“Praise God, everybody! Applaud God, all people!
His love has taken over our lives; God’s faithful ways are eternal. Hallelujah!” Psalm 117 Message
“Raise your hands to the Lord,” the Pastor instructed. I had seen others pray and sing with their arms raised high but this was new for me. My arms felt like lead and something invisible seemed to be holding them down. They were at waist level but I could not get them any higher. How could such a simple task be so hard to do?
It felt peculiar and weird, “Raise my hands to the Lord?” say what? He can see my hands can’t he? It would take a few more weeks before I fully raised my hands. Once I had my arms raised to chest level they just seemed to fly straight up afterwards. Not only did my arms and hands find freedom but my level of worship found a new freedom also.
He is worthy to be praised, is He not?
Yet, it still took me years to learn the simple truth, that I worship Him because He is worthy and NOT because of something I had done or not done that particular week. I have sat through many worship times in church sulking, seething at myself for something I said or did wrong…I had no right to worship Him. The word “Hypocrite” screamed loud and clear in my mind and so I would sit in God’s presence feeling like a piece of dung. When all along He was offering forgiveness and restoration bidding me into His presence.
An older lady once told me “The fire falls at the front.” Meaning, if I wanted to be in God’s presence then I would need to sit near the front of the sanctuary. Although this is not technically true, after all God is not confined to the first few rows. If He was, then most of us are out of luck, too many people for too few front rows, where would the cut off row be? 3rd, 7th or maybe the 23rd row if you were having church at a stadium?
Yet in some sense she was also right. If you want to be in God’s presence you need to except His invitation to sit at His feet (can’t get more up front than that) and let His love for you take over your life. Only as we experience His love for us can we love Him back. Only then can we know His worth. Only then can we praise and applaud Him from a heart of worship.
Wherever you sit in your church sanctuary know you have a front row seat with the Lord. Don’t stay in the back row looking on. Come up front and kneel in His presence there is plenty of room at His feet.
Thank you for stopping by. Pray you have been encouraged in your walk with the Lord.
Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance.
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