“…At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:11
Bowing may be acceptable in some countries, but in the United States it is not. Bowing is considered downright unpatriotic. As a result of our lack of bowing experience, the debacles of our new president should come as no surprise. President Obama has been accused of not bowing, bowing too low, and accepting the bow of an American journalist to himself!
While the choice was President Obama’s to bow, many are forced to bow to dictators or lose their lives. Some bow out of national heritage and respect to kings or queens. Others bow to gods that do not exist.
Christians bow too.
We bow at the altar of legalism, man-made rituals and traditions, even to men we’ve elevated.
We bow low in December to hectic, stress-filled days trying to be everything to everyone, yet never finding time to bow to Whom we celebrate. Altars are created when cookie-swaps, ornament exchanges, company parties, worry over broken diets, and endless To Do lists take greater precedent in our day than sitting in His presence, abiding in His Word, and just talking to Him.
When we put everything and everyone ahead of our first priority–our relationship with the Lord–we are bowing at a false altar. I’ve knelt there all too often. Right before Thanksgiving I found myself laying awake because I had so much to do I could not sleep. The overwhelming feeling in the pit of my stomach was of my own creation. I was too busy to stop and pray, read my Bible, or cry out for help. The Lord reminded me this was how Martha felt—out of control and unwilling to relinquish it—even for His presence and peace.
I had to make a choice about where I would bow—to Jesus Christ or to my chaos.
Jesus Christ will not someday inherit a throne like Prince William—He reigns from eternity past.
He will not force anyone to bow as dictators must do. All will lay willingly prostrate before Him in light of His holiness one day.
He is not a dead god who cannot speak to His children. As believers we can daily experience His presence, His voice, and His Word. He knows us individually and has our names engraved in the palms of His hands.
He is not moved by this world’s problems. Global warming is not an issue for Him. He named the stars, laid the ocean boundaries, and has told us specifically what lies ahead in the Bible.
There is something else about Christ we need to recognize.
He does not bow.
Not to our selfish ambitions, to world leaders, rituals or traditions that try to take His place or even men who seek to mimic His voice.
His knee bows to no one.
You and I may never rub shoulders in this life with rulers of this world, but one day we will all have the glorious honor of lying prostrate before the only true King of Kings and Lord of Lords–Jesus Christ.
On that day even President Obama will have no problem knowing what to do.
Take a few minutes to bow in worship and be reminded of just Who He is. Why not listen along to the music as you continue your computer work today.