BLESSING: "LIFT YOUR PRAISNIG HANDS" (Part 16)
Psalm 134 (ESV)1Come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who stand by night in the house of the LORD! 2 Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the LORD!
3May the LORD bless you from Zion, he who made heaven and earth!
Stand, Stoop, Stay: The way of discipleship begins in an act of repentance and concludes in a life of praise. God enters into a covenant with us, he pours out his own life for us, he shares the goodness of his Spirit, the vitality of his creation, the joys of his redemption. That is blessing.
The God who stands, stoops, and stays summarizes the posture of blessing: God stands—he is foundational and dependable; God stoops—he kneels to our level and meets us where we are; God stays—he sticks with us through hard times and good, sharing his life with us in grace and peace.
An Invitation and a Command: Psalm 134 features the word blessing in a form that might be called an invitation and a command. Bless God. Do that for which you were created and redeemed; lift you voices in gratitude; enter into the community of praise and prayer that anticipates the final consummation of faith in heaven. Bless The Lord.
Feelings Don’t Run the Show: Lift your arms in blessing and just maybe your heart will get the message and be lifted up also in praise. Find the right things to do, practice the actions, and other things will follow. By changing our behavior we can change our feelings. This creates an atmosphere where feelings don’t run the show. There is a reality deeper than feelings. Bless The Lord.
Taking God seriously but Not Ourselves: Never take yourself seriously and always take God seriously, and therefore, you will be full of cheerfulness, and exuberant with blessing. Blessing is at the end of this road. And that which is at the end of the road influences everything that takes place along the road. A joyful end requires a joyful means. Bless the Lord.
The Chief End: If you do not convey joy in your demeanor and gesture and speech, you will not be an authentic witness for Jesus Christ. Delight in what God is doing, is essential in our work. The main thing is not work for the Lord; it is not suffering in the name of the Lord; it is not witnessing for the Lord; it is not teaching Sunday school for the Lord; it is not being responsible for the sake of the Lord in the community; it is not keeping the Ten Commandments; not loving your neighbor; not observing the golden rule. The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. This is the destination of our ascent as Christians; God’s glory in our enjoyment of God. Bless the Lord.
(This post is a summary and partial abridgement of Eugene Peterson’s book “A Long Obedience In The Same Direction.” It is based solely on Peterson’s work and any help that this content gives should be credited to God’s grace through Peterson’s effort. In other words, give God glory, thank Eugene Peterson and consider buying the book.)