Listen to this devotional:
Proverbs 19:23 – The reverent, worshipful fear of the Lord leads to life, and he who has it rests satisfied; he cannot be visited with [actual] evil. (AMP)
Frequently through my Christian journey, education, and wrestlings, the changes the Lord has wanted to bring in my life have turned out as a bungee jump in reverse: no risk to my life at all, but rather leading higher to more abundant life!
Eventually, whenever I've looked up to our Lord in surrender and repentance, and let myself float, instead of resisting, He has pulled me higher and closer to Himself, and convinced me of His higher purposes.
As a bungee jumper surrenders to gravity and trusts in the bouncy rubber cord attached to his ankles and an immovable anchor, so we, as our Jesus Lord calls us to take a leap higher in Him, must surrender, trust, and believe in His able, drawing, catching arms.
Years ago, one such beautiful, life-changing, bungee leap upwards occurred for me in church, when for the first time, the Holy Spirit turned my praises into glorious, adoring, reverent worship of Jesus:
John 4:24 – God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (KJV)
Revelation 4:2 – And immediately I was in the spirit: and behold, a throne was set in the heaven, and one sat on the throne. (KJV)
In those moments, I wasn't merely following the congregation or the service order as I usually did. Amazingly, I was taken spiritually into the courts of heaven. I saw and heard my King, and I so longed to remain there with Him. Even if I had died right then, it wouldn't have mattered. Tears streamed, and my heart cried silently as I fervently wanted Him to "search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139:23-24 KJV)
Beautifully, King Jesus obliged my desire to remain with Him like this, but I didn't die, and I didn't bungee-bounce back down either. Instead, I was assured by His gentle voice and His Word that He wanted me to live for Him, and that I could come in this worshipful way any time without physically dying.
Romans 12:1b – Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer. (GNT)
From that time, I so desired everything I did to be as an offering of worship to Him, because He had revealed to me that with a contrite, worshipful heart, neither sin nor Satan can ever draw or tempt us away from our Lord Jesus Christ's holy presence and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
It's not the only way, of course, but reverent praise and worship is another life-changing biblical principle that frees us from the repetitive temptations of sin and Satan, which all of us can adopt and choose to live in.
Yes, our Lord Christ graciously forgives each of us as we fail and repent. Yes, He mercifully encourages us to forgive ourselves and each other. As He calls us higher or as we seek to be higher in Him, yes, He repeatedly helps us to bungee jump upward, both to stand and to kneel in grateful, reverent worship in His holy-of-holies presence, which "leads to life"!
James 4:8a – Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (NKJV)
Prayer: Thank You, Lord Jesus, for the glorious unction and holy joy that worship unto You brings, and ever leads to life abundant. Thank You, our perfectly worthy and gracious King of kings and Lord of lords, that by Your Spirit and truth, our lives can be free, well-pleasing, soothing, fragrant offerings of worship and close fellowship with You. Amen and Amen!