I find myself in a quandary tonight. Questioning who I am in the spirit to the Spirit. Does God think I’m weird? I know He created me to be who I am, but did I take the good senses He placed within me and stir them up with some bad mojo from the world? In reality I don’t think that’s the case, but I believe in searching for the truth until I’ve brushed off the dust and glitter known as Shari. The dust being the old Shari, with notions from my past. And the glitter, which is all things sparkly that can capture my attention. I like shiny stuff, I’ll just tell you. God knows I do. But on the matter of worship, I’m about to get out my broom and dust pan and do my very best to knock the dust and fake glitter off the truth. Because the truth on it’s own will shine.
I’ll start in in Philippians 3:1-5 KJV
There is Security in Rejoicing
Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.
Paul is speaking to the church of Philippi. He’s just discussed the fact that he was sending Epaphroditus, who had been sick, so that they could seem for themselves that the Lord had healed him. And in so doing he tells them to rejoice. It’s like David when he went to his brothers at the battlefield and asked them “Is there not a cause,” a reason to battle. The same is true in good times, is there not a cause, a reason to rejoice? Of course there is. We all have our reasons. Sometimes they’re in abundance, other times they are so few when a reason happens it’s that much sweeter but there is a reason to rejoice as a child of God. Paul it was not grievous for him to part company with Epaphroditus but it was for their safety (or for a security) for them. That they could see with their own eyes, God’s work and it would strengthen their souls.
When I stepped back in at Victory Baptist Church less than 10 days after having open heart surgery, with the ability to sing and rejoice, it not only brought joy to me but to my friends at Victory. Joy to see what God had done in my life. Paul wasn’t without struggles. Good grief he was writing from prison. But even in that place he found joy in seeing God’s work continue in his absence. If Paul could rejoice in prison, can we not in our hardest days?
There is Separation from Religion
 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.
A dog could have been referring to a man of impure thoughts. There were those who were attempting to cause division in the church because they refused to come out of religion and into a relationship with Christ. Insisting that the the Gentiles had need of being circumcised for salvation which was the Old Testament Law. Paul criticized the Judaizers because they looked at Christianity backward, thinking that what they did (circumcision) made them true believers rather than the acceptance of the gift of grace given by Christ. I’ve never experienced that depth of religion, but I have experienced religion. The act of participation in something as a means to salvation. The thought that if you just went to church, sang the songs, prayed the prayer and participated in the events, that was salvation. No relationship, but participation. Just like the Jews they were missing the whole point of Christ’s death on the cross. It wasn’t so we’d get a participation award. It was so we’d get a crown! And in the process have something to celebrate.
2 Timothy 4:8 KJVS
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
There is Self-Denial in a Relationship
What believers do to serve God is a result of faith, not a prerequisite to faith. Because of what Christ did for me I have a desire to serve Him. To set Shari aside and turn to Christ to say thank You. What can I do for You? Paul said in verse 3
 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
Praise God I don’t have to depend on myself for any part of salvation, because I know what a hot mess I am on any given day. And praise God that I don’t have to fit my praise style into a check list made by man because the place for which my praise comes from doesn’t come from me ether. It comes from the Spirit in me.
When people see me, they look at me as a confident figure. What I am is so insecure I have to exhale any bravery that I can find from so deep within my spirit that it blasts out like a trumpet. The same is true when it comes to praising God. I’m not comfortable standing on a platform singing or speaking for the Lord. So when I do it comes across loud! When I speak even in a testimony it’s not spoken in confidence but rather it is the Spirit bubbling out of me uncontrolled. It is me denying myself silence. The flesh tells me to stay quiet. The Spirit tells me Praise Him Shari.
I hate religion. It takes the sparkle out of a service. So as I write these words tonight. I feel a sparkle in my soul. It’s not the world’s glitter, but it is gold of the purest sense that will survive being tried by fire. It’s a raise your hand, sing glorrrraaaaay to the Lord kind of Worship.
The dust is gone. The sparkle is real.