Blogger friend Edie's random questions are a highlight for me because they make you think and they get you in the Word. I'm tackling two in one, since I missed last week's. But, to start, this week's question:
What element of creation makes you most want to worship the LORD?The first thought that came to mind was the stars. I take out the garbage at our house, and I like to take it out the night before the garbage guys come. With the season and time change coming up, I'll be doing this weekly chore in the dark again. But God has provided the most amazing sky on my garbage nights.
Most of the time, it's chock full of stars, which brings great delight! Our house is up on a hill. After I carefully bring the trash cart down to the street, I look back up at the house, and then over the house. What a view! I think of my little self standing in the street and the vast expanse over my head that He puts there, and I regain any lost perspective that I may have had over the day (or over the week). God is sovereign! God is way bigger than me! Praise God that He is way bigger than me and that He sends this marvelous array of light in the darkness to tell me that!
Truly, though, what leaves me in awe countless times, bringing me to submission, leading me to confession, filling me with abundant goodness, drawing me to worship is God's working in the creation of me. To be able to step out of myself and to see Him in me--and wondering why He would want to--absolutely draws me to worship Him! Those experiences are as close as I'll know to being in the literal presence of Jesus on the Earth.
Praise songs are great, reading His Word is amazing, experiencing life in His creation daily is wonderful. But to see the living God take residence in you, and to come to grips with the fact that HE WANTS TO LIVE THERE is a call for deep reverence and awe on my part.
"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
--Ephesians 3: 14-19
* * *As for last week's random question, though I now own a few different translations of the Bible (NIV, NKJV, NASB) and have access to many more via the Internet, I think the best translation is the one the Holy Spirit uses to clarify, guide, and counsel at the time in which you are seeking.
God's Word can come across in different ways at different times. We don't always read with the same intent and focus. We don't always pick up on everything in a given passage. Studying different versions gives you the opportunity to fine-tune the voice of God. And the more we read, of course, the more we understand God's character and His voice, and we are able to use His words more productively in our lives.
I use my New American Standard Bible because, right now, it's my only study Bible. But, I like to explore the other translations and paraphrases for greater depth. And, given the circumstances, sometimes the more contemporary words will resonate and sometimes only the words of the King James Version sound most like what God wants me to hear at the time.
So, I pray for the Holy Spirit's guidance when I read. And if He guides me to explore more than one translation or paraphrase, I go for it, dictionary and thesaurus nearby. Because I'm not just reading the Bible for my own edification. I need to put these words of His into practice and to speak them as necessary. So, I better understand what I'm talking about, as the Spirit leads.