We’re a third of the way through this challenge as we begin week five. Last week we went on a treasure hunt. This week, we’re engaging in praising the Lord.
“Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!” ~ Psalm 150 (ESV)
Worthy of Praise
It is my prayer that we are beginning to see how great and awesome God is. I hope we are recognizing that He is indeed worthy of our praise.
Recently, I heard of a man who had a problem with God “commanding” us to worship Him. In fact, he was so against it, he refused to worship unless he “wanted to”. He didn’t want a “god” who demanded praise.
You see, he viewed God as though He were a human tyrant demanding to be worshipped for the purpose of benefiting Himself. I must say, I would be leary of a “god” like that too.
Thankfully, the One True God is self-less and sacrificial. He is for His children, not against them. Contrary to what some believe, God doesn’t tell us to worship Him alone for His benefit. It is for ours. God knows the pitfalls we’ll encounter when we value anything above Him and He wants us to avoid that pain. Many of us can attest to living in those pits. I know I have scars and extra pounds which testify to bowing at the wrong alter. You probably do too.
This is precisely why He sent His Son to die in our place on the cross. He wants us near. He longs for a relationship with us, not to complete Him, but to complete us as His dearly loved Creation.
Let’s consider for a moment His Son, Jesus Christ. We’ve all heard the catch phrase, “What Would Jesus Do.” Most Christians would say He is a good example of how we should live in this world. Well, what did He do when presented with the opportunity to worship something other than God?
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him. ~ Matthew 4:8-11 (ESV)
In a sermon titled, You Shall Worship the Lord Your God, John Piper paints a beautiful picture of us (as a peasant) playing outside the castle with the Prince (Jesus). Then, we’re invited to enter the castle to meet His Father. Jesus immediately kneels and brings His face to the ground before The King. He bows, not out of fear of wrath, but out of a deep love and devotion and respect. I highly doubt any one of us would still be standing there thinking, “You want me to bow to You? I don’t think so.”
Jesus would bow because He has a full understanding of who God is and what He can do. He understands how great the Father’s love is for us. We would bow initially because we’re following the Son’s lead. Then, as we begin to get even a tiny inkling of the magnitude of God, we will find that praise and worship are a natural, gladly given, response.
“Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle! Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah” ~ Psalm 24:8-10 (ESV)
So, beginning this week we’re going to increase our time to 20 minutes beginning with praise and worship. By now, we have been praying scripture prayers on overcoming idolatry, unbelief, and pride, all of which attest to the awesomeness of God. We have also listed out many reasons God deserves our praise and worship through our week of “treasure hunting”. You can begin there with your time of praise and worship, but feel free to add on. You may also choose to sing.
”Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth.”
~ Psalm 115:1 (NKJV)
Week 5 – We’re going to add to our daily habit of renewing our minds by increasing it to 20 minutes per day beginning with praise/worship, confession of sins, and the “who I am in Christ” mirror exercise. Finish up your 20 minutes with any method you wish. Also, keep that second appointment during the day that is about five minutes long. During this time, renew your mind specifically about your boundaries (what tempts you to want to break them, why you need boundaries…etc). Be sure to take full advantage of Beth Moore’s Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free From Spiritual Strongholds and I Deserve a Donut by Barb Raveling.
For “day by day” suggestions, join the Taste For Truth Support Group and download this week’s PDF.
Weekly Challenge Check-in:
Renewed my mind for at least 15 minutes a day & kept my food boundaries.
I’m down 0.2 the fourth week :)*
Challenge Total: 4.8 lbs
*for more commentary on this weigh in, join the TFTSG.