Rise Up

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.
~William Cowper

“He plants His footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm.”
~Psalm 29:10

What a powerful picture of God being in the middle of the maelstrom, stepping into the middle of the conflict,  planting His imprint into the middle of the mess! He did not avoid the leper, nor the outcast, nor the beggar, nor the blind man, and He does not avoid conflict. On the contrary, His Word promises that He “rules the raging of the sea; When its waves rise, You still them” (Psalm 89:9). He is not threatened by pandemics, nor a pile of dishes; He is not intimidated by government mandates, nor the mundane household chores that can sometimes overwhelm us.

That is the echo in this song, that “when trials unleash like a flood, the battle belongs to our God,” and our position is to stay our spirit and simply worship. Our worship positions us to hear and truly believe in His promise, that simply He is already in a position to “answer us…You who still the noise of the seas, the noise of the waves, and the tumult of the people” (Psalm 65:5, 7). 

First, it is natural to stand in despair: 

“The floods have lifted up, O Lord,
The floods have lifted up their voice;
The floods lift up their waves.”

But His supernatural response is:

“The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters,
Than the mighty waves of the sea” (Psalm 93:3-4).

It sometimes feels like a big shout-down between us and the enemy, but we have got to learn to hush both enemy as well as our critical inner voice, cast off all restraint, and speak against those taunting voices, shouting, “Bring it on! I will choose to be joyful!”

“Let the sea roar, and all its fullness;
Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it” (Psalm 96:11b-12a).

I love what John Dickson says in The Worship Warrior:  It was the Lord. He turned my circumstances around because I praised Him in the hard place” (Page 62). Indeed, we are encouraged in 1 Peter to rejoice when we are in the midst of distress and trials:

In [our salvation] you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while…you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:6-7, NASB).

Who knows but that your trials and “misfortunes” will bring another soul to the Lord, simply because of the very fact that they see you worshipping in the midst of the fire. When we can remember that He is still with us in the flames, much as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were in the literal flames in Daniel 3, He will be with us in the midst of the trials. The three friends did not know for sure that they would be delivered. In fact, destruction was imminent, as they “fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, ‘Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?…Look! I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the firs; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God’” (Daniel 3:23-25).  In response to this miracle, Nebuchadnezzar praises God, and the men are delivered from the flames! 

He commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of the sea.

He calms the storm, so that its waves are still.
Then they are glad because they are quiet;
So He guides them to their desired haven.
~Psalm 107:25, 29-30

The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way? ~Proverbs 20:24

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