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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I really do want to listen...

Come - to approach or move toward; to arrive my movement or a set course of purpose.  Let - to cause or make something occur. Us - you and me.  Bow - incline ourselves so as to be in the position of reverence; to yield ourselves to another. Worship - honor and adore. Him - none other should be our focus.  Kneel - take a knee in submission; to no longer be in a position to run.  Before - awaiting what only comes when we are both yielded and no longer running. The Lord - the creator of all things.  Quite a beginning to our study today, isn't it?  We are to approach, not with pride, but in humility. Not with the list of good deeds we have managed to accomplish, but with the trust that our lack of goodness will be met with the fullness of his grace.  There is no longer any running - but yielded spirit, open heart, and focused attention.  This is how we approach the throne of God.


Come, let us bow down and worship him! Let us kneel before the Lord who made us. He is our God, and we are the people he cares for, his sheep that walk by his side. Listen to his voice today... (Psalm 95:6-7 ERV)


He is our God and we are the people he cares for.  We often gloss right over the words of this passage as though they were just nice "poetry" or "kind words".  Herein is our misfortune in doing so - we miss what God wants us to really get into our hearts and minds about who we are in his eyes.  As we approach his throne, it isn't in our own effort, but in the beauty of his grace.  What is more remarkable is this idea of humbling oneself to become even more blessed by his hand!  As we approach with yielded and expectant heart, we are met with outpourings of his care and "carefulness" over our lives.  He is the giver of both the correction which makes our path certain and straight, and the grace and love to walk therein!

The sheep needed both the correction of the shepherd and the tender, watchful eye of his care.  Their very "salvation" depended on that! Without the shepherd's care, they'd be stolen away in the night, never to return.  Without his care, they would be driven further and further away from the lush valleys where they could graze and find their fill.  I daresay, without God's care we'd be in quite a mess in our lives!  Something we cannot miss is the description of where the sheep dwell - they don't lie down and just cuddle up for an eternal nap.  They walk by his side.  This suggests to me the idea of God expecting us to actually spread his grace around - not just enjoy it all by ourselves.

I think we often walk ahead of God - getting our timing all messed up because we think we have it all figured out.  Then we get a little behind him in matters where we find it a bit more of a struggle to "get on board" with what he desires to do in or through our lives.  If we can just find the "cadence" of walking alongside him, we'd be much more satisfied in our walk.  There is something of strength garnered from being side-by-side in the walk, not struggling to lead, nor lagging behind in frustration or fear. God's desire is for us to not "keep up", but be "kept" alongside. When I am at the side of someone, I can easily take hold of their hand when I sense fear, or be in a position to feel their embrace when I am feeling like I might just need a little extra "bolstering" in my forward progress.  God doesn't want us our front, boasting in our own strength, or being pushed along to get us moving in the first place.  He doesn't want us lagging behind, for he knows the enemy often attacks from the rear!

How is it we actually hear God's voice?  We need to be in a position to hear it!  I have recognized something with mom's hearing loss. When I am pushing her in the wheelchair, I can be talking loudly enough for everyone else in the store to hear me, but because I am behind her, she doesn't grasp the clarity of what I say.  When I am in front of her, you'd think she'd hear me more, but only if I am facing her and on her level!  At her side, she hears me much better. Maybe there is a lessons there for us - it isn't as important in some things, but I think position and attitude is quiet important when it comes to listening and to being heard!  Just sayin!