Fresh Hope – 24th January 2019

Often when we think of worship we imagine singing, music, clapping, declaring, dancing. All of the above are most definitely acts of worship, ‘Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation’ (Psalms 95:1). But the Psalms also mentions another form of worship – the pause. In the Psalms the pause is written as Selah, meaning, ‘Pause in his presence’.

David often incorporated these Selah moments” in his songs. And it wasn’t just in joyful songs. The pause moments were put in the prayers for help too. ‘God, you are my righteousness, my champion defender. Answer me when I cry for help!’ (Psalm 4:1). He also put in “pause moments” in moments of despair. ‘Yahweh my God, I turn aside to hide my soul in you. Save me from all those who pursue and persecute me’ (Psalm 7:1). In moments of thankful worship, he paused, ‘You haven’t withheld a thing from your betrothed one’ (Psalm 20:2). In songs of remembrance, ‘All at once the guilt of sin washed away and all my pain disappeared’ (Psalm 32:5).

David knew how to worship and he knew the power of pausing in worship. When you pause, you begin to meditate. You aren’t lost in an action. You aren’t distracted. You aren’t performing. You are simply being. You are resting. David understood Selah moments to be powerful moments of worship for these were the moments of true surrender. In the pause you are able to hear back from God. David understood that worship wasn’t one way. It was relational. It was speaking out, and then being still enough to hear back.

As a culture, we struggle to pause. We feel bad for pausing. We don’t know how to do nothing. That’s if we even get the time to pause! I particularly am the worst offender. But when I pause, I find that this is when I find the voice of God again, and as a result, where I find myself again. Worship isn’t just about doing and doing and going and going. It is about being. It is about pausing in his presence. Take a moment today, in the good or the bad, to just pause in His presence.

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.