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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Pulling those corset laces tighter?

A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.  For the Lord God is our sun and our shield.  He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. Lord of Heaven’s Armies, what joy for those who trust in you
(Psalm 84:10-12 NLT)

No good thing goes undiscovered when we are walking in the presence of the Most High God. In fact, whatever we most need is discovered as we lean into his presence and allow his presence to really "get into" us. Yes, God indwells us, but sometimes we forget to really "breathe" - resting in his presence, allowing him to be all we need for the moment. We give lip-service to him being our "all-in-all", but then we act contrary to that lip-service by not being willing to rest in his presence, waiting on his settling influence to help us sort out our next steps.

For just a moment, imagine an old-fashioned corset of yesteryear - one of those lace up jobs that bound a woman in so tightly. The laces would be pulled so tight that it was almost impossible for the individual to take a deep breath. While bound up, the wearer could not bend without stays digging in, constantly reminding the wearer just how "bound" she was. Yes, she looked rather "put together" while wearing such a binding garment, but she wasn't free to actually be her true self because she was always reminded she was "maintaining" an image of what she wasn't truly.

God's presence doesn't act like a corset, my friends. Indeed, his presence is a liberating and entirely freeing thing. There is a freedom of movement in his presence - nothing like that which the "corset of religion" places upon us. Religion places the corset of rules and regulations - God's presence affords the freedom of relationship through grace. There are times we crawl back into the corset, allowing those rules and regulations we think will give us some privilege in his presence to bind us up and keep us from really relating to him. No rule or regulation gives us any greater sense of his presence, or any higher place in his courts of grace. 

There are lots of "corsets" we don in our lives - ranging from the corset of mistrust to that of envy and bitterness. All have an equally binding effect, and all constantly keep us from freely breathing in his presence. They affect our peace and rather than turning to him to have that corset removed once and for all, we sometimes just remove a stay here and there, thinking that will do it for us. Yes, there is some relief, but we are still bound! Until the laces are undone, entirely removed from their hooks, and the corset is removed from around us, we aren't truly free! His desire is for us to experience his presence "corset free" - not bound by any sin, nor restricted by any set of religious rules. Just sayin!