“May the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth, bless you from Zion.” – Psalm 134:3
Psalm 134 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
A song of ascents.
- Now praise the LORD all you servants of the LORD who stand in the Lord’s house at night!
- Lift up your hands in the holy place, and praise the Lord!
- May the LORD, Maker of heaven and earth, bless you from Zion.
And so here we are…at our last post of the study, our final step for this summer journey. Just in time to say goodbye to summer and hello to September. We’ve journeyed through the Psalms of Ascent with an exhortation to give praise to God, the Keeper and Covenant Maker.
Remember, like anything else in life, we will have gotten out of this study, lesson, class, journey what we put into it.
No matter what we thought the journey would or should look like–if you’ve grown in your desire to stay in the study of the Word, if you’ve learned to discern the scriptures, If you’ve be strengthened in your faith through these summer ‘songs of the heart’…. then you and I my friend have received our portion!
After all, worship is not about us receiving anything. It is about us GIVING to God. God needs and wants to be at the center of our lives. If that is the case, then EVERYTHING is different. What we do. Why we do it. What we expect from it. With God front and center, we live in the awareness and reality of His sovereignty knowing that everything placed in His hands becomes His possession. And all that He possesses works for His Glorious purpose.
In the introductory session to our journey of ascent, we established that in God’s economy, the way up is down. God wants to raise us to a higher plain of worship and service. When we began our journey, some of us may have felt exiled, captive to the enemy, and far from God, but now we’re sensing some freedom, sensing that we’re back on track.
In your climb up the 15 stairs of ascent, you may have recognized any specific areas in which God was beckoning you to take the next step? List three of the fifteen psalms that God used to speak most clearly to you and write your ‘step statement’ next to each one. Post these where you can see them (on your fridge, at your desk, by your computer). Let them serve as small reminders to you as you go through your day.
Personally, I have seen God work to open doors in my life and present opportunities I had never even imagined or even looked for. Does that mean my life is now perfect and devoid of problems? Absolutely not. I have also experienced incredible stress, opposition, testing and trials. I’ve seen doors close and things come to its end.
Moments of frustration as well as moments of celebration.
The difference is in how we now allow those moments of frustration to affect us versus how they affected us before. Though we may still have occasional “woe is me” moments, we are confident that God is on our side, that He is for us, and that He always wants what is best for us. The more we learn about God, the more we understand that the primary reason He asks us to surrender everything to Him is to make room to receive what He wants to give. Try as we may, we will never bring anything to God and leave empty handed. God’s very nature is to give. Therefore, we worship Him with confidence.
At the beginning of this study, we vowed to go face down before God every day. This was to humble ourselves before Him like we may never have done before. As you think more often about the journey that you are on, the awareness of the fact that this life, with all its disappointments and struggles, is temporary, should be a daily reality. Our ascent teaches us to look for God’s leading. To realize that God wants us to truly become a disciple of Christ by sowing His seed. It is time for us to finally take a leap of faith and wholly trust in Him to work it out. My primary prayer now that this study has come to an end is that you would not lose momentum and stop seeking after God as you have been. That anyone would go back to the same old, same old. Because then, and only then, would this joint journey have been in vain. May. that. never. be.
Like Beth, I thank you all for taking this pilgrimage with me. I have loved every lesson. And I feel the need to share the illustration that Beth wrote as part of this final lesson. The word picture just fits so ‘perfectly’ with what God has spoken to us here at Fierce Woman Found Ministries. It is a picture of the Word the Lord has given us in this new season. And for those of you who attended our service this August, you too can bear witness to the confirmation of this illustration.
“The parched land that he (Keith) leases in South Texas had received a rare downpour, and with great delight he watched as a precious, wobbly-legged fawn with big brown eyes and oversized ears get mud on its hooves for the very first time. He said it jumped in the air, twirled around and bucked like a miniature bronco until it shook every last bit of mud off its feet.
How like God to speak a word into my heart in this very month that would coincide with the word picture in the very last lesson of this study. A leaping deer. Like Hinds Feet. Climbing the heights.
So, as we say so long, another psalm comes to mind: Psalm 67
“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine on us, 2 so that Your ways may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations. 3 May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you. 4 May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for You rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth. 5 May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you. 6 The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us. 7 May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will fear Him.”
Instead of closing by having us rewrite the psalm as a prayer, Beth asked us to rewrite it as a blessing upon others in our class. It is also my blessing for anyone who happened to stumbled onto this blog.
May you keep journeying onward and upward in pursuit of God. Remember that He surrounds you and defends you and is always with you. May your heart receive a new song as you go deeper. climb higher. step up in your love of God and journey in your faith.
And if I may, I’d like to pray the priestly blessing upon you all.
“The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’
Grace & Peace.
~ pastor m.