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The Barren Heights

The barren heights--people in Jeremiah's time made a lot of fuss over it. They thought that just because they made shrines and altars on the heights, they had high spiritual lives. They didn't realize that in God's eyes, they were barren.

Being on heights is no guarantee you have the fruits. Fruit is only assured when you deeply understand and live out the Word. "Obey me and I will be your God and you will be my people." Then and now, God's covenant is hinged on the spoken Word. God asked Israel through Jeremiah: "Did I just instruct you about sacrifice and worship when I got you out of Egypt? Don't you know that what matters is obedience to the Word?"

Today, the barren heights still stand, erected by stubborn "believers." They focus on the quality of their worship (sound system, voice quality, and liveliness) and the quality of their church worship programs--especially their printed programs. I marvel at the useless attention to minor details. But you see church people ignorant of the spoken Word. They never hear God speak to them and mock at the prospect. They insist that a holy life is impossible, and never realize that they have to live the Jesus LIFE no less. 
 
The church today brags about expressive and high worships--crying, thousands of people at the altar, waving their hands, lively singing, active young people in worship teams, fiery testimonies about how God touched them or how He blessed them--and yet, often, you see that "the Word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it" (Jer.6). I've seen active young people in church loathe the Word of God. No one has sharp, ready ears for God's voice in Scriptures--"Who will listen to me?" (6.10). Almost everyone in church just want to be active and take part in programs.

By God's grace, I enjoy expressive worships, crying and laughing in the Spirit, speaking in and interpreting tongues, moving in His presence. Yet, through the Spirit, I take care never to worship on the barren heights. 

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