Saturday, August 11, 2012

part of worship

sometimes the sound of rain pounding down on the roof is as satisfying to my spirit as the most profound worship song.

i've been thinking about humility lately. how it comes. why it comes. how much it can hurt, but how much joy is found there.

He tells us that He is drawn to the humble, that He resists the proud (james 4:6)

He tells us that our state is humble anyway-- our righteousness and our righteous acts are as filthy rags. He doesn't mean that our good works mean nothing, it's just that in comparison to His great goodness, they could never measure up, no matter how much we produce. He's just that good.

He tells us that we are strangers here-- this place is not our home. we are sojourning-- we are travelers. sometimes we are revelers. often, we are mourners. but either way, we are just visiting. visiting a place that we don't come from, ultimately to return to our home in His presence.

so why do we struggle with thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought to?

how can the created thing think that it can understand the mind of the Creator? understand how He chooses to work, to decide, to choose? how can the created thing presume to tell its Creator how things should be done?

we created things are created in His image with minds and imaginations and hopes and dreams and aspirations. and those things are good-- but they have to be managed.

He resists the proud and is drawn to the humble.

and He has shown us what is good and what He requires of us-- that we would love mercy, act justly, and walk humbly with Him.

all that, and He invites us to walk with Him.

has anyone ever asked you to take a walk with them?

that is such an intimate thing.

how can a God, so perfect in all His ways, want to walk with me?

this is the same God who put His life on the line for me. who walked straight into death to restore me to His Father. our Father.

this God walks in so much humility that He can lay His life down for me, redeem me because He is sinless, and also invites me to walk with Him.

there are no words for how mind boggling this is.

and when i think of what it means to worship Him-- that He would lean close to hear my heart-- i am filled up with joy. He invites us to worship Him-- He says that if we won't do it, the rocks and stones will! is it because He's an egomaniacal god who lives to hear how great he is, or is it because He knows that we were made to worship Him-- that we were made to touch the divine in the place of worship, where we understand  who He truly is, and that this is the place where we truly commune with Him? and that THIS is what brings life? this intimacy with Him. and it doesn't matter to Him how we sound in the face of that-- He asks us to bring our whole, most sincere selves into His presence, lift up our souls and remind ourselves by telling Him how lovely He is...

i have a good friend (who is not a believer) who once bristled at the thought that i was commanded by God to worship Him. i totally understood what she was saying, and i don't guess she knows that i have thought of her words so many times since then. she wasn't being haughty-- she was trying to understand.

i've come to believe that there is something so basic and instinctual about worshiping Him. in the same way that i must tell my husband about my deep love for him, that it's good for our relationship for me to tell him how i feel, we must tell God. when we tell someone how much they mean to us, it reinforces what we already knew. He is emphatically telling me what i must do to stay connected to Him, reminding me of what this earth would make me forget-- that i was created to worship Him, not the things He created. He knows what will produce life in me.

does that make sense?

there's power in proclamation-- we remind our spirits that He is good and kind and holy and creative and powerful and wise and noble and fair and merciful. and when we sing...oh, if everyone could just relax into singing... it's like flying. to just "forget about ourselves and magnify the Lord and worship Him"...

He is drawn to the humble. He made the way for us-- He showed us how it is done. He did not demand the place of honor and He even allowed Himself to be misunderstood and wrongly accused to the point of crucifixion-- when He could have snapped His fingers and disappeared.

He resists the proud.

resists. pushes against. does not cooperate with.

there is so much pride in me.

so tonight, i'm thinking of Him, anticipating worshiping Him with my friends tomorrow, and asking Him to help me walk in mercy, kindness, justice, and humility. asking Him for wisdom.

humility can hurt, but there is so much freedom in it-- walking in humility, there aren't the false expectations that accompany prideful proclamations. humility does not seek the best seat or the most attention. humility seeks to become less so He can become more.

there's this verse-- fall on the rock and be broken lest the rock fall on you and crush you to dust.

that sounds like a picture of humility to me-- we fall on Him, confess to Him our need for Him in our despair, depravity, selfishness, ambition, greed, fear, etc., and we are broken-- in His mercy, there is forgiveness, and we are given hearts of flesh. but if we resist that brokenness, we will ultimately find ourselves crushed under inevitable judgment. it's the Law. it's what we choose if we don't choose His mercy.

what an amazing God. by fessing up and losing ourselves in Him, we are restored.

let's forget about ourselves, concentrate on God and worship Him.