No Substitute for the Real Thing


James Merritt encourages us to think less about what others think of us and more about what God thinks of us.

There is a businessman in India by the name of Bahadur Chand Gupta. He has developed a very unique business. He bought an old Airbus 300 and parked it in the city of Delhi. Each week, this disabled airplane is open for tours so that Indians, who have never flown, can pay the equivalent of about four U.S. dollars to sit on an airplane that is no longer in operation. 

Customers get to relax in a seat, listen to a pilot make announcements over the sound system and even be served by flight attendants. The jet never moves, but these so called “passengers” have the experience of being inside a plane as if they were flying. They will never know the thrill of seeing the clouds from beneath them rather than about them. They will never have the experience of flying through the air at hundreds of miles an hour. They will never experience the thrill of a takeoff or the joy of a landing. 

These people walk on to this plane, buckle themselves in, watch a safety demonstration, and when they look out pf the windows the landscape never changes. In fact, the airplane they use has only one wing and a large part of the tail is missing. In a country where 99% of the population has never been on an airplane, this business has proved to be extremely successful. 

To so many people, church is really no different. People come into a church, sit in a comfortable seat, listen to music, hear a pastor give a message and let other people serve them—and all the while they're never really going anywhere. They never really worship. They settle for a second-rate experience—never really connecting with God and wondering why worship for them is so boring.

When you realize that you can come into the presence of God as one of His children and that the God who created all of this wants to lead you and love you and live inside of you and spend eternity with you, you ought to be excited about Who you worship. I realize that we are so self-conscious and we are so afraid of what other people might think if we show any expression, any emotion, or give off any energy in worship. All I am saying is if we started thinking less about what other people might think about us and more about what God thinks about us, it might completely change the way we come into His presence and worship.


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