Saturday, March 29, 2014

Prepping To Meet With God

Psalm 100 has always been one of my most favorite Psalm.
Funny, sitting here this morning I suddenly began to see it in a different light.
My Bible reads that Psalm 100 is "A song of praise for the Lord's faithfulness to His people."

Automatically, I think of congregational singing.
Those times when a collective of voices seem to resonate beyond the notes and actually touch the Father's heart. Touch His heart to the extent He comes down and fills the song with His presence. Shouldn't that be our goal when we gather to worship? To become one in heart and spirit and let our words reflect the truth of our hearts. Such a reflection directed toward God always draws His presence. Now some may be pondering at this very moment...."But I thought God was Omnipotent? I thought God was everywhere?" Well, He is. But to me, as best I can explain it, it's like being in a room full of people. You can be a bodily presence in that room, yet sit in the corner and never interact with anyone. But, someone says something that is directed to you, and you get up and engage in the conversation. Same with God. Yes, He is in our midst, but it is our worship that draws Him to engage in the "conversation" of the song.

Truth be known...
Psalm 100 is a religion busting song.
It gets all up in our modern-western world-Americanized version of Christianity.

The very first verse shoots all our church-learning-on-how-to-act right out of the water.
V1. Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!"
Oh horror of horror's....shouting in the church.
We're too educated and dignified to elicit such a response.
"God didn't actually mean "Shout"....what He truly meant was to think "loudly".

Imagine a shout. Yeah, right.
Now, all this shout business is not about simply seeing how much noise you can make.
It is a collective release of love/praise/thanksgiving by the people for the understanding of what God has done to them, through them and for them.
Funny things happen when God's people shout....
Huge walls come down like Joshua at Jericho.
Those insurmountable times and situations will fall under the weight of a vocal shout to the Lord. I know...I know....seems so surreal. It seems that way because we live so far outside the scope of understanding God and His ways. 

V2. Serve the Lord with gladness
Every time I read this verse, I am reminded of a television show that I pass by periodically on Sunday morning. It is a local congregation and their Sunday service, and the show always opens with a tight shot of the congregation standing to sing the first song.   A tight camera shot pans the crowd...there they stand...hymn books raised....mouths open....singing to God...but they all look like they were baptized in persimmon juice. Frowns...droopy faces.....sad eyes....not a joyous one in the whole bunch. I don't want my life to reflect that. I want that whatever I do....whether it's taking a nap or raising the dead to reflect they goodness and gratitude that I have for God.

V3 Know that the LORD He is God
This is the very heart of why we do Saturday night at Vineyard Recovery Church.
That we collectively may know God.  Not a mental ascent to His greatness, but an experiential knowing as we allow Him to work in our hearts. You can talk about electricity all you want. But you ain't never gonna understand the real nature of it until you allow it to get a hold of you. Once you've been shocked, it opens a whole other world of understanding. Same with God....we need Him to come down and get up all in heart and in our business.

V4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise
You know, it almost sounds like a party doesn't it? We come into God's presence with gratefulness and a thankful heart. We don't come thinking about what all we've got to do. We don't come weighed down by life....we turn our affairs, situations and circumstances over to Him. We come unfettered and free. You know, I can do that if I truly believe God is who He claims to be, and will do what He claims He will do. I have to give Him room to work in me and that can't happen if I won't turn loose of all my "stuff". Philippians 2:13 reads: For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Simple! I have to let Him be God in me.

So for those of you who will attend a service either today or tomorrow...
Go with the idea that you are going to meet God.
Go expecting God to show up and work in you.

You might be surprised what happens...

God on you...


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