7.03.2011

Sunday Song ~ Bow the Knee



I've blogged about this song more than once, but we sang it again this morning, and again, it spoke to me so deeply.  God has used this song so mightily in my life through the last few years...often through a little girl singing it "randomly" around the house...it's Ammah Grace's favorite song.  I thought it was so neat that God caused Lyndel to put it on the program for today, on this anniversary weekend

I had planned to come home and type a quick post about it, but after 4 weeks of non-stop running, I finally "hit the wall" this afternoon, and frankly, I don't have the brain capacity tonight to compose a coherent post.  However, I found a post from 2008 about this song, and so much of it is so much what God is reminding me of what He's taught me in the last few years, and what He is working on in me *right now*...so I thought I'd repost it today...


The Lord Our Dwelling Place

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"He who dwells in the shelter of the most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."
Psalm 91:1-2
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"Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations."
Psalm 90:1
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"But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves."
John 17:13
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As I mentioned in my last post, Psalm 91 was on my mind all last weekend. As I prayed for the needs of others, as well as my own, God kept bringing the words of Psalm 91 back to my attention. Saturday morning, as I prayed for a particular need, God seemed to keep reminding me that our safe spot in time of trouble, and our oasis in time of confusion is not a *place*...it is Him. *He* is our refuge. He...not our home...is our dwelling place.
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Sunday morning, as I pondered the events of the *wee hours*, I was hit by the awareness that
"If you make the Most High your dwelling--
Even the Lord, who is my refuge--
Then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent."
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I had decided while I was typing "No Disaster Will Come Near Your Tent" that I need to memorize Psalm 91. I need to daily meditate right now upon God as our refuge and dwelling place. I need to trust recognize and trust that in my own life, and I need to be praying it for others around me who are experiencing huge trials.
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Then came church on Sunday morning. God continues to blow me away in the way that the music Lyndel plans and the words Bro. Kent brings always seem to be put there *just for me*, wherever I am at that point. And yet I know that there are others (and probably many more than I know) for whom they seem just as perfect and personal.
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The choir sang a new-to-us chorus that has spoken *loudly* to me ever since we began learning it:
Bow the Knee
"Bow the knee;
Trust the heart of your Father when the answer goes beyond what you can see.
Bow the Knee;
Lift your eyes toward Heaven and believe the One who holds eternity.
And when you don't understand the purpose of His plan,
In the presence of the King,
Bow the knee."
~Chris Machen and Mike Harland
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I was so struck by the meaning of those words. When our world turns upside down, when nothing about life makes sense, when God's answers to our prayers are nowhere near what we expected...our immediate response should be to "bow the knee". That is the answer. Worship--focusing on Who He is and responding in awe and obedience--is the key. Plain and simple. But how hard do we often make it, and how rarely do we actually practice it!
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Those thoughts had been rolling around in my head for over a week as I've hummed that chorus. They came to mind again as we sang Sunday morning.
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Then Bro. Kent began to preach. I won't type my notes in their entirety here...although it is tempting...but I'll attempt to summarize:
John 17:13
"The world in which we live is just messed up."
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How are we to respond? With JOY.
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Our joy doesn't come from the circumstances around us--God gives us joy even in the midst of a hostile world, even in the face of the greatest evil.
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Definition of Joy: "Joy is the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally great or satisfying."
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This joy is Christ Himself.
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We don't feel joy because we kid ourselves that everything is okay when it really isn't. It isn't about pretending or putting on a happy face. Our only source of joy is Christ Himself...and that is COMPLETELY APART FROM CIRCUMSTANCES.
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Our problem is that we focus on the bad stuff, the circumstances. WE HAVE TO GET OUR FOCUS BACK ON JESUS. How do we do this? Go around thinking about Jesus all the time? YES!
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Memorize and meditate on Scripture. Think on it continually. Sticky-note verses everywhere so you will see them throughout the day!
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Jesus' own prayer for us was that our "joy would be made full." It is His will. If we aren't experiencing it right now it is either because we are not His (not saved), or because our focus ison our circumstances and not on Jesus.
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Col. 3:1-3
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He will protect us from evil. "But bad things are happening to me, bad things have happened to my loved ones." "But...you are still a believer. You still have His forgiveness and approval." No one can pluck you out of His hand. No matter what happens to you, you are protected. There is great joy in knowing that you *are* protected...Satan cannot do anything to you without going through God first. (Job)
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He protects us from defeat and despair and keeps our faith intact--and that is cause for joy! He has *promised* us joy. This joy is in our relationship with Him. Not in any other relationship, not in our circumstances, not in our job or our home or *anything else*...IN HIM.
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When we get discouraged, we must get our focus back on Him. Sit down, open the Bible, and begin to read. Get in the Word, get our focus back on Him, and He has promised to restore our joy.
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Well, so much for summarizing. ;-) I *didn't* type my notes in their *entirety*, but almost. :)
They were too good to leave anything out!
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As I sat and listened Sunday morning, God seemed to tie together the whole lesson He's been teaching me on "The Lord Our Dwelling Place". A friend confirmed those thoughts later that day. Our safe place, our refuge, *is* in Him. And when He is our dwelling...when we are immersed in His Word and who He is...our focus is where it should be, rather than on our circumstances, and we WILL have joy.
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One of the things I have realized I love about this study in the book of John is that much of it is *not* new...many of the verses are verses most of us can quote by heart, and many of the concepts are concepts we have heard all of our lives. And yet...God is using Bro. Kent's words and the circumstances in my life to make it new and fresh as though I am hearing it for the first time. I love the "light-bulb" or "Aha!" moments when a verse I can quote in my sleep suddenly comes alive in a whole new way as God says, "THIS is what I mean by this, and THIS is the answer to what you are struggling with right now!"
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It is so simple, so basic...and yet so hugely, amazingly powerful. "Bow the knee...Dwell in Him...And He will protect you and give you joy."
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1 comment:

*The Old Geezer said...

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