Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Selah Moments

Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You
maybe found . . . You are my hiding place. You preserve me from trouble.
You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah. Psalm 32.6-7

What is worship?  How do we worship a God we cannot see?  Is worship just when we’re singing praise songs to God?

A discussion for the ages, I know.  But I’m not letting that stop me from sharing with you something I’ve come to understand this summer through my perusal of the Psalms.  This isn’t meant to be a "BE ALL, END ALL" discussion on worship but a starting point that just might get you thinking, talking, discussing – which is always good!

There is a very small word in the Psalms that crops up all over the place.  It’s the word, “Selah”.  In some translations it’s interpreted as, “Interlude”.  I was reminded of a long ago sermon when the pastor explained that Selah was there to remind us to, “pause and think about what we had just read.”

Remembering that Psalms are songs I wondered what those Selah Moments, those musical interludes, must have been like for the Israelites as they were singing those songs.  And then, I thought about the praise and worship times at my church and I realized we have Selah Moments as well.  Those times when the band plays a musical interlude and I am silent. 

I confess, I’ve often wondered why they play those interludes.  Am I supposed to be impressesd?  Is this just a time to admire the skill of those who are playing?

But what if those are times that God is calling me to stop and think about what I’ve just sung?  What if He wants me to reflect on the words I’ve just proclaimed and ask myself, “Do I believe what I just sang or are they just words?

Another confession . . . (since confession frees the soul!) Most of the time I find myself thinking about all the things I have to do when I get home. 

BUT what if God wants more from me? . . . What if those “Selah Moments” are worship opportunities, as well?  Occasions to worship and adore my Heavenly Father in the most intimate way possible – in my silence.

The next time you find yourself in church and the band, organ, or whatever musical instruments you might have, are playing a musical interlude . . . don’t let that Selah Moment slip by . . .  I challenge you to worship Him in your singing and in your silence!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Remember Me . . . God!

A friend of mine said goodbye to her daughter this week.   With a kiss and prayer, she watched her journey from this world into the next.  Trusting and believing that she has stepped into the presence of the One who called her HOME.

I can’t even fathom the pain her heart is in right now.  Only those who have traveled this road of heartache understand.   As I read Psalm forty-four this week, I wondered . . . Does this echo the cry of my friend’s heart?

Get up, GOD!  Are you going to sleep all day?  Wake up!  Don’t you care what happens to us?  Why do you bury your face in the pillow?  Why pretend things are just fine with us?  And here we are – flat on our faces in the dirt, held down with a boot on our necks.  Get up and come to our rescue.  If you love us so much, HELP US!  (Psalm 44.23-26 MSG)

Isn’t this brutal honesty refreshing? This author doesn’t mince words, he doesn’t skirt around the issue.  He tells God exactly what he thinks and how he feels. And the amazing thing is . . . God doesn’t strike him dead! 

Are you in agony over a difficulty in your life?  Do you wonder if God cares?  Do you feel like He has a boot to your neck?  I encourage you to do what this Psalmist did – tell HIM.  Plain and simple.  Call it like you see it and give voice to your pain.

What will happen?  I’m not sure. . .  But I do know this.  You will turn towards Him and not away.  You will seek Him not run from Him and you will be right where God wants you . . . In His presence.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Academics or Intimacy

Growing up I was taught that God desired to have a relationship with me.  But my pursuit of that relationship looked more like a student in a classroom than an intimate connection with the lover of my soul.


Prayer became a list of what I needed and an expectation of God to answer.  Because after all, I reasoned, God says He will give us what we need if we ask, right?  It’s in the Bible somewhere?


I think many of us approach prayer as if God is our great Santa Claus in the sky and we’re disillusioned when He doesn’t come through for us.  We have pursued prayer not to hear from God or to form a bond with Him but to get what we need.


God wants so much more for our relationship with Him!  He sacrificed His only Son so that we could have a union with Him that is beyond all others!  God is here!  He has come near. 
 My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62.7-9  


Will you pull up a chair and sit in His presence today?  Why not discover who He is for yourself and pour out your heart to Him?  He is waiting . . .


Lord, I confess that I have followed after You more to get what I want than to know You.  Change me.  Open my eyes.  I want to follow hard after You.  Show me how to live in relationship with You.  Amen.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

One Breath . . .

You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.  My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath. 

We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.  We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it.  And so Lord, where do I put my hope?  My only hope is in You.                          Psalm 39:5-7


We are merely moving shadows and all our busy rushing ends in nothing . . .  We leave work early to get Charley to soccer practice.  We pick up Sarah from dance lessons and hurry home to throw in a load of laundry, grab a bite to eat and rush off to the next thing on our calendar before we fall into bed.  Only to do the same thing all over again the following day.


At the end . . . does all this dashing about really accomplish anything?


I’m reminded of how fragile life can be and how easily I forget that it is so.  I get glimpses - reminders of my eternal destination but they are all too quickly swallowed in the temporal of the here and now.   The crazy. The busy.  The hectic.


Where does this insatiable need to fill my life with activity come from?  Why do I consistently choose the transitory over the everlasting?


I crave more of Him and less of this madness.  I hunger for solace and peace in the chaotic mess of my life.  Life is but a breath . . .  a blink of the eye . . . a snap of the fingers and it’s gone!  Will it matter that I have lived?  Will my life make a difference?


Lord, remove the blinders that keep me from seeing life from Your eternal perspective.  Teach me to look beyond my circumstances - to see eternity in every day.  Give me eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart that is willing to let you lead.  Make my one breath count!  Amen.