In these verses, the psalmist invites us to enter into worship, to humble ourselves before our Maker. The act of bowing and kneeling before someone is an act of submission, of yielding oneself to the sovereignty of the One you bow before. Therefore, before we can truly worship we must yield our will to His, we must acknowledge His right to rule and reign over our lives, and we must lay ourselves before Him totally surrendered. I wish I could say this is a state of being for me, but for this strong-willed child, I must die daily and sometimes it is a struggle! At times, I forget that giving into my flesh is actually surrendering to my adversary the devil. Unlike surrendering to my enemy, when I daily surrender to Jesus I can be assured of an incredible journey. “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” John 10:10
As I meditate on the above verses in Psalm 95 I am reminded that in John 10 Jesus continued to say, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep . . . My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand." (John 10:11, 27 & 28) Jesus gave his life so that my sins could be forgiven and I could be one of His sheep. He has given me eternal life, meaning that even though my body will die, my soul will live forever with Him in heaven - I will dwell in His pasture. I am safe and secure because no one can snatch me from My Shepherds hands. Jesus knows me; He has counted every hair on my head and written my name on the palm of His hand. Because I am His, when He speaks I recognize His voice. Just like when my husband speaks, I recognize his voice and know it is he speaking to me. When my Dad speaks, I also recognize his voice. I know their voices because I belong to them – I have a relationship with them. Because I have a relationship with Jesus, when He speaks to me, be it through His Word, prayer, or circumstances, I hear His voice and I follow Him.
Do you recognize Jesus when He speaks to you? When someone calls that I don't know very well, I don't recognize their voice and they have to tell me who is calling. In order for me to recognize a stranger's voice, I need to develop a relationship with them. I would need to spend time with them, listen to them and learn about them. Likewise, to recognize the voice of Jesus we must develop our relationship with Him. Jesus longs to have a personal, intimate relationship with each one of us, but He will not force Himself on anyone. If you desire to cultivate a relationship with Jesus, you must first belong to Him - if you don't or you are uncertain, please read How to get to Heaven. We develop a relationship with Jesus the same way we do with each other - we spend time with Him, listen to Him and learn about Him. Some call this their Quiet Time or Daily Devotion, but it's setting aside time everyday for prayer and Bible study. This is how we grow to know Him, to love Him, to follow and obey Him.
I belong to Jesus, He is my Friend, He is my God, my Savior, my Lord, my King, my Master, my Father, my Maker, my Good Shepherd. He is my EVERYTHING and He is worthy of all my praise and worship. He gives me the incredible privilege of coming before His throne; of entering into His presence; of listening to my hopes, dreams, desires, needs and often my ranting and ravings . . . and then He gives me what I need. I can bow before Him in complete surrender knowing He is in control of all things and will work them together for my good. No one else does that for me or for you, so yes beloved, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our maker. For He is our God and only He is worthy of our praise!
Many times in my life I have ignored the warnings of the Holy Spirit and proceeded to do things my own way. I can almost hear God saying, "if only you had listened to me, you wouldn't be going through this now." I am so thankful that even when I am stubborn and rebellious, God's love allows me suffer the consequences. It is through those times of discipline that my faith and trust in Him is strengthened. As we read on in verses 23-25 we see that an angel of the Lord told Paul not to be afraid, God still had plans for him, there would be no loss of life even though they would be shipwrecked. I can "take heart" that though I may suffer the consequences for my disobedience, God still has plans for me and those plans are for good!
There are also times of trials that are not the result of sin, but just a part of living life in a fallen world. God also uses these times for my good, to conform me into the image of His Son. James 1:2-4 says; "Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." James said, "when troubles come my way", not if, so I can be assured of having trials and tribulation! However, it is an opportunity for great joy.
So how can I be joyful in the face of adversity? Being joyful is a choice, not an emotion or feeling. I feel happy or sad, but joy is a state of being. And joy comes from the knowledge of what my future holds, not what my present circumstances indicate. Jesus said I should rejoice because my name is written in heaven, and nothing can change that. But Jesus is also very practical and He knew I would need specific instructions - "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and [that] your joy may be full.” (John 15:11) You need to study John 15:1-10 yourself to know what things Jesus said would will fill you with His joy, but basically, it’s abiding or remaining in Jesus and His Word, bearing fruit that remains (see Gal. 5:22-23), obeying His commandments and abiding in His love. This is the source of true joy that nothing can take away - knowing Jesus and clinging to Him.
Many would have you believe that if you are living in obedience to God you won't have problems. Well my friend that is simply not true, living a life of obedience is how we can overcome the troubles of this world with joy unspeakable. Just as Jesus said, "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Even if I lose my possessions, loved ones, even my life . . . I know my Redeemer lives! So I exhort you beloved be of good cheer, if Jesus is your Savior, you have eternal life and through Him you can overcome the world!
Founder and President of Go Ministries, Inc.
Co-Founder and Secretary/Treasurer of Go Ministries, Inc