination of the scriptures to the Slavic people.
You can understand the health of a nation when you see the way they worship. A nation is not defined by its power, its politics, or its past, it is known by how it worships. Likewise, a person can be known by what and how they worship. Christ as He spoke to the woman at the well started to refine her focus to true worship when he says:
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.John 4:23- 24
The issue is not that people do not worship, it is that they worship unworthy icons. Among all the notable and notorious, there stands only one WORTHY. God does not share His glory with another, nor does he delegate His worship to a singular method of man’s creation as man would claim, All the glory is due unto only one name, one kingdom, one Spirit, and one faith – Jesus Christ’s.
Hebrews 1:1-4 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
Is there a created thing being worshipped in your life? Has something else usurped the throne of Christ, thus twisting your affections to the things of men and not savoring the things of God? A truly Christian nation is not one defined by borders, buildings, or traditions; just as a true worshipper of Christ is not defined by birth, behavior, or their moral compass. The true worshipper is defined by their worship IN Spirit and IN Truth.
The Victory of Worship
2 Chronicles 20:20-21 And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever. John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. John 16:13- 14 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.John 6:29, John 17:3
The Spirit of Worship
The Spirit of Worship is a victorious one. It is a Spirit of life, of endurance, of conviction, of Holiness, of purity, of integrity, and of truth! It is a character of the highest quality, a person, an indwelling guide through the Holy Scriptures. The Holy Spirit is the very spirit I speak of, and what a misunderstood Spirit he is in this age. For any born-again believer, the Holy Spirit is not a passing stranger but an ever-abiding friend that persistently leads you to Christ and His Word. All the passages aforementioned have a much greater context that I encourage all to read further revealing this fact.
Belief is the gravity that guides the compass of the heart. What you believe will direct your life. Realize that the leading of the Spirit is unilateral, it is an unpopular notion but true. He is the Spirit of truth, leading you to the truth of God’s Word so you may be that TRUE Worshipper that God seeks. There is not a hidden call, nor is there a mystical magic of the Spirit’s work. He is guiding you unto all truth, reproving you of sin, righteousness, and of judgment to the singular cause of glorifying Jesus Christ’s finished work which just so happens to Glorify God perfectly!
The Truth of Worship
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.Acts 4:12
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.John 14:6
Photo by Iman Boer on Pexels.com
The context of the true worship is also the greatest conflict we will ever face in life. The conflict for our souls. The victory of Worship often proceeds a dire tribulation and one that will try to define you. The disciples did not realize the full scope of Christ until after He resurrected from the dead. The Victory of Jehoshaphat was not realized until worship preceded the army. The very infirmities of our humanity are the very facets that God desires to be worshipped through. His salvation is the victory. The truth of Christ is that we all MUST be saved BY HIM in everything. Only through the truest assessment of our weakness and sin can we truly see the means of true worship. To overcome conflict, we must have faith preceding our merits and strength. The means of true worship is faith in Christ’s work. This faith enables you and me to walk in wisdom through weakness, through contested grounds, and even through death’s door. This is how the Bible frames true worship and it is how the Holy Spirit leads the believer to true worship!
Upon salvation, my life became a song. Although it began in weakness, through faith, has waxed strong. It is a melody of mercy, of forgiveness, of love always true. It is a ballad of tragedy eclipsed by triumph for me and for you. A new song forever, a message of good tidings is ever within my bones. May I sing it forever that as I know Christ, by Him am I also known!
Our Vision and Prayer according to The Great Commission:
“All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore(Reach), and teach(Teach) all nations, baptizing(Immerse Them in Christ’s Truth) them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all(Challenge their capacity) things whatsoever I have commanded you:(Engage their faith in Biblical Responsibility) and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world (See Them faithfully kept by God’s Grace). Amen.”Matt 28:18-20
Please pray as we believe God to:
- Reach: Evangelism to the Lost
- Teach: Biblical Study and Training in the Word of God
- Immerse others in Christ’s Truth: Fitting into the fellowship of the Church, discovering their Identity in Christ, and Observing the Ordinances
- Challenge their capacity: Biblical Discipleship and Biblical Accountability
- Engage their faith in Biblical Responsibility through His Ability: Opportunity and Leadership Development in the Church
- See Them faithfully kept by His Grace: Faithful Feeding and Fruitfulness in their Lives
2 responses to “Worship and Conflict: April in Serbia”
Still praying for you two and all God is doing in the seen & unseen.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank You so much for that. There is a lot happening in the region and we trust that many will find the Truth of Christ simply due to prayer. The labor is never in vain!