(From a morning prayer journal in April)
Psalm 105:3, 4 NIV
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.”
Each line of this psalm verse seems alive to me this morning. What am I hearing?
Glory in his holy name (3a). I tend to think of glory as a noun. It’s about weightiness. It’s about grandeur and brilliance. But here it’s an active verb. One dictionary suggests it is “to exult with triumph or to rejoice proudly.” I glory in his holy name when I begin to recognize the extent of His greatness and express my deep and humble praise about Him to Him. It is joyful. It is a 10 on the 1-10 scale. God is so beautiful, so mighty, so glorious, that the only fitting response is overwhelmed praise. When I lose sight of this God Who is always with me, my life becomes dimmer and smaller.
(I think of the group of worship leaders I will be with in a couple of weeks. They are charged with leading us in this kind of vision of and response to God. How easy, though, to become captured by worship leading as a profession, details of improving technical excellence, and opinions of those we lead, losing sight of the God to Whom we intend to draw attention.)
“Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice (3b).” I’m drawn especially to “seek.” This is an active orienting of my attention towards God. I have felt so distracted lately that it feels I’m seeking nothing…or everything. The psalm here invites me to a single focus on the Lord that inspires overflowing joy within me. Keeping the presence of God before me enables me to experience and express how deeply I am moved by joy before Him. Does my vision of God inspire joy? Do I see Him as He is—generous, masterful, magnificently good, longing to be gracious and delighting in mercy? Wouldn’t that fill me with joy that cannot help but overflow in thanksgiving and praise?
“Look to the Lord and his strength (4a).” I’m invited especially to see the Lord’s might, and to recognize that I am strengthened in my life and my work in Him. When I feel weak, I am not alone. I am companioned by a powerful God Who is also my Father. When I am tired, I can remember I live my life in the presence of the One Who is my Rest. Thank You!
“Seek his face always (4b).” Looking into someone’s face is an act of intimacy, of friendship. I don’t gaze into someone’s face unless I feel free and welcome there. (I can’t imagine stopping in a grocery aisle and staring into a stranger’s face. I might even get kicked out of the store!).
Always. I imagine trying to live my life with Gem’s face always before me. Something like this is humanly impractical. Gem and I going through a day always in one another’s presence, let alone always looking into one another’s eyes, would be goofy…and probably dangerous! But I can live the whole of my life seeking His face. It is a face I can “see” with my heart and soul. I can live in The Presence. I can grow in my continual awareness of the smiling, caring face of Jesus before me.
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