Displacement. What a simple, brilliant perspective of how life with God really works. Do you want to purge the air from a glass? Fill it with water and the air is displaced. Do you want to purge fear (with it’s accompanying destructive negativity) from your life? Fill it with love!
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like Him.There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us.” –1 John 4:16-19
Since “God is love” and we have been filled with His Spirit, fear must be gone. Right? Well, yes…but our challenge seems to be living as if this were really true in the face of circumstances that are fearful. We are viscerally aware of our circumstances, but God’s love for us can seem much less concrete, even ethereal. Paul experienced this.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” –2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Paul is aware that there is a greater reality than our circumstances. Though they are true, there is a higher truth to which our circumstances must bow. C. S. Lewis’ Aslan calls this “the deeper magic” in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. So, how do we change our perspective, in order to be more conscious of this greater reality (God’s loving presence, in and around us) than our pressing circumstances?
Displacement. But how do we actually accomplish that?
First of all, we must make the choice Paul references, to fix our eyes on the unseen; the presence, beauty and goodness of God. This brings me to the subject of praise and worship. I have my own personal working definition for these terms.
PRAISE is a matter of choice. I can simply choose to express what I know to be true about God and have experienced—anywhere, anytime, in any circumstances.
WORSHIP is a response to God’s presence. This is the expression that rises up from deep within as I become aware of His nearness, goodness and love for me and those around me! While I could choose to hold it back, it rises as an unbidden response of my heart to Him.
WOW! This is my favorite way to engage in displacing the reality of my circumstances with the greater reality, the higher truth and deeper magic of Heaven’s perspective. I can choose to declare the BRILLIANCE of God in any circumstances—even if I have to do it silently in order not to appear unhinged to my co-workers. I can exercise my free will and praise until I become aware of God’s presence in and around me—and worship erupts from within! From this place of intimate, overwhelming experience of God’s loving presence, it is easy to see things from Heaven’s perspective. The oppressive weight of my circumstances no longer consumes my thoughts. I am in the presence of Majesty. I am Loved and the possibilities are LIMITLESS!
I wrote the song “Lost in your Song” from just the kind of experience of Presence I described above. To hear this song click this link and scroll down. “Lost in Your Song” is the 16th song on the playlist.
I encourage you to listen with the expectation of experiencing your own intimate encounter. Remember that each experience is a door to a new place in God, that you can now occupy. It is yours. Life, lived from this place, displaces fear with love!
Bob Book is a prophetic singer/songwriter and worship leader—a sort of New Testament Levite. He has served as a leadership team member and worship leader in local churches for over 15 years, led worship for many conferences and special events across the US and on missions around the world. Bob has a growing partnership with long time friend Graham Cooke as part of Team Brilliant, which includes writing and recording songs for, as well as leading worship at, various events and training initiatives.