Wednesday, February 05, 2014

The Posture of Receiving

I have been thinking about something for the last two weeks.  So I guess it's time to get down on "paper".  The last two Sundays have been a little different.  Two Sundays ago, Chris had to work so I was in worship by myself.  Of course by myself is a very relative term.  There were hundreds of other people here and our friends that we sit with every week were here, but I was a single.  This past Sunday Chris worked in Preschool Praise (our children's church) during the worship time so I was again by "myself".

During these two weeks I have been really thinking about something.  It's about the way I posture myself.  Typically, Chris is in worship service with me.  We hold hands a lot of the time and we always hold hands during prayers.  I realized with him not being there, I found myself with my arms crossed a lot.  I normally would not even have noticed or even thought twice about it. But for some reason I started thinking about the body language of having your arms folding across you.  It really felt like I was shutting myself off; and I felt like God was calling me into something different. It was as if God was saying open up and receive all that I have to offer you; let me fill you up. I have raised my hands during worship songs for years when I am praising/praying to God through songs.  So I decided to spend those two services during meditation and prayer times with my hands facing up on my lap.  It probably sounds weird, but it was amazing the difference it made.  It gave me more clarity and a better listening ear for what God was trying to tell me.  Our minister calls it "the posture of receiving".  He has talked about it before and asked us to do it on certain occasions but it wasn't something I continued to practice. Not because I didn't like it, but I never really thought about it afterward. And it hadn't been brought up today except by God calling me to it.

When you sit or stand with your arms folded across you it does or can give the impression of being closed off; whether you intend for it to or not.  It made me start thinking about how I am around people after church or before church when I'm talking to them or better yet when they are talking to me.  Are my arms open or are my arms crossed in front of me.  Body language says a lot when you think about it.  If someone wants to talk to you and you stand in front of them with your arms folded are you giving them a message you may not intend?  Does it look like you are bored or don't care about what they have to say?  Does it look different if your arms are open; even if they are just by your side?  Does it look more inviting? Does it look like your listening and that you really care?  Does it look like you are there for them with open arms rather than looking like you are ready to leave?  Does it make you more available to give that spontaneous hug or touch on the arm they may need?

I believe that God wants us to always be in the posture of receiving.  In doing so, we will be more open to receive the things that God wants to bless us with. It's hard to be a blessing to others unless we first open ourselves up to God's spiritual blessings for us.  By opening ourselves up we will also be in a posture that allows us to bless others with God's touch or God's compassion more easily.What does our posture say about us?  Are we closed off from God and others; or are we open to receive God's heart and thoughts for us so that we can in turn pass on that heart of compassion to others?

These last two weeks have made me realize I want to be open to receive whatever God chooses to fill me with.  I want to open to give to others whatever He calls me to give.  So I want to be intentional about what my posture looks like.  I don't want others to see me as closed off or bored and ready to be somewhere else.  I want them to see me and to know that I am there for them.  I want to be intentional in practicing the posture of receiving.

One last thought...  I always search for scriptures after I write down my thoughts for my own applications.  The 2nd verse below I already had in my heart to use.  So today my search was for "open arms".  And only ONE verse came up!  Wow!  I really feel like God is speaking to me today!  Practice the posture of receiving so you can in turn practice the gift of hospitality in whatever area God calls you to.  Are you ready to receive what He has to offer?  I am!

"She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy."
Proverbs 31:20 

"You shall have no foreign god among you;
    you shall not worship any god other than me. 
I am the Lord your God,
    who brought you up out of Egypt.
Open wide your mouth and I will fill it."

Psalm 81:9,10


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