We stood there in the gym of Clark Springs Elementary, rows of metal folding chairs lined up behind us as brothers and sisters from every walk of life sang in unison.
Worship was always inspiring at Aletheia Richmond, and the Spirit of God was undeniably in our midst as Erin and Keilan led a in a thrilling rendition of the old hymn “Nothing But the Blood”:
As the life-giving words rose on strains of the beautiful melody, I felt an unmistakable impression on my heart : Kneel.
It was an almost palpable force, pressing me to get on my knees in obedience to God as a right act of humility and worship.
I fought it, having to physically resist the urging of the Holy Spirit. I was too proud, too embarrassed to stand out in the crowd; afraid they would think I was whacky.
The song ended, the service drew to a close, and I walked out the double doors into the bright spring afternoon with a deep sense of shame and regret.
God spoke directly to my heart, asked me to honor Him as King, and I couldn’t be bothered. It still stings.
I have prayed many times for Him to give me another prompting:” I’m so sorry, Lord! Please give me another chance! I won’t let you down!”
I prayed this yesterday at church, actually, and a revelation occurred to me: I refuse to kneel all the time.
The promptings may not be physical, but there are opportunities to obey and honor God all day, every day, and I say “no” more times than I care to admit.
I refuse to kneel when I spend time with the man who doesn’t love Jesus.
I refuse to kneel when I don’t make time to help people.
I refuse to kneel when I join in on gossip.
I refuse to kneel when I won’t forgive, or am too proud to ask forgiveness.
I refuse to kneel when I buy into things that dishonor the reality of Christ and his kingdom.
I refuse to kneel when I don’t love.
I refuse to kneel when I make myself first and God second, third, or thirty-fourth.
I refuse to kneel when I don’t spend time in prayer, in His Word, and in worship.
There are a thousand other ways, but I praise God that he, in his mercy, gives me chances to kneel and proclaim Him (and not myself!) as Lord every day.
I still want another chance to obey Him the way he asked me to that day a few years back, and I believe that He will be gracious enough to give it. In the meantime, however, I will remember that I bring Him glory every time I say “Yes” to be whatever he is placing front of me today.
Chances to honor God in every day life are all around.
I may need knee pads.
photo credit: Byron Fultz