Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Have you ever found the sense of God's presence has a very similar physical manifestation to anxiousness and fear?  Maybe it's just me, but there are days when I can sense the nearness of the Holy Spirit and it causes a flutter in my gut and a tightness in my chest that makes me feel like it's all I can do just to catch my next breath.

I'm feeling exactly that way right now as I type this into the computer. The only difference being that rather than the "fight or flight" response I have when those feelings are rooted in fear, instead I feel like I would simply like to collapse to my knees and worship the Father.  Why don't I?  Well because I am at work, in the middle of my day and it just doesn't feel appropriate.

This feeling is one that can both be pursued and can sneak up on me.  I have at times been just walking through the grocery store and very suddenly in the midst of walking up an aisle, it's all I can do not to fall on my face and weep in His presence.  Sometimes when I am on a long walk the same desire will arise, the need to just worship.  I will sometimes raise my hands, but I try to make it look as much like a "normal" stretch as I go, just in case anyone is watching.

Sometimes in church service these same feelings will come upon me and feel interrupted.  This past Sunday, I found myself very caught up in worship (which is actually unusual for me) and my eyes were closed and my arms stretched toward the heavens, I was completely caught up in pursuing the presence of the Lord when the music stopped and the pastor began to speak announcements.  Even in church I found myself pulling my arms down quickly, embarrassed.

I can't help but wonder, why do I do that?  And how would my life be different if I didn't let myself refrain because of what other people might think.  What am I missing out on because in those moments of overwhelming desire to worship and connect with God I let myself focus on the thoughts, approval and opinions of others.

I am honestly just thinking "out loud" because I don't know how I could dare to do anything any differently.  What would people think?  Yes, there might be grace if I was lost in worship in the middle of a church service, but if I drop to my knees at Ralph's someone is likely to make a phone call to bring an ambulance or worse to tend to my apparent mental health issues.

James 4: 8a says "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." And I honestly imagine that these love bursts of worship, reverence and awe are probably symptomatic of exactly that, the Lord drawing near.  I can't help but wonder if there isn't some serious opportunity being missed by not just stopping and basking in the presence of my Savior.

I have been thinking about Him, and my relationship with Him a lot lately.  I mean, I have always found him to be in the center of my thoughts, I am always wondering what He thinks or feels about my actions and choices, but I have been thinking with more intention, reminding myself of the things He has done for me, and the parts of Himself that He has revealed to me through those experiences.  I am trying very purposely to remember exactly who I was when I came to Him-- broken, lost, desperate, hungering and thirsting for someTHING more only to realize that the answers to my needs were in a Person, in a someONE not a someTHING.

It's never been religion that had the answers to my lack, pain or loss, and I am sad to admit how many times in the years since I came in to relationship with Christ how many times I have let it be about the religion and lost all focus on the relationship.  It sounds cliche to say "Christianity is a relationship not a religion," but it's so completely and profoundly TRUE.  Oh God how desperately I love You.  How is it I so often forget the greatness and passion that is at the very root of our relationship? 

I am so thankful that God has not forgotten, and that I am sure is why when I least expect it He very suddenly comes up upon me and sweeps me off my feet-- like a passionate lover who takes me into His loving embrace until my heart flutters and He makes me swoon, wanting only to fall into His arms and be embraced by the amazing love that will consume my very existence, and beautifully so.

Lord, let me lay aside everything that is in and of myself and any concern for appearance or judgment, just simply, allow myself to swoon in Your beautiful presence.  Lover of my soul, how desperately I long to love you with the very same abandon with which you have so completely and selflessly loved me first...

David was afraid of the Lord that day and said, “How can the ark (presence) of the Lord ever come to me?” He was not willing to take the ark of the Lord to be with him in the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed him and his entire household.
Now King David was told, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark (presence) of God.” So David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.
2 Samuel 6:9-15

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