Reverence | An Awakening

Earlier this year I felt led to submit an article to two different online magazines. I felt smoked by the Spirit as I wrote this, and yet neither magazine wanted it. The words are still His and it's time I share them.

So, without further ado, a word on Reverence


Maybe it’s because we live in first-world Americana, but the idea of reverence seems to be lost on many. We can’t tangibly understand the idea because, after all, we live for ourselves much of the time. The Christ-follower in this culture might believe that she is “dying to herself” and revering the Lord she serves, but there are so many simple and yet humbling questions to be asked of her.

We don’t know what it is to bow before a Sovereign, and for some, if given a face-to-face meeting with the President, it would almost be frowned upon if they did not greet him with words of disdain and disrespect.

We are not a culture that reveres.

We boast, we bully, we believe that the ideas created within ourselves are the best of the best and anyone who disagrees loses their place at our table.

And somewhere in the midst of that lies the Sovereign Most High.

 

“For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.” -Joshua 4:23-24 | NIV

 

What would happen inside of us if we closed our eyes, quieted our hearts, and let the reality of these events (and the countless others) sink deep into our souls, past our inward-focus, past our distractibility?  What if we entered into the House of God fully aware of the God we were about to meet?

The God who told Moses to take off his sandals because in His presence, the ground is Holy.

The God who is worshipped around the clock with tongues of fire belonging to beings our minds cannot even begin to imagine.

The God who saw the deepest stains of sin and bondage within her and decided to wash her as white as snow.

Could it be that God desires an awakening of reverence? He has not forgotten about His majesty and might, but He has seen each and every time we have.  And in His mercy and grace, He patiently awaits our reverence. He invites us to take off our sandals. He invites us to unveil our faces. He beckons us to lift up our hands.

Because He is worthy of all of that and so much more.

Reverence: to cause astonishment and awe; be held in awe.

When we look beyond ourselves, when we remove the veil of pride, disengagement, and fear, we can do nothing but stand in awe of the God we serve. 

 

I will remember the actions the Eternal has taken,

    reminisce on Your ancient wonders.

I will reflect on all of Your work;

    indeed, I will study all You have performed. 

O God, Your way is so different, so distinct, so divine.

    No other god compares with our God.

You, God, and Your works evoke wonder.

    You have proved Your strength to the nations. 

-Psalm 77:11-14 | the Voice

 

Jess Connolly says in her book, Wild and Free, “The full picture, you see, requires you and me to acknowledge that the main character of the story is not the masterpiece, but its Creator.” How many of us enter into worship and inevitably worship ourselves? Our hands are raised and our hair is done for the glory and praise of the wrong “one”. But the heart that reveres worships with abandon. The ambassador who glorifies and honors the One she represents does so in accordance with what He says is right and true.

 

“Your adornment must not be merely external—with interweaving and elaborate knotting of the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or [being superficially preoccupied with] dressing in expensive clothes; but let it be [the inner beauty of] the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, [one that is calm and self-controlled, not overanxious, but serene and spiritually mature] which is very precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:3-4 | AMP

 

Imagine yourself a little girl, leaping downstairs to twirl in front of your Papa in your brand new dress. Do you know the One it is that you twirl before? He is the Papa who says, “Darling, that dress is lovely,” and placing His big, tender, powerful hand over your heart, He continues, “but you [the “you” that rests in here] are beautiful.”

When we stand in awe of this God who chose us, we lose interest in standing our ground on our rights as free women who can “do as we please” because the longing to worship in truth and grace is far too great.

We remove our sandals and unveil our faces.

We stand in abandoned awe at this Holy King who says to each one of us, “I choose you.”

 

He Is Now My Lord

"Hear this, daughter; pay close attention to what I am about to say; you must forget your people and even your father's house. Because the king yearns for your beauty, humble yourself before him, for he is now your lord."

-Psalm 45:10-11 | the Voice

 

You know when you've read a verse multiple times and you pass it off as "heard and understood"? This verse is one of those for me. Reality is, much of the Psalms are that way for me, which is why my mind has been exploding morning after morning since January when I began diving into a new translation. We have a way of carrying our old stuff with us, even when it's good stuff, and that can potentially keep us from something new and wonderful. 

The above statement is also true in relationships and our "life labels" (the things we've identified ourselves by, whether given by ourselves or others, that shape the way we receive and perceive events around us).  This morning, as I sat back down after interruption #37 of my time with the Lord, I forced my eyes to linger a little bit over these words. You see, I tend to get distracted by the purposed audience of scripture, which then keeps me from seeing a possible alternative meaning to God's words. In literal terms, I read that the author wanted to talk to some girl because the king (I'm guessing David??) thinks she's fly and wants her to leave all she knows and be with him. Truth is, there's something here for this daughter too.

I'm your textbook holder-on-er.

What is that, you ask?

I'm the one with the memories that blare like an obnoxious television and a photographic memory that seems to favor the bad snapshots. Much to my husband's dismay, I can't seem to let things go, but rather I find myself longing to understand why they stay where they do. Why do I keep these memories locked up tight and pull them out at the first chance I get? What treasures lay within them that will, in turn, make me a freer Daughter of my King?

As I read the words of Psalm 45 again, straining with every ounce of attention I had in me amidst the clanging of "guys" and the screams of a little voice learning to find itself, I heard it.

Laura, My daughter, will you pay attention now to what I am saying. Forget your "people"--the culture that you live in that calls you to look this way and that, straining to measure up and fit the part. Forget the norms that come with being "wife, mother, daughter, woman, friend, Christian"; both the lifestyles of these things but also the struggles. Is it normal to believe that "you aren't enough because you can't do it all, so why try to feel anything but less-than?", therefore dismissing any effort towards something better? Forget that. You must choose to lay down and leave behind the things that are "normal" in your world with your people. You also need to leave behind your father's house. What does that mean for you? That means putting down and leaving behind the things that hurt you there--the labels you continue to put on yourself because one time, long before you knew Me, they might've fit. It's time to leave your father's house in that the value of the opinions of those found there are no longer the ones of highest value. It's time to take the last of your things and head out of the place you once needed but no longer do. It's time to do these things because I've been waiting and yearning to see you walk out in the beauty that I placed in you long ago. I yearn to see you walk in the way I created you to walk, exercising and enjoying the gifts I fashioned in you. I yearn to see you walk secure in your King and full of hope, love and joy. Be humble before me, admit your feelings and struggles because I am not offended by a single one of them, and remember Who you belong to. I am your Lord and I am now the one that you live for.

When you hear a message like that, you can't help but sit up a little straighter. In the flash of a moment, I was set straight in the most loving of ways--fully reminded of the place in which I stand. The place of obedience and adoration to my mighty and gracious King. I can learn from the memories that linger, but I must know when it's time to close up the boxes and leave them at His feet. I can bring them before Him, asking Him to show me what they mean for me today, but I cannot do that at the expense of forgetting who I belong to. My honor must always go to my King and never to my people or to my past.

"Hear this, daughter; pay close attention to what I am about to say; you must forget your people and even your father's house. Because the king yearns for your beauty, humble yourself before him, for he is now your lord."

-Psalm 45:10-11 | the Voice

Is it time for you to forget your people and your old home in order to take up permanent residence with the King who adores you? It is for me, too. May we be a people who find our complete adoration spent on God and God alone.