Saturday, March 19, 2011

It Is Good To Praise The Lord

There is a reason some disciples of Jesus grow weak, tired and weary of their spiritual walk. It is not a difficult matter to understand if you can understand the nature of our relationship with Jesus. Some see Christianity as nothing more than a religion that you are born into, a system of rights and passages, a place of ceremonies. If you are willing to see you will even find this attitude among some evangelicals. However, our relationship with Jesus is no more religious than it was for the disciples. To be a disciple is not a one-time act but instead an ongoing and developing relationship.

Weariness creeps into any relationship where effort is not being made to discover new things. A marriage will only stay vibrant if both people are pursuing intimacy, a desire to be with and to know each other. This is also true of friendships that will have any relevancy in the years to come. Friendship cannot be based on what was but must instead be built on what it is today. This all takes an investment of time and effort and it is no different in our relationship with the most important person in our life, Jesus Christ.

When someone starts telling me that they are feeling spiritually weak and that God never seems to be around any more, my first few questions are predictable, "How much time are you spending with Jesus?" "How much effort are you putting into your Bible study?" "How are you doing with developing your conversation with Jesus?" Usually the answer comes back that things are not going so good because they feel like they are talking to the air and that the Bible is feeling dry and useless. Then they seem a bit surprised by my follow up question; "What do you do for worship?"

In most cases the idea of worship outside of Sunday seems like a ridiculous idea to people but ever since I was 19 years old I found that daily worship, in whatever form, to be essential to a growing, vibrant relationship with Jesus. Worship is what keeps everything in perspective. It keeps God big and us small. It turns our gigantic troubles into "light and momentary" things. It often reveals God's glory, his greatness and we realize what a privilege we have to know him. It doesn't matter the form of worship.

When I was younger I would write poems of worship or read off the hymns as poems of praise. I have also read out loud different psalms as an offering of praise. These days, thanks to tools such as YouTube, I am able to worship in song. It is as the psalmist wrote:

It is good to praise the LORD 
   and make music to your name, O Most High, 
to proclaim your love in the morning 
   and your faithfulness at night, 
to the music of the ten-stringed lyre 
   and the melody of the harp. (Psalm 92:1-3)

It is good to praise the Lord. It feels good, physically, emotionally, spiritually as we thank him for his love in the morning and his faithfulness at night. In fact, it is worship that brings to life our study of the Word of God as well as our conversation with him. Oh what incredibly tender moments of prayer I have had after taking a walk out in the woods and praising him with songs. It caused my entire being to focus on who he is and who I am in him. I would even dance and shout in those woods until the Spirit would move me to silence and my eyes were opened to the beautiful presence of God. What blessed moments those were as I emptied my heart into him so that nothing, no fear, no worry, no anxiety, no desire remained hidden from him.

It is as we worship that we are reminded of his greatness and how foolish this world is:

For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD;
   I sing for joy at the works of your hands.
How great are your works, O LORD,
   how profound your thoughts!
The senseless man does not know,
   fools do not understand,
that though the wicked spring up like grass
   and all evildoers flourish,
they will be forever destroyed.
But you, O LORD, are exalted forever. (Psalm 92:4-8)

So maybe you have never thought of worshipping outside of Sundays but you are desperate to do something because your relationship with Jesus right now is dry. Here are a few things to keep in mind. First, it is not enough to simply listen to worship, you need to participate. YouTube has great worship with lyrics. Look for the slide shows that contain the lyrics. It is all about participating. Second concentrate on the lyrics, what you are singing. Save in your favourites those songs that speak to your heart, that speak to you of God's greatness, that make you feel you have actually worshipped. Third, worship every day, especially before you do any Bible study or go into prayer. Allow me to give you a couple of suggestions to start with and you can start building from there:

Misty Edwards - Soul Cry
Misty Edwards - You Won't Relent

If you want further suggestions or some help with developing worship you could contact Gerry Desjardins who sends out a daily list of worship songs via email. He is found on FaceBook as "Worshipper777".

We have no excuses for allowing our relationship with Jesus to grow tired and weak. We have the Spirit, worship, the Word, prayer, and the Body of Christ. If we are serious about growing in spiritual maturity then all it takes from us is the desire and the discipline, the same discipline all relationships require. If you neglect these things then you should not be surprised to find yourself "in a dry and thirsty land" but just know that this can be avoided. Don't wait for tomorrow, take the time to worship Jesus Christ today with a heart of thanksgiving and remember, "It is good to praise the LORD."

1 comment:

Pastor Dayakar said...

Praise the lord bro, this sunday im going to preach Ps:92 chapter so im searching for that, i fond your site really happy to see your profile and God's word. i am blessed to see profile, Prayer that your ministry will reach nations. God bless you.
In Christ,
Pastor Dhayakar.