11. Worship-- "Whatever their bodies do affects their souls"


Obeisance

    “Obeisance” is not a word that comes flowing off the lips, but neither is the act of obeisance a natural act of our bodies. The word means a physical demonstration of honor, deference or homage.

    Clear now?

    Maybe not. In the New Testament, sometimes the same word “worship” is also translated as “bowed down before”. To proskeneo means to prostrate oneself before another. It was used like the kissing of a ring before a king and comes literally from a dog licking the hands of its owner.

    Satan himself used this word in demanding Jesus to fall down and proskeneo, worship him (Matthew 4:9). Of course Jesus refused, but the very thought of Satan wanting this means that a physical demonstration of our obeisance before God is not only desired by God, it is a natural outflow of our innate desire to worship Him.

    C.S. Lewis, using the persona of a demon who is writing to fellow and less knowledgeable demon, derides the human desire to not pay physical obeisance to God in our worship. Bear in mind that Lewis is, in the following quotation, saying the opposite of what is true, since the author is using the voice of one demon to instruct another:
“The best thing, where it is possible, is to keep the patient” (that is, the Christian) “from the serious intention of praying altogether.  When the patient is an adult recently reconverted to the Enemy’s party, like your man, this is best done by encouraging him to remember, or to think he remembers, the parrot like nature of his prayers in childhood ... at the very least, they can be persuaded that the bodily position makes no difference to their prayers; for they constantly forget what you must always remember: that they are animals and that whatever their bodies do affects their souls.  It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds; in reality, our best work is done by keening things out.”
    So the next time you seek to worship God, consider doing more than merely folding your hands. Practice not only bowing your head but bend your entire body before God whom you worship. Demonstrate to Him (and any demons who may be observing your secret prayer life) that you will pay him spiritual and physical obeisance in your worship.

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