Unspoken: I Lift my Life Up

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Let all the Earth Keep Silent....

I want to make an addendum too the post i just put up this afternoon.  So often we think that the louder our worship, the more "present' is the Holy Spirit.  But i have been in some rockin' and rollin', hand-waving, tambourine banging worship services where I do believe that the Holy Spirit felt as uncomfortable and out of place as I did.  Throughout Scripture, when men are confronted by the manifest presence of God, what is their response?  Either one or both of the following,, "clap hand over mouth and mourn his audacity" (Job) or to fall on one's face and mourn the sinful state of his and every other person's mouth (Isaiah)....or to take off ones shoes (Moses)  ....to be in silent awe---anyone elses, most of these people fall on their faces before the glory of the Lord.

Nowhere do I see a worshiper shake a tambourine in God's face and yell, "Hallelujah!"..( NOTE: I'm wrong here.Both Miriam and David went to it with tambourines.)..When I  was a child in a strait laced Norwegian denomination, the choir sang the following song at the beginning of the service. It went like this "The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord is in his  holy temple. Let all the earth keep silent, keep silent before him"....the song was sung almost in a whisper.  Wiggling children hushed.  Hearts were stilled and worship had begun.

I was just reading an article by Drew Dyek and he quoted the last verse of a hymn by Isaac Watts.  It goes like this " God is in heaven, and man below; /be short our tunes, our words be few; /A solemn reverence checks our songs, /And praise sits silent on our tongues." (In Touch Magazine, Nov. 2014 p. 10)

I used to thrive on silent prayer.  Now, it doesn't take long before i feel the need to check my email.  or at the very latest, Facebook how awesome it is that God is meeting with me.  That's embarrassing to admit but I suspect many of you can relate.  I would suggest you get A Ceremony of Discipline by Richard Foster and look up the chapter on the discipline of silence.  The people of the Catholic faith--the ones who live in  communities anyway, have a head start on us in this regard.  They have hours set aside solely for  silence contemplation or prayer.

Anything that is this difficult is a sure fire flag for a need: for attentiveness to this discipline.  I wish I could go on retreat....it seems like there it would be easy. My family definitely would  not comprehend.

I want to worship in such a way that God is magnified and I am humbled.  It's so hard....People depend on me but I feel like saying 'REALLY? What is the most  important thing here?"  Ultimately the desire is to maintain a quiet heart....one that worships constantly and offers God the fruit of my lips.


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