Praise and Worship

 

She danced before the mercy seat gracefully performing for the Holy One.  He watched her with great pleasure, not at the beauty of her movements or the wind her body created causing her unblemished gown to flow and glide with every twirl and twist; His pleasure was in what was to become of her. Naturally, it was a beautiful dance.  Her feet bounced and tapped at every beat.  Her arms displayed the beauty of the music that surrounded the atmosphere.  Outwardly, she gave Him her apparently flawless performance, working hard to please Him with her dance of praise.

But inwardly, her heart moaned.  She felt inadequate in His presence.  She saw His splendor piercing her through her peripheral vision as her body tasked itself to please Him with a flawless dance.  She wanted to show Him her love and allegiance through this deliberate, preconceived, rehearsed, and perfectly timed performance of devotion to Him.  Then He would see.  Then He would know.  He has everything.  All of her.  Her heart softly whispered to Him, See how hard I’ve worked for you?  See how I’ve practiced my steps for your pleasure?  See how my body memorized these steps to entertain You?

He just watched, waiting…

One, two, three, four….repeat

One, two,three, four….repeat

She delighted in the flawlessness of her praise. One, two, three…. NO! 

The pain of the misstep was severe.  On her knees she fell, left ankle throbbing, music still blaring. The King watching intently.

Jesus!  Jesus! She screamed out. Jesus. My praise! My King.  I wanted to delight you! I wanted to praise you! I wanted to show you my love for you!

He turned His eyes from her.  His eyes turned downward.

She read disappointment.  She read failure. He is displeased. 

Unable to walk, she crawled to Him. On her hands and knees she crawled. Her tears wet the floor as she eased her way towards Him.

It was as if every wound in her heart paralyzed her body.  Every scar removed, every bandage unwrapped, all medicine flushed.  She was raw and exposed.  The consequence of feigned and failed perfection coupled with the realization that her sins splattered out across the floor. He can’t see me like this. 

Oh but He did.

She edged to Him.  Hands shaking to grasp Him at His feet. Her hands edged their way up, gripping his ankles. She opened her eyes and looked straight through the holes in His feet. Reaching down to touch the wound, she realized she had caused his foot to become dirty. She began to wipe away the stain from His skin. The more she wiped, the more stained He became. She wiped harder, and He began to bleed! Oh Jesus! I’m sorry!  I’ve caused you to bleed. 

He reached down and touched her head. “Rise up. Come to me.”

She lifted herself off the floor and reached into His embrace.

…and they danced.

 

On Approaching a Decision…

“Focus on Jesus and He will lead you.”

There are two approaches to decision-making.  Well, actually there are more than two; but there are two approaches I take to decision-making: slow and quick.

The slow approach:  I recognize the choice in front of me and pray for clarity, discernment, and an answer.  I wait for an answer.  When I get an answer, I pray again in order to understand that it is the answer.  This is not an indicator of lack of faith, it is a process that leads me towards certainty.  Some decisions should take time to make.  They should be prayed over, shared, and respected for their weightiness.  God is a God of waiting and sometimes in waiting to make a decision, we wait for God’s provision, timing, or blessing to fall before a move is made.  The slow approach is very comforting because once the decision is made, I know I am certain that it is the right one.

The quick approach: I recognize the choice in front of me and realize that it is immanent.  The answer is in the presentation of the choice.  Choosing is compulsory and inevitable, even.  Choosing not to do anything is just as much of a choice as choosing to make the choice is.  In contrast with the slow approach, these sorts of decisions need to be made in the moment they are given. God is a God of action, and in making the decision to trust Him, we expect His provision, timing, and blessing to fall as the move is made.  The quick approach is comforting only in our identity in Christ and in our confidence of knowing His voice.  With this confidence, we know that the decision to be made is the right one, because His voice is clear.

When a choice is given, the first thing one must do is choose to acknowledge that there is a choice in the horizon.  The second thing is to determine the urgency of the decision-making process.  Is this a decision I need to pray about and seek counsel about?  Is this decision something God is wanting me to make right this moment?

Is the decision supposed to be kept secret between He and I until or after it is made?

Ben Franklin had an excellent method for decision-making.  He would get a piece of paper and fold it vertically down the middle.  On one side he would write all of the pros; and on the other, the cons.  Whichever side had the longest list determined the outcome of his decision.  This method is very careful and self-protective, and it caters to the Type A personality.

However, does God want us to make all of our decisions in that way?  I don’t think He does.  I think when He presents us with a choice, His will is already in it.  The outcome of the decision could look completely foolish and reckless, or like blind faith; yet He will remain faithful.

It is in these decisions that God can be glorified.

In fact, every decision we make is an opportunity to glorify the Lord.

So, my question is: how do we make the decision on how quickly we should make a decision?

It depends on the choice.

It depends on His command.

It depends on our maturity.

It depends on His timing.

May the Lord bless you in your decision-making.  Just make His voice known by you, and His will be revealed to you in ways both great and small.  May you have peace in every decision you are presented with as the Lord gives you the gift of choosing Him daily.  Dwell in His promise, living faithfully to fulfill His purpose in each and every aspect of your life knowing that every situation, choice, person, and gift you are given is an opportunity to be obedient. Praise God in every circumstance, for it is He who gave it to you.  Trust Him and Him alone.  Be at peace with every decision you make; and if you are not, seek Him for peace.  Know when to seek counsel, when to wait, and when to move.  Always trust Him.