1 Chronicles 3-5: Marching orders

The Lord is awesome!  Yesterday I wrote about the power of the Name of Jesus.  Today in church, the worship music was all about the Name!

Because today’s reading was so dry (more begats, from more tribes of Israel), tonight I want to record my thoughts about worship today.

I wish I could bottle up the feeling I get when I am surrounded by fellow Christians of like mind.  As we sing to Jesus, it’s as if all walls are torn down.  Nothing exists beyond our praise for the true King…we are all fallen, broken people, who have come to throne for healing, for grace, for mercy, for salvation, and for peace, and there is something so sweet about sharing praise together.  It’s tangible.  The hairs stand up on my arms; sometimes I get chills; sometimes I cry; sometimes I am so overcome with worship that I can no longer sing.  Praising Jesus is one of the best gifts we have.

But praise is also a formidable weapon.  The story of the way the walls of Jericho came tumbling down — using nothing but the praise of God’s people — is an example of the power of praise.  Today the pastor spoke about what a person who is caught in the valley of the shadow can do to navigate what he is calling “the neutral zone.”  It’s that place between an ending and a new beginning.

The Lord is always with us, especially when we are overcome and burdened.  This is illustrated in Psalm 23 vividly.  Notice the way David switches from third person (He) to 2nd person (you):

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, [a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

When everything is going great in our lives, it seems as though God is a third-person God.  We refer to Him as He.  But when troubles surround us, we often get on our knees and begin talking to Him.  He is with us at all times, but when we are navigating the valleys of our lives, we are more sensitized to His Presence.  We are more able to cry out and lay it all out on the table for Him.

My prayer as I stood in church today was that I would not simply let the message wash over me and then seep down into the floor.  I want to be changed.  I want to truly begin every day with a decision that my day is not my own: it is Yours, God.  I confess right now that I don’t always do that.  In fact, I rarely set out in the morning seeking God’s will for my life because I am such a creature of routine.  From the moment my feet hit the floor, I am already planning everything from the breakfast menu to chores to homeschool tasks to errands that need to be done to dinner.

Let tomorrow be a day that begins with me taking my marching orders from the King, rather than a day of taking orders from myself.

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