Monday, December 29, 2008

Stop! Say What?

We were watching a movie with a heavy script. The music in the background was booming, but the words were muffled. “What did they just say?” We clicked backwards so that we could listen to it again. This happened several times throughout the movie, but we kept rewinding. After all, it wouldn’t be a complete movie experience if we couldn’t process the words….

While reading Psalm 143 the next morning, I had a similar occurrence.

(vs 5 & 6) “I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all Your works and consider what Your hands have done. I spread out my hands to You; my soul thirsts for You like a parched land.” Selah

STOP! SAY WHAT? Selah….“

“Pause,” “Reflect….think about it,” “Selah”—Say what? Say-lah! STOP! REWIND! Listen again. Soak it in!

“You won’t have an effective personal experience with Me today if you don’t process My words,” the Lord reminded me in my spirit.

The word “Selah” is found over 70 times in Psalms, and most commentators believe that the songwriters placed it there to pause in the singing and bring in the instruments, thus giving “sink in time” to the words previously uttered. This comes to mind when a musical interlude comes in the middle of a worship song. I think, “Selah. Stop! What did I just sing? Did I really mean the compliment I just gave to Jesus? What commitment did I make? Wait! Which sins did I just confess?” The same attitude can be applied when we’re asked to push the pause button of our minds while reading the Word.

Let’s take a Selah right now and meditate on the Scripture above: “I remember the days of long ago;” Reflect on the “God stuff” in those days instead of the circumstantial things. What did the Lord do in your life? What were you like before you were saved?

“I meditate on all Your works and consider what Your hands have done.” Remember times of protection, instruments of change, people who were Jesus to you. If you could roll back the tapes in the spiritual world, how many times could you see God’s hand at work?

”I spread out my hands to You; my soul thirsts for You like a parched land.” As you take the time to do what the Psalm writer intended for you to do, your parched soul, your tired self will begin to thirst again for the Lord to have His way with you today. Selah.

Continue on….(vs 8-10)

“Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in You.
Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul.
Rescue me from my enemies, O LORD, for I hide myself in You.
Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God;
may Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.”

This is the beginning of a complete experience with the Lord, friends: A Selah moment of pausing, then reflecting—then committing to go the rest of the way for an ongoing personal relationship with our Lord through the presence of the Spirit, praising Him as the “play” button of our lives continues, sometimes even in fast forward mode.

Stop! Take a Selah.
To be continued….

In the Key of HE,

21 friends shared a comment:

Denise said...

Wow, such a lovely, and touching post my friend. I love you.

Janet said...

Oh, thank you! The Scripture you chose is beautiful, and thank you for reminding me to pause and consider it carefully.

Homesteader in Training said...

Oh Laura, Your words and reminders are so refreshing. I take it all in my sister! Selah!

Joanne Sher said...

LOVE this! I need my Selah moments much more than I take them. Looking forward to the "Continued". Thanks for feeding me this morning!

Sita said...

Needed to pray vs.8-10 this morning...thank u....

Susan Storm Smith said...

What a great reminder, I shall selah much today until it becomes a part of praise

Laurie Ann said...

LauraLee, we do need to pause to soak it in. Thanks for the reminder. Selah, indeed!

Betsy Markman said...

You know, I tend to read right over those "Selahs." Don't think I'm gonna do that so much anymore...

Thanks for another great perspective.

Daniel's Mom said...

This was great!! Thank you Laura!!

Peter Stone said...

Great reminder, Laura. Pausing to reflect on God's word and on His nature refresh our parched souls indeed!

Lori said...

Excellent! Can't wait for the continuation...

LAURIE said...

Great words of encouragement today. Oh to take time to stop, reflect and meditate upon Gods Word. We get in too much of a hurry and we need to slow down - we might be able to hear what God is so softly speaking to us (like your movie illustration).

Blessings, Laurie

JesusRulzMe said...

My beautiful and blessed sister Laura! Oh how I thank God for you!!!

One of my favorite groups is Selah...and for the same reason you just wrote about....their songs help me to stop, pray, reflect and allow God's word, remembrance of all His good and mighty deeds sink in and saturate my soul!

Okay, it's been too long! When are we having lunch again?! :-)

I love you SO much!

Dee Yoder said...

I've always loved that does make you stop and think when you read it, doesn't it? It's just a little mysterious and unknown...just like our God...His ways are always just beyond our ken...He seems a bit mysterious some days, and yet, our souls know Him. Love the thought of thinking about His word and His way of drawing us in to teach us more!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Awesome teaching, LauraLee. As I reflect on your words and God's (selah...), I have a very mental image of my hands and face turning toward God, letting go with unashamed abandon, and receiving unto myself the glory of God! Kind of like a morning sunrise with the applause of my heart welcoming it!

Thanks for the selah. So rich and vibrant and full of life.

Love this.


Debra said...


Yesterday and today we went out on the boat and the sky was so beautiful! I told my husband that as I looked out over the water it never ceased to remind me of the scripture in Genesis..2b "And the Spirit of God hovered over the waters"...

And we paused before we went out and thanked Him...


Blessings to you, my friend. I wish you a blessed new year.

lori said...

THAT is what my verse for the YEAR reflects....SELAH...I NEED them in order to take every word and deed and use it for HIM...can't do THAT on my own....oh, I've tried and it's not I'll SELAH moment more and live out Colossians 3:17 and what a year it will be!

Hugs to you and PEACE and JOY be yours in 2009!!

Kathryn said...


As I paused to consider what the Lord wanted me to share on this new year's morning, I thought you would appreciate my experience of praise and worship: A New Song (Sing Along!).

Happy New Year, dear friend. May we all sing to Him a new song in 2009!

Bill said...

Great post! I just stopped by to wish you a Happy New Year and was blessed by these excellent thoughts!!

May your life be filled with happiness as you daily experience the blessings of God in the New Year!

bill @ a spiritual oasis

btw: the word verification that came up for this comment is "plays." Say what?

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

What a great message ~ and that is one of my favorite words!

Lynda Schab said...

Echoing the other comments here...WONDERFUL word, LauraLee. I needed to hear this today. Thanks for posting.