Guard Your Steps

In Ecclesiastes 5:1-2, Solomon says,

“Guard your steps when you go to the house of God… Do not be rash with your mouth, and do not let your heart be quick to utter a word before God. For God is in heaven, and you are on earth; so let your words be few.”

Matthew Henry’s Commentary has an excellent summary of this passage. He says:

“Address thyself to the worship of God, and take time to compose thyself for it. Keep thy thoughts from roving and wandering: keep thy affections from running out toward wrong objects. We should avoid vain repetitions; copious prayers are not here condemned, but those that are unmeaning. How often our wandering thoughts render attendance on Divine ordinances little better than the sacrifice of fools! Hasty words, [and irreverent worship], show folly in the heart, low thoughts of God, and careless thoughts of our own souls.”

To fail to come to the place of worship (within our own hearts and also to the physical place of worship), with an attitude of reverence, and sobriety, and a yearning to glorify God, to praise Him, to encourage His people, and to learn from His Word, is to greatly dishonor our God and King, and to violate His purpose for our time of worship. We come to church to praise the living God, to fellowship with His people, and to learn from His Word. Let’s remember — consciously, intentionally remember — that the focus of everything is to be on Christ our Lord, on His grace, on His holiness, and all for His glory.

“Jesus Is My Buddy”

There is a pattern that, sadly, I have noticed more and more lately — and that is irreverent, irresponsible, and disrespectful Christians. How’s that for an uplifting intro?=) I’m talking specifically about our attitude toward God. Here’s my point — Christ is a friend to us, but He is not our buddy. We can go to Him with anything, and for anything, and at any time, and we can approach the throne with confidence, but He is in no way our peer, and I think that’s often very hard for us to grasp. The balance in our relationship to God — between seeing Him as our friend, and seeing Him as our King and Lord — is very difficult for all of us at times.

I think that the tendency, especially today, is to become casual in our attitude toward God and in our worship of Him. It can be very difficult to really live out the balance in our relationship, between God as wanting to have a close personal relationship with us, and God as someone who is entirely other than anything we experience in this fallen world, and whose holiness is in stark contrast to our sinfulness and inadequacy, and who demands respect and reverence in our worship of Him.

I’m not positive it’s the same for generations older than me, but at least for people around my age and younger… I think it has a lot to do with the lack of this mixture of relationship in our human relationships. I’ll try to explain it better. I’ve always had people, growing up, who were friends to me, but were much older than me. And I knew that they were my friend, and I knew I could walk right up to them and ask them a question, or ask them for help, or just to talk to them. But I would never have called them my peer, or thought of them the same way I thought of one of my classmates. And I still have people like that — with whom I am very close, and I feel totally relaxed and comfortable with, but I have an immense amount of respect for them, and I would never venture to give them unsolicited advice on anything, or to act as though I was their peer in any way — because I’m not! And I think it’s important for us to remember that Christ is our King, as well as our friend. We are adopted into God’s family and can approach Him confidently as His children, but I think it’s paramount that we remember that we are also His servants. And we were once His enemies, and only by His great love, and power, and mercy, and incredible sacrifice, can we call Him “Father.” In the next few posts, We’re going to look at something Solomon says about our attitude in worship in Ecclesiastes chapter five.