Skip to main content

Assume the position!

Moments come when we just need to 'assume the position'. If you are presently in the military, or are ex-military, you understand the meaning of that statement. Our drill sergeants would ask us to assume the position just before we began our daily workout session, better known to some as the "Army Daily Dozen". Stop for a moment to consider that there is a 'position' and a 'posture' to just about everything we do. There is a posture, as well as a position to worship we often do not consider. The psalms are great "stopping spots" for discovering words of encouragement, utterances of praise, and moments to just "rest" in adoration of our King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This morning, let's consider the words of Psalm 95. It begins with "Come, let’s shout praises to God, raise the roof for the Rock who saved us!

Let’s march into his presence singing praises, lifting the rafters with our hymns!" Then it goes on to proclaim the "why" of worship. It is always good to know the "why" behind our actions, isn't it? So come, let us worship: bow before him, on your knees before God, who made us! Oh yes, he’s our God, and we’re the people he pastures, the flock he feeds. (Psalm 95:6-7 MSG)

The why? "Because God is the best..." (vs. 3) Jehovah, the unchanging one, is the best! The one true God, creator of all things, the one who holds all things in the palm of his hand, and by whom all things are held together - he is the BEST. When our psalmist uses this word, I think he means the most desirable! There is nothing and no one else that can satisfy our deepest longings like he can. As a matter of fact, no one knows our deepest longings quite like he does! The how? We "come", "bow down", assuming a humble posture, "on our knees" before him. Now, "posture" tells us much about a man's heart and mind condition, does it not? Ever encounter someone in the throws of depression? What is their "posture" like? Head down, shoulders slumped, every movement seemingly a great effort, shuffling gait - not to mention the posture of their facial expressions and the lack of clarity in their eyes! These are "tell-tale" signs - posture. On the other hand, come across the one who has just come from a deep, intimate experience with God and you will see an entirely different posture. Head high, joyful steps, exuberance in actions, and facial expressions reflecting the presence of the Almighty.

In assuming a "posture" of worship, the first step is to just show up! Our psalmist says, "So come". The first step out of our "funk" is often the hardest, but it is in "showing up" that we are in a position of having the weight of this world lifted from our already too burdened hearts! Sometimes the hardest step is the most needed step! God would not tell us to "come" if there was not a pull to "stay away". It is only in approaching God's presence that healing can begin. Distance is our adversary. Closeness is our salvation. Our psalmist does not leave us there - in fact, he tells us to "bow down". First, we show up - we take steps toward God - then we remove the masks. When we bow down, isn't this what we are doing? There is an old word we seldom use anymore, but it speaks volumes - "prostate". It means to "lay flat" - in other words, we are to put down the things we hide behind and get real with God. This is where we get the term to "humble oneself". It is a position of being stripped down and bare. In the presence of a doctor, you remove your clothes in order to be examined, don't you? In the presence of your God, should you expect any less? It may not be a literal removal of clothing, but I believe God expects us to "get real" with him in worship.

The result? We are fed! As the sheep of his pasture, our needs are attended to in worship. We follow, he leads. We take in what he provides, leaving all other sources of "fulfillment" behind. Worship is first and foremost about God. What we bring to him is nothing more than ourselves. As scarred, beaten up, and wounded as we are. Yet, in this honest presentation of ourselves before him, in honor of his position as the one who holds all things in the palm of his hand (including us), we bow down. In submissive honesty, we get real with God - in turn, we find him connecting with each beat of our heart and feeling each breath of our nostrils. Sweetly caressed in his presence, it is only natural for the "creation" to begin to raise the voice in praise to the "Creator". Maybe we just need a good dose of worship during these days we are in righ tnow. God calls us to "come" - are you willing to take the first step? Just askin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

Do me a favor

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. (Philippians 2:1-4) Has God's love made ANY difference in your life? What is that difference? Most of us will likely say that our lives were changed for the good, while others will say there was a dramatic change. Some left behind lifestyles marked by all manner of outward sin - like drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, or even thievery. There are many that will admit the things they left behind were just a bit subtler - what we can call inward sin - things like jealousy,