The Pause of Praise
Day 182: The Pause of Praise
4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
Practice the pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray. -- Source Unknown
The word Selah is mentioned 75 times in Scripture, most notably, the Psalms. Scholars believe it is a musical instruction for the musicians to pause.
The word pause means to make a short stop; to cease to speak for a time; to intermit speaking or action. Our society has forgotten the art of the pause, and it shows by the ugly way people treat each other. It has crept into our churches, our homes, this monstrous attraction to busyness and harshness. Irritability and fatigue plague us, and we can't seem to get a hold of our emotions.
Our psalmist understood this. He speaks of the need for the pause in God's presence, "Stand in awe, and sin not:" Awe is something that is done in a person as they witness grandeur and majesty. A beautiful sunrise, a view of the ocean, the singing of birds in a forest or a park, a view of a mountain range, all have the potential to reflect the awe of their Creator, and if we pause long enough, we can get a dose of wonder, "and sin not." We need to stop long enough to realize it's not all about us.
Secondly, our psalmist speaks of the need to pause for reflection, "Commune with your own heart." To commune means to talk with yourself. When was the last time you reflected on why you got angry about a situation or spoke unkindly to your child, spouse, or co-worker? If your answer is, "If they wouldn't have done this or said that," then chances are, you've not paused in a while. We can't control what others do, only how we respond. When we pause to consider how our heart has been behaving, it allows God to point to our sore spots and to deal with them.
Lastly, our psalmist addresses our need to pause for Sabbath "and be still." The word still means to be silent; to stand still, depicting a state of being motionless." The Sabbath is not a suggestion but a commandment. It's a commandment that reminds us that we are not God and that we need to honor God and trust our lives to Him. God made us human beings and not human doings and cares more about our well-being than all our doings.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
We live as if our world rests upon our shoulders but forget two things: it's not our world, and our shoulders aren't meant to carry that kind of weight. We require rest. Rest allows for refreshing and restoration.
When was the last time you unplugged from the world and plugged into God and let Him charge your batteries?
8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.
The mansions of the heart will become larger when their doors are thrown open to Christ and closed against the world and sin. Try it. -- A. W. Tozer