I heard a sermon about worship a few years ago. The preacher talked about the positions of worship; standing, kneeling, and prostrate. Prostrate. Flat on your face. I have a few years of martial arts under my [hi-blue] belt, and let me tell you, flat on your face is the most vulnerable position you can be in. Flat on your face you are utterly defenseless. You cannot protect yourself. You can't get out of the path of what's coming. You can't see anything coming. It struck a chord in me to relate that to worship.
Worshiping flat on my face means putting myself totally at God's mercy. Utter deference to His will. Total surrender.
I had never been physically prostrate before God until that day. But, it has become one of my favorite positions for prayer and worship. And the bigger things seem, the more I want to fall flat on my face before my Father.
That's where I was tonight. The situation we are facing is overwhelming emotionally. There are times when I just can't wrap my mind around it. I needed some flat-on-my-face time with God. I didn't even know what to pray, so I just cried out knowing that my Intercessor would fill in all the gaps.
Beautiful One I love.
God met me there. He began by reminding me that He had given me hope to hold onto earlier today. "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13 (NIV 2010) And, "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23 (NIV 2010) My God is a God of hope! This morning when I first read these verses I had no idea what was coming this afternoon. I had no idea that I would need to cling to that hope, hold fast to his promises.
In total surrender, I found hope.
I read on in Hebrews until I got into chapter 12, verses 5-11.
"“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." (NIV 2010)
God intends to accomplish a purpose in what we are muddling through. Not only is it for our good, but he wants us to share in his holiness in the midst of it. He understands that it is not pleasant, that it's painful even. But his promise is that later we will reap a harvest of righteousness and peace, if we allow him to train us through this.
That's a lot to take in. I have some responsibility in this current situation. I need to learn from what I've done and what has happened, because that's part of my training. But I have this hope: it won't last forever and God is faithful to fulfill his promises, to give me a harvest of righteousness and peace. I need to see God's love for me in this, and I do. He has been with us every step of the way.
In putting myself at God's mercy, I found him to be merciful.
Prostrate before a mighty, holy God.
Flat. On. My. Face.