“Come before His presence with singing.” ~ Psalm 100:2b
Our verse outlines the third step in our journey to thanksgiving: “Come before His presence with singing”. This is a personal invitation to commune with God. And it comes AFTER He has our full, undivided attention and AFTER we have committed our lives to serving Him.
Unthinkingly, we often attempt to reverse this process: we fail to stay focused on The Father, we get busy taking care of our business and then when we do make time to pray we believe we will feel God’s presence while we pray. But we often find He isn’t “there”: there is no intimacy. God seems far away, our prayers seem to “crash into the ceiling” and fall flat on the floor. Some choose to fill these times with a flood of words and/or with passionate declarations; but intimacy cannot be conjured up by vociferous insistence.
We know that we lose intimacy with those dear to us when we carelessly ignore them: when we take our relationships for granted. Intimacy between humans is cultivated by attentiveness and by service (giving of yourself to help/bless another). Likewise, with God, intimacy is the result of our exclusive focus on Him and our devoted service to Him.
This call to intimacy, is crucial: God already knows us; this is our opportunity to get to know Him, to know Him deeply, to know Him intimately. This is much more than just knowing about God, this is a call to a one-on-one relationship (Deuteronomy 34:10), a call to walk with The Creator as Enoch did (Genesis 5:22), a call to be God’s friend even as Moses was (Exodus 33:11).
Finally, we are called to “sing” as we enter into our intimate communion with God. Songs are emotions put into words and set to music. We sing as we come to God because He wants us to bring to Him our deepest fears and sorrows, AND our greatest hopes and dreams.
“Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart…” ~ Isaiah 65:14a
Yes, God knows it all already, but He wants to hear us tell it to Him. Just like any good father, our Father is willing to hear His children talk about everything that is on their hearts, and He is willing to hear their stories again… and again. He knows our hearts are bubbling over with emotions; He knows our minds are restless with our thoughts. He knows we have a lot to say and He is willing to listen patiently.
So let us take this third step to thanksgiving, let us enjoy intimate communion with our Father as we get to know Him personally and as we share ourselves fully with Him. He is waiting.
I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.