While growing up I was told “sit up straight!” I wondered why that was so critical, but as a child of the 70s, I dare not inquire, I just followed what I was instructed to do – at least in the presence of the one demanding the action. As soon as I was away from their influence, I happily slouched in my seat. As life continued, I learned that posture had another meaning. It represents a way of dealing with something in particular. In a similar vein to my initial exposure to posture, I don’t always desire to posture a particular situation in a way that is becoming of me being a child of the most High God. Yet, the more that I resist that sin driven capacity, the more blessed I am, and the more the enemy angrily makes more attempt to incite my posture. Finally, in adulthood, I encountered yet another revelation of posture, which is to behave in a way that is intended to impress or mislead others. This is perhaps the most difficult and challenging posture to encounter. What compels someone to demonstrate this type of posture? There are a multitude of reasons, and have a common denominator of fear. Fear propels us to act in ways that are unbecoming of the purpose we were sent into the earth to accomplish. Fear postures as assuredness yet authentically manifests as worry, concern and uncertainty. Isaiah 41:10 decrees, “Don’t be afraid, because I’m with you; don’t be anxious, because I am your God. I keep on strengthening you; I’m truly helping you. I’m surely upholding you with my victorious right hand.” God with already with us. The way to get to God is through praise, but people will attempt to posture you otherwise.
Responding to the posturing of another is easy. In fact, it’s desired by the opposing party. It is the hope and intent of the preceding action. And once we engage with behavior that is not of God, we relinquish the grace that we have been afforded to navigate tough terrain. I’m the first to admit, I’ve played that game. At the onset, it feels good. There is a sigh of relief. Yet, if you are washed by the blood, it’s short-lived. Through praise, which morphs into worship, God reveals a desire for us to pray for those who persecute you (Mathew 5:44). We are inhabitants of the earth. As we simply live and breathe, there are imps who plot at all hours of the day and night to create strategies to disturb your peace. Yet posturing, even in its sneakiest attempt does not have the ability, or capacity to be greater or more significant than our praise! Psalm 71:8 declares, “My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.” All.day.long. That means that no matter what attempts to come nigh your dwelling, your response must be praise!
We are not exempt from the enemy, but we are exceptional despite his best efforts, and whomever he uses to attempt to accomplish his desires. God has seen fit to see us through 2017 to the seventh month of the year. Three days in, and I’ve heard several reminders of the number seven and its historical underpinning of completion. What are you in need of having finished and/or completed? Write it down. No matter what presents itself as posturing against it, operationalize a praise in your being to prevail despite the opposition. I ain’t saying it’s easy. I have to dig deep occasionally to tap into the wellspring. However, no matter how troubling the turbulence of those who don’t know the Lord, it is imperative that we constantly build a reservoir of the goodness of the Lord so that we have a refuge for sustainability.
Most recently, our dance ministry at church created choreography to a song called, “Smile” by Tasha Cobbs Leonard. I want to make God smile. When I’m compelled to respond an invitation to dispute, I must consider whether my action would make God smile. And when I haven’t been his best representative, I pray, ask forgiveness and repent for my behavior in so as to make him smile on the backside. If we are to posture, let us stand up for what is right in the sight of the Lord. Let us stand for his principles. Let us stand for his precepts. Let us stand for the building of his Kingdom. People posture. I praise.