Hi friend! Welcome to episode 22 of Tending Your Soul Podcast! I’m Mariel and we are walking through 5 tips for cultivating time with Jesus together in the podcast right now. I’m so glad you’re here as we prepare our heart like a gardener prepares the soil.
We have looked at and considered our purpose for creating this consistency with Jesus that was episode 19. Then we considered Jesus’ example of a place and time to meet with the Father in episode 20. And in our last episode we looked at the props we bring to our intentional time with the Lord. Today I want to consider our posture when we come to approach the Lord.
By posture I mean both physically and spiritually. So when we approach God, we can physically come with open hands, on our knees, on our face, sitting or standing. We can come to God when we are walking or sitting on the beach or driving in our car. God does NOT listen more to us when we are face down rather than when we are praying on our drive to work.
BUT, I do want us to consider if WE might be listening better or more focused in a certain position.
I love to talk to the Lord when I walk my dog through the neighborhood, but I also get distracted with saying hello to people or picking up after my dog.
But when I am petitioning the Lord on behalf of some or I am coming to Him in repentance of something He has convicted me of, I often will pray face down or on my knees. This physical condition calls my body into greater focus and listening to the Spirit since the actual position of my body is overtaking the potential distractions. Now, obviously it’s not a 100% assurance that the phone vibrating won’t pull my attention. But I am way less likely to wander what I’m making for dinner tonight when I’m face down on the ground.
Often in Scripture we do see servants of the Lord encounter God with an intentional physical posture.
In Daniel 6:10 when the king made an edict for Daniel to bow down to his statue, it tells us Daniels response. “When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knee three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.”
So Daniel had a rhythm of time on his knees before God very intentionally 3x per day on a regular basis.
When God came to Abram when Abram was 99 years old and God invited him to walk with Him, Genesis 17:3 records his response and says “Then Abram fell on his face.” Yall! At 99 this old man fell on his face when encountering God! What a beautiful picture of his intimacy with God.
We see ole Abram fall face down again a few verses later when God reveals that he and his barren wife, Sarah would be parents. Verse 17 says “Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, ‘Shall a child be born to a man who is 100 years old? Shall Sarah, who is 90 years old bear a child?’”
He was encountering God and even laughing at the incredible promise he was receiving while on his face before God.
We even see Jesus in the garden of Gethsemene go to His face before God as He prayed earnestly. In Matthew 26:39 it tells us “Going a little farther He fell on His face and prayed…”
Posture matters not because of favor with God but because our bodies often need the reminder and the intention that getting on our knees or our face offers. Obviously, if you can’t physically get on your knees or your face, other physical postures can offer this focus as well.
We can clasp our hands, close our eyes, bow our heads, lift our hands, open our hands with upturned palms….there are many options. But the goal is to help focus our heart and mind.
But not only is our physical posture important, but also our spiritual posture when we approach the Lord.
I want to be clear that we can come to God as his child, in ANY posture…tears, anger, yelling, grieved. He is listening and invites His child to draw near and will not turn you away.
But as with a physical posture, if we are creating a rhythm of intentional time with the Lord it can be helpful, again for our own heart, to come with a certain spiritual posture. There are 3 in particular that I see in Scripture that I have also seen help me in preparing my own heart for my time with God.
One is gratitude another is praise. In Psalm 100 the Psalmist invites us into the Lord’s presence and it says in verse 4 “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and enter his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!”
This is outlining such a beautiful posture with which to draw near to God. When we begin our time with Him by thanking Him for the gifts of love we see around us, it helps guide our mind and heart towards Him.
I often start my quiet time by adding to my gratitude journal. It helps me gain perspective and kinda helps push away the fogginess from the morning in my mind.
Or even opening with praise and as psalm 100 says , bless his name. Praising God for his names can also focus our hearts. It helps remind us who He is and can put our lives in right perspective when we praise Him for being our provider, the God who sees, the God who is present, our help, our sustainer, our healer.
I have a list of ABCs where I often list names or characteristics of God I see in His word and then I go back to it and praise him for those characteristics when I need to refocus on what is true. It’s amazing how quickly the Holy Spirit shifts my mindset when I do that.
The third spiritual posture to consider is repentance. Repentance is changing our mind to agree with God about our sin. When we come to Him in agreement, confessing sin that He is highlighting in our hearts, we come in honesty. 1 john 1:9 reminds us that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. That opens the fellowship then between us and God. When we hold our sin and try to keep it from God (I mean he already knows) but if we lay it bare before him and confess it is sin, he will cover it in the grace of Jesus and enable us to walk away from it by His Spirit. Like a disobedient child who refuses to apologize, when we don’t repent we block that fellowship with Jesus. But when we confess and repent, the fellowship is restored by God and we are drawn nearer still.
What a gift it is that the creator of all things, the one true living God so desires intimacy with you and me that He woos us and draws us toward rhythms of intentional intimacy with Him through His Word. He opened the way through Jesus and invites us continually to draw near. How will we respond?
How will you respond, friend?
God is inviting you to draw near. How can you posture your body and your heart towards that intimacy?
Father we thank you that you are the author of faith thereby all acts of faith originate with you. You woo our hearts to come and I pray Lord that you would quicken in our hearts the posture we need in order to focus and respond in intimacy and fellowship to you today. Amen.
I hope these few episodes of tips for cultivating intimacy with Jesus are helpful for you and I invite you to join me next time for the final tip on preparing our hearts for tending as we consider various reading plans and approaches.
If you would like the free booklet for all the Tools for Tending your Soul that I have put together for you, you can easily get that at my website, marieldavenport.com. I have curated that booklet just for you and I hope it will be helpful in your time with the Lord.
Until next time, friend, keep tending your soul by the word of God.