Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Listen up!

Sometime we need to remind our soul - that is, our mind, will and emotions - to bless God with all that we have within us. If you are like me (and I suspect you are), the mind wanders, will is weak, and emotions pull us a thousand different directions. David was not above this very similar struggle we face daily - to keep our attention squarely on God. How do we do that? We engage in "soul-talk". Look at what David does - he focuses his mind on the things God has done in his life - then he begins a little "soul-talk". He recounts the many and overwhelming blessings of God in his life, his family's life, and those he knows at the leader of a great nation. He determines to bless God - he makes it a matter of his will. In so doing, he is bringing his emotions into alignment - his "soul" gets talked into alignment.

O my soul, bless God. From head to toe, I'll bless his holy name! O my soul, bless God, don't forget a single blessing! He forgives your sins—every one. He heals your diseases—every one. He redeems you from hell—saves your life! He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown. He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal. He renews your youth—you're always young in his presence. (Psalm 103:1-5)

There are clearly a couple of things David seems to focus on as he engages in this soul-talk. A few of those things might just help us begin our very own 'soul-talk' with God today:
  • God forgives our sins - not just in part, but completely; not just one or two, but all of them. There are times when I just want to cringe in shame when I remember some of the sins over the course of my life - and the enemy of my soul would love nothing more than to have me dwell upon those memories. When that happens, I have called to memory the fact that God is not "selective" in his forgiveness. It is complete and it keeps no records - even when my mind has a hard time letting go of them. What I seem to dredge up from my past in haunting memory of my sinfulness has already been forgiven - no longer remembered by God.
  • God not only heals our spiritual condition through forgiveness of sins, but he heals our physical condition by healing our diseases. I've had a couple of worrisome physician's reports over the years, biding time until surgery could be done and the final pathology reports could be obtained. In those times, I felt his presence. He is my healer and I know that the reports were excellent because he is an excellent God! The healing of God goes beyond our physical diseases - it encompasses the mind, emotions, and spirit damaged by all of life's woes.
  • God has redeemed us from hell - more than just forgiving us of our sins - he has ensured that we would never have to experience the horrific terror of hell. If nothing else challenges us to sit up and give God our attention, that should! If you haven't read what scripture tells us about hell, you may not fully understand the sheer awe at his goodness - being overcome with a desire to praise God for his deliverance from hell's torture. 
  • God has crowned us with love and mercy. I've never been much of a "tiara" woman, but I am awed by the beauty of character that God produces in a life surrender to him - an adorned life. That beauty of character is like a "crowning glory" over all of their life. Love and mercy - the crown of eternal love - encompasses their life and it radiantly displays God to all who look upon it. Love evokes the best in others. Mercy overlooks the worst in others. There is nothing more beautiful that can adorn a child of God than the crown of his love and mercy.
  • God has wrapped us in goodness - not greatness, but goodness. We have a warped view of how we value individuals in our society today. We often think that if they accomplish something "great", then that adds to or gives them value. God sees our value in the goodness of heart that he creates by the presence of his abiding Spirit within us. Goodness is really moral excellence - the best part of God created within us by the indwelling of his Spirit.
If all this doesn't elicit some praise from your soul, then the final point should - he renews our youth! We pay thousands for creams, tucks, lifts, and gym memberships - all to hold onto our youth. What is amazing is that in the presence of God I am made young! If you don't believe me - try it. There is a restorative power that occurs in the presence of the Almighty God. I want you to see one last thing - David recounts that God HAS done these things. It is not a "hope in the by-and-by" that God "might" do these things in his life. They are an accomplished fact. David celebrates the continual work of God in his life - continually forgiving him of his sins (past, present and future); continually healing his diseases; continually keeping him safe from Satan's evil; consistently displaying his love and mercy in his people so that it might shine through them; continually indwelling them with his presence; and continually renewing them. Feel like you have nothing to praise God for today - think again! Then do some serious "soul-talk"! Just talkin!