Skip to main content

Getting worship into perspective

Maybe you have never really stopped to consider why it is you rejoice over certain things in your life, or perhaps you haven't really stopped to rejoice in a long while.  Either way, you are missing the point of praise - it is an expression of your heart, and it is in response to something or someone. Therefore, it has to be intentional and purposeful in order to really be called praise - anything else is really just flattery!

Rejoice out loud to God, our strength!  (Psalm 81:1 CEB)

Strength comes from God and is found in him.  It is a two-way gift.  It comes FROM him - a provision in a time of need.  It is also found IN him - a provision which keeps us when we are just plain unaware a need even exists.  As we place ourselves at his disposal, in purposeful and intentional worship, we exchange our strength for his.  We are moving from a place of weakness to a place of victory - for nothing can stand against what is provided by him!

For this is required by the decrees of Israel; it is a regulation of the God of Jacob.  (Psalm 81:4 NLT)

We may not blow the ram's horn anymore in our worship times, but in the time of King David, the ram's horn was not only used to call men to war, alert to danger, but to call attention to the time and place of worship.  It was used to announce a festival - or feast - in which time was taken away from the regularly scheduled events of the day and spent focusing on the one who made all things possible for his people.  Worship and celebration of God's grace is not optional for a child of God - it is a thing which is to be a regular and consistent part of our walk.  We are to have daily times and special times when we set aside ourselves, center our focus, and get purposeful in celebrating God.

“Now I will take the load from your shoulders; I will free your hands from their heavy tasks."  (Psalm 81:6 NLT)

If you don't engage in praise and worship for any other reason, this should catch your attention.  In response to men and women "centering" themselves on purpose in order to really celebrate God, his response is to remove the load which we carried into that place of worship!  Worship actually lifts the burdens of our hearts that would otherwise become unbearable for each of us.  The weights of daily life lift as we bow before him in adoration.  It never ceases to amaze me how God does this, but if you haven't taken time in a while to "center" on Jesus, you might just be bearing more pressure in your life than you actually need to!

You cried to me in trouble, and I saved you...  (Psalm 81:7 NLT)

It never surprises me when I realize some of my "worshipful" moments begin with crying out to God because something is just wrong in my life.  The immediate need for his intervention outweighs my desire to worship - I need to unburden and get his perspective - that "brings" me - but his presence "keeps" me!  God has an attentive ear and a caring heart.  He is moved by whatever "brings" us, but his focus is on "keeping" us there just long enough to actually begin to affect us deep enough so we know we have spent time in his presence.  He is tuned into whatever our need is - but he is also tuned into whatever is testing our faith - because he wants to prove the reality and the basis of that faith.  One brings us, the other keeps us.

Listen to me, O my people, while I give you stern warnings.  (Psalm 81:8 NLT)

The need we have is nothing compared to the solution he has for meeting that need.  Yet, we can often avoid having need at all if we would just heed the warnings he gives a little closer.  In times of intimate worship, we actually come closer to the heart of Jesus.  In those moments, there is a teach-ability he is looking for in each of us.  It is his desire for us to be spared the agony of defeat and the damage of the circumstances which would create havoc in our lives.  Our obligation is to listen - to heed the signs he has so tenderly placed in our path.

You must never have a foreign god; you must not bow down before a false god.  (Psalm 81:9 NLT)

God will have no other God before him - he has pretty well established this fact since the beginning of time.  No other focus of our attention is worthy of our attention - yet we struggle so much with all manner of distractions which do little more than direct our attention to anything other than Jesus himself. NEVER is a pretty stern warning - in centering ourselves afresh on a regular and consistent basis, we actually do a much better job coming closer to this "never" reality!

Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things.  (Psalm 81:10 NLT)

A child waits to be fed from the parent's hand.  Open mouthed, open spirited, and open-hearted - the three conditions of being fed.  God expects nothing less of us - he will never disappoint a waiting heart and open spirit.

I let them follow their own stubborn desires, living according to their own ideas.  (Psalm 81:11 NLT)

Don't be deceived - living according to our own desires instead of what he plans for our lives is dangerous and barren ground.  This is never his ideal - but he will not contradict our will and our internal desires.  This is why it is so important to bring those desires to him and to center our will into his care. He desires obedience and a willing service from his kids - we settle for slavery and servitude any time we choose to focus on our own ideas and plans instead of making his central in our focus.

Oh, that my people would listen to me!  But I would feed you with the finest wheat. I would satisfy you with wild honey from the rock.  (Psalm 81:13, 16 NLT)

We might think worship and praise is all about us doing the talking and proclaiming - it INVOLVES this, but it is not all about this.  It is a place and time of feeding - of filling.  There is no need for us to linger in hunger - for his graces are at the ready to fill beyond our capacity.  It is the hungry and seeking he stands at the ready to fill.  Our part is to come, to abide, and to stay.  His part is to exchange, fill, and uplift.  Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean