A few years ago, while participating in a spiritual formations retreat, I became aware of how my posture towards God impacts how I perceive His presence. We had been given an assignment and were invited to seek a quiet place outdoors to consider, pray and wait for God to speak to us regarding a certain topic. I found my place at the end of this dock, on an overcast day that looked much like this picture. At the end of this dock was an Adirondack style rocking chair that I was perched in. As I tried to engage my mind and not wander off on my mental to do list, I began to slowly rock in this chair. The rails of the rocking chair would catch at the angles against the slats of the dock causing a jerk in the rocking motion. I became aware of this jarring motion so I adjusted my speed, changed my push off methods, moved myself in different positions to balance in my chair…it became a bit of a game to me to see how I could affect the rocking motion and see if I could make it rock smooth. Eventually I slowed the rocker to the point that if I held my feet up, crossed at the ankle I could get it to stand still on the edge of the slat and suspend itself mid-rock, just hanging there waiting to move one direction or the other. What I discovered next was that when I would ever so slightly tip my head to see how far my feet were off the ground it would break the delicate balance I had created and the chair would rock forward, ending the suspended posture. Before you think I am off my rocker, literally, here is what God spoke into my heart at this very unintended moment; I was looking at the wrong things. When I looked at my feet, I lost the delicate balance I was striving for, but when I kept my head up I could just sit there in that balanced place for as long as I wanted. It was all about my posture, keeping my eyes on the right things!
I was reminded that day that God wants me to be postured in a way that my eyes are on Him, not on the things that I am doing to keep my balance, truly He holds the key to my balance. If I keep my eyes on the One who saves me, then He really will save me from falling.
“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” Psalm 37:24, NIV
God began to speak to me about my spiritual posture, I was slumping, easily discouraged, at times I could become stalled out in my walk because of the pressure points. One area of my posture that needed attention was my core, as I was sitting in the rocking chair that day God spoke to me about C.O.R.E. issues that needed my attention:
Consistently: I need to be consistent in being with Him. Psalm 119:16
Obeying: Obeying God is a non-negotiable, it is no longer a debate. Exodus 12:24
Restores: I have learned in a new way how only He can restore my soul. Psalm 23:3
Expectancy: Each time I walk in obedience it increases my faith for what is next. Psalm 5:3
My posture brings balance by bring C.O.R.E. strength to my spiritual walk. There is something powerful about the cyclical process of these C.O.R.E. truths, each step brings strength to the next step. Today in your worksheet you are going to have the opportunity to work on your core. What are the areas that God is speaking to you about that affect your posture before Him?
Today’s worksheet: handout 9_18_2013
Love being at the well with you!
That was a good word….focusing on Him to stay perfectly balanced….rather than what I am doing to stay balanced…and taking time to just wait before Him….my husband and I live east of the mountains and used to work in Issaquah..so we went to your church then and were fed there greatly like a breath of fresh air….we now work in Yakima …but I think its great you have this and Steve has sermons online. Are there podcast’s of you speaking I attended a Wed women’s group and it was really good as well. Who knows we may work in Issaquah again.
It is so wonderful to hear the breath of air that our Lord Jesus speaks to you softly in your spirit Ms. Cheryl, because it transcends to us in the inspirational words and the passages of the Bible given. I personally love the Lord and constantly am in communication with Him, but so many times I too find myself not in posture therefore the blessings or the road that He has planned for me delays because I do not pay attention. But one thing I can say, is that I am so grateful for the direction in which God is leading me, I came to Washington about 13 months ago, originally from Costa Rica and resided in California for about 34 years and now since I moved to Washington , I have joined and participated in many forms in Eastridge Church fellowship. I was not accustom to they way in which the church praises and dress code and at the beginning I felt like I did not fit, but as the time past and the more association I have I see clearly what God’s intention are. Sooooo…. Honestly I can say and shout it out now that I am very content and pleased where God is leading me. I will continue and ask for guidance and strength to follow and practice the ways of the Lord a He want me to, he definitely has a roadmap for me. So, I will patiently and humbly will posture so that I too can hear His whisper and His Spirit present in m life.
This morning as I was doing my devotional time at 4am and after I was done praying I just open the Bible and the Spirit directed me to the book of Psalms, I read Psalm after Psalm but one that spoke to was Psalm 116 and this again was an assurance of His love for me and How wonderful His unmeasured love is.
1 I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
2 Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.
3 The cords of death entangled me,
the anguish of the grave came over me;
I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
4 Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“Lord, save me!”
5 The Lord is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
6 The Lord protects the unwary;
when I was brought low, he saved me.
7 Return to your rest, my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you.
8 For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
9 that I may walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.
10 I trusted in the Lord when I said,
“I am greatly afflicted”;
11 in my alarm I said,
“Everyone is a liar.”
12 What shall I return to the Lord
for all his goodness to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his faithful servants.
16 Truly I am your servant, Lord;
I serve you just as my mother did;
you have freed me from my chains.
17 I will sacrifice a thank offering to you
and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the Lord—
in your midst, Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord.[a]
I am learning to work on my CORE. I feel closer to the Lord more than ever before. Sadly it had to happen in not the best way, but I will take this part as a blessing. There are days when I just feel so heavy that I cannot move and I am learning to lay down, close my eyes, breathe deeply and just come into God’s presence by repeating “Be still and know that I am God.” It helps me focus on what is really important and get my eyes back on Him and not the world around me or the problems that I can do nothing about. God is in control.
Kim – I am praying for you! I know that when I was going through the darkest time in my life, it was a sweet place with God. The first time in a long time that I “tapped into” that sweet place was last week at the Bethel Concert when we sang this song of worship to our God :
You make me brave
You make me brave
You call me out beyond the shore into the waves
You make me brave
You make me brave
No fear can hinder now
The promises you made
I am praying that the sweetness of the Lord would surround you, that fear would dissipate and because of the promises God has made… you would be brave!
Hugs & Prayers
I am so excited to be able to do some CORE training with the women of Eastridge. I love this message Cheryl – strengthening our physical CORE is what connects our upper and lower body. Strengthening our spiritual CORE is what connects us with our Savior. Did you know that weak core muscles can impair how well your arms and legs function? So can a weak C.O.R.E. impair how effective we are in our spiritual walk. A strong physical core enhances balance and stability to help prevent falls and injuries. As we Consistently Obey God, he will Restore our Souls and fill us with Expectant hope!
I am so looking forward to strengthening my C.O.R.E. through my everyday walk with the Lord!
“The Lord is my strength and shield.
I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.”
This posting was such a blessing to me! I pondered it all day yesterday as I was at work, making it my own. The more I reflected upon it, I saw it as a cycle of faith as well as an acronym. When I consistently obey He restores me so I can live in expectancy that when I consistently obey He restores! This morning I read Hebrews 4, which reinforced this even more! Dolly Hughes
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