After yesterday’s rebuke, several songs in my worship today seemed appropriate for various reasons, but what stood out was Reuben Morgan’s Still.
After a long time of spending time with God but not really – me talking and not giving Him a chance to talk, sounds familiar? – I was reminded today to really just be still in His presence. This is difficult for someone like me to do because I talk way too much, and silence bothers me. So when God told me to simply be still, it was both boon and bane, because it would take an effort to shut everything out and really focus on Him.
But that’s really the essence of prayer, isn’t it? Like any relationship, if one expects it to prosper, one must devote time and attention to it. And too often, prayer is last on a busy person’s agenda, sandwiched in whatever free time is available, and even then, delivered half-heartedly because of all the other items on a person’s to-do list. But when one is able to focus – to touch God, even! – wow, what revelations and breakthroughs are capable and possible!
The Crave series is giving me an opportunity to really do that. I confess that I’ve been taking my daily time with God for granted, but knowing that I am one with hundreds – thousands, maybe – of other Filipino-Christians going through Psalm 119 together, encourages me and gives me an opportunity to get personal on a blog that otherwise has become almost impersonal because of its Contemporary Christian music focus.
From today’s devotional, Psalm 119:25-32 reads:
25I am laid low in the dust;
preserve my life according to your word.
26I recounted my ways and you answered me;
teach me your decrees.
27Let me understand the teaching of your precepts;
then I will meditate on your wonders.
28My soul is weary with sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word.
29Keep me from deceitful ways;
be gracious to me through your law.
30I have chosen the way of truth;
I have set my heart on your laws.
31I hold fast to your statutes, O LORD;
do not let me be put to shame.
32I run in the path of your commands,
for you have set my heart free.
The verse that jumped out at me from today’s Crave reading is Verse 32: I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free. This morning, during my quiet time – an ironic term for me if ever I heard one – I was dancing up a storm to Israel Houghton’s You Are Good.
And I danced. I danced like David did. I danced, belly jiggling, arms flailing, just delighting in the goodness of my King. And I experienced something that I hadn’t experienced in a while. For a few precious moments, I experienced freedom. When I sang – mouthed, really, because I didn’t want to wake the house up – I released up to God a prayer of thanks because I believe I am about to experience a personal breakthrough in terms of my relationship with Him. When we walk in the ways of the Lord, we actually gain freedom. We actually live a lifestyle free of chains. It’s an ironic thing because most people think Christianity is all about do’s and don’t’s. It’s not. It’s about a relationship with God, and when we value that relationship, the so-called rules to which we are bound are no longer seen as rules. They’re seen as delightful opportunities to honor a God Who has given us the very best He has to offer: the promise of forever with Him.
As I tweeted yesterday, arrogance will be the death of me. And it really will. Pride was the downfall of Lucifer, and it was the downfall of Judas Iscariot, and the downfall of countless more throughout history, those people who thought they could do it without, or better than, God. This season, I’m re-learning humility. Of course, to make a public declaration of it requires a lot more balls than otherwise expected of most Christian men. But here’s where the rubber meets the road. We are all human, prone to mistakes, rather like sheep, dumb and stubborn. When I document my journey here, I am taking accountability for my actions and letting y’all know that I need help. And you need help too. We all need help. The good news is this: our help comes from the Lord. Take it away, The Museum.