As I begin to approach another age-bound milestone in my life – I am acutely aware of the fact that the physical plant of my body is struggling to keep up with the stresses and strains of an ever-lengthening lifetime! One of the classics is a sore back – and hence, posture has now become a focus in my life like never before. However, there’s a posture that’s infinitely more important than my physical one as I journey through life– and that is my spiritual posture before God.
You may or may not have become aware of the fact that the majority of my own contributions to the daily prayer newsletter at Carrubbers have been following the subject of prayer – so as regards posture, here are just a few of them that we read of in Scripture:
Face-Down (Abraham in Genesis 17:3, 17)
Outstretched (Moses in Exodus 9:27–29)
On knees (Solomon and Paul in I Kings 8:54 and Acts 20:30)
Looking up (Jesus in Mark 6:41, John 11:41, and 17:1)
Sitting down (David in 1 Chron 17:16)
Standing up (Jehoshaphat in 2 Chron 20:5,13)
Are these perhaps postures of prayer for different seasons? Are they postures of prayer for different reasons? Maybe they are both. However, there seems to be a posture for prayer that exceeds every one of these physical postures – one that the Lord is far more interested in than the posture of our bodies – and that is the posture of our hearts.
Speaking of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law in Matt 15:8 and quoting from the prophet Isaiah (Isa 29:13), Jesus says:
“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”
Cultivating a proper heart-attitude toward God in our communion with Him is by far the most essential posture of our spiritual life - far more significant than where, or how, or how long or eloquently we use our words and bodies in prayer... is this not true?
One old Christian worthy writes:
‘Tis not to those who sand erect,
Or those who bend the knee,
It is to those who bow the heart
The Lord will gracious be;
It is the posture of the soul
That pleases or offends,
If it be not in God’s sight right
Naught else can make amends.
So how do we cultivate a proper heart-posture toward God? Could I suggest that it may begin with the “Wow, Woe and Worship” of Nehemiah 8 from yesterday’s message? If you’ve not listened – here’s the link:
In a nutshell – opening a Bible with understanding results in:
Wow: When we understand who God is
Woe: When we understand who we are
Worship: When we understand who Jesus is
Wow helps us to know the beauty, majesty and perfection of God. Woe helps us to understand how far short we fall as sinners before a holy God. And worship, helps us to understand the manifold and stupendous grace of God in reconciling sinners to Himself through the precious blood and sacrifice of Jesus! What a way to improve our posture!!
(May you) grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
2 Pet 3:18