As with most things in life, there is a “best” posture. A posture for divers. A posture for runners. A poster for walkers. Mine is surely not “the best.” It’s kinda “slumpy” at times, especially in the third mile.
But I’ve noticed something interesting about myself and my walking; it happened just this morning, but I realized this was not the first time. I even came to realize that it is something that happens with a degree of automaticity.
Let me try to paint a picture.
I was in my third mile. It was hot; it’s always hot in July in North Carolina. And it was humid; it’s always humid in July in North Carolina. My clothes were beginning to droop as was my hair, my brow, my spirits and, yes, my posture. Heading home there is a slight hill. In my car I barely notice it; walking, it’s Mount Everest! I was really thinking that I might not make it, and then it happened.
Someone drove past me.
I immediately straightened my back, picked up my pace and unfurled my brow. It’s as if I suddenly forgot how tired I was, how sweaty I was, how desperate I was to reach the shower and my air conditioned home. I instantly had a walker’s posture!
Isn’t that how we are at times – changing our posture, changing our “walk” when others are around to see? Here’s a news flash: “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes…” (Hebrews 4:13a NLT) Add to this that “[p]eople judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7 NLT).
As Christians and believers, ours is to ALWAYS be a posture that reflects our LORD, not just when others pass us by. Joy Williams asked in her song by the same title, “Do they see Jesus in me?” That’s the “best” posture in our daily walk, one that reflects Jesus to others – His love, His mercy and His grace. He alone is “the one to whom we are accountable.” (Hebrews 4:13b NLT)
Over the past few days I have been reflecting on the many names of God. Someone once asked, “Why? Why so many names for the One true and living God?” Well, consider the many names we have for our family members and friends. Formal names and more intimate names that attest to our relationships. Mom, mommy, Mommy Dearest (smile, couldn’t resist). Dad, Pops, Daddy, Father. My Sweetie. My Honey. My Boo Boo Kitty.
Every Name of God attests to His character – who He is as well as to a relationship we can have with Him.
I think of God and pray to God using a variety of names with one of my favorite and most used being “Abba Father.” It has long been supposed and broadly accepted that the ancient Aramaic word “Abba” is a term of familiarity that a young child might use to address his/her Daddy or Papa. That’s big for me; I was a bona fide Daddy’s Girl, so that my God would allow me to approach Him and to address Him as Daddy is big. But that He would embrace me, open His arms to receive me and His ear to hear my cries as His child? Wow! That’s even bigger.
But another Name has been on my heart. I woke one morning last week with it on my mind. It comes from Psalm 3:3 (ESV). “You, O Lord are…the lifter of my head.” The Lifter of My Head. Double Wow.
So many things, so many experiences make us hang our heads. Sometimes from shame, possibly from confusion, perhaps from exhaustion, maybe a sense of defeat or overwhelming grief. We hang our heads. We hang our heads. I’m convinced that sometimes we don’t even realize our heads are hanging; we have become accustomed to and accepted the defeat of that posture, so let me repeat. He is the lifter of our heads.
This Scripture paints for us a word picture, so make sure you get the complete picture. Naturally, in times of trouble, we hang our heads. So, it would follow to reason that as the lifter of our heads, God brings us out of whatever it is that caused our heads to hang. But go a little deeper. It also means that He will bring us into a situation and time that will cause our heads to be held high. There are several examples in Scripture where heads were lifted up. 2 Kings 25:27 tells us that the King of Babylon lifted up the head of Jehoiachin out of prison, and Genesis 40 says that Joseph foresaw that Pharaoh would lift up the head of the cupbearer and restore him to his position.
If men – Kings, Pharaohs – can lift heads and restore positions and wealth, just think what God can do for us!
It is David who is telling us in Psalm that God will be the lifter of his head. Understand the context of this passage. David’s son, Absalom, had rebelled against him and turned the people of Israel against him causing David to flee Jerusalem with little more than the clothes he was wearing. 2 Samuel 15 says that David climbed up the Mount of Olives, covered his head and wept. He hung his head.
David was King. He had resources at his hand. Though Absalom had turned the people of Israel against him, there were surely others that he could have turned to. He chose to turn to God. Why? You have to look closely at Psalm 3. Earlier in the passage David declared, “You, O Lord, are a shield about me, My glory” before adding “and the lifter of my head.” David’s choice of expressions – me and my – indicate a personal relationship and intimacy with God.
The past is irrevocable, irreversible and unchangeable. But Joel 2:25-27 (AMP) reads, “I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten…you shall eat in plenty and be satisfied and praise the Name of the Lord…I the Lord am your God and there is none else. My people shall never be put to shame.” Translation? He will lift your head!
Reflect on that this week!
Monday: Psalm 3:1 (NIV)
“Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me?”
Questions for Reflection: What or Who is causing or has caused you to hang your head? Have you, like David, cried out to the Lord? If not, why not? If yes, what answer have you heard?
Tuesday: Psalm 3:2 (NIV)
“Many are saying of me, “’God will not deliver him.’”
Questions for Reflection: Do you believe that God will deliver you? Why or why not? What is the evidence of your belief?
Wednesday: Acts 4:12 (NIV)
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
Questions for Reflection: To whom or what have you been looking for strength, hope, restoration, salvation? How has that worked for you? What changes do you need to make?
Thursday: Psalm 3:6 (NIV)
“I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.”
Question for Reflection: FEAR is false evidence appearing real. What “false evidence” have you accepted as truth? Jot down your fears and name specifically those things, people, emotions and situations that assail you. Pray very specifically about each one and make note of God’s responses to your prayers.
Friday: Psalm 3:8a (NIV)
“From the Lord comes deliverance.”
Questions for Reflection: Are you positioned and postured expecting deliverance? What are you doing in the meantime?