Tuesday, February 20, 2007

251 - Hinder Praise

Oh Lord, one of the first thing I learned about speaking many years ago was to never change up a message at the last minute, especially if you were new to speaking. I know I know, one may think God is leading them to change it up in the last minute, but it is safer and one is likely to be more accurate when things are thought/prayed through and planned well in advance.

Well, to say all that I am changing a message at the last minute. To some this is not the last minute - next Saturday, but to a not so much procrastinator it is the last minute. Plus, i do have a few years under my belt of speaking, but not near enough to be confident in my ability to be effective and accurate. SO Lord - reign! My retreat for next week has a great theme of Springing into Spring with the Lord - or something along those lines. So I will be presenting Balanced Lifestyle, a session on prayer, and Radical Obedience. I had my topics in line and all set up, but this morning i hear the Lord say - I need a different direction on the prayer. So here I am changing at the last minute - yikes, this makes me very nervous.

There are key times in my life i remember disappointing my parents. Well when I was in 3rd or 4th grade my SS teacher had us memorize Ps. 100. I did not like to read and was overwhelmed with such a request and so I avoided it like the plague. The next Sunday, my parents were helpers in the class, almost everyone recited the Psalm except me. (Mom, do you remember this?) I can remember the look on their faces and a bit of it was shock. I loved church and always did what was asked, but not this time!! Too many boys to remember! ha

So this morning I have gone to Psalm 100 - part of my new message for next weekend - instead of reciting the Psalm verbatim, I am going to tear it apart and explain it to the best of my knowledge, or lack of... Mom, Dad, hopefully this will make you proud. Hee hee

This Psalm is a song of praise in totality. The unknown writer is shouting for joy, worshipping with gladness, being thankful, extolling the Lord. A heart of praise is crucial in our everyday lives. Without praise out lives get very heavy and overloaded. A heart of praise lifts our spirits and help us keep our focus. A heart of praise allows one to make it through the storm victoriously with a Spring in our step. So what happens when we don't praise? Or a better question is what is it that hinders our praise?

1)Ignorance -The way some people act you would think they have never have had a kind word spoken to them. They are just not aware of what praise feels like and that it is so appropriate when it comes to our Lord. Coming before the Lord with thanksgiving/praise is just a must - it is something that one should be compelled to do whether they have walked with the Lord for some time or not. Not obeying a law because you just don't know, ignorant doesn't work and it doesn't work here with our Lord either. Sing it out and Praise His Name! Know what He has done for you and then shout it out!

2) Tradition - oh this is huge. Same ol' same ol' same ol' thing can hinder your praise. There are many times in my quiet time that i have to change everything up to be refreshed. I like to start with praise, but sometimes i start with reading a Psalm of praise, listening to praise music, or with just hands raised high and looking toward heaven in praise. Changing this up keep things from getting soooooooooooooo... hindered.

3) People centered worship - oh this one is so obvious. When i am focused on me and can see nothing but me - there is no worship. Oh i guess there is worship, but it is not the Lord I am worshipping. Ever worship a worship leader instead of the One he was trying to lead you to?

4) Hidden sin - this one is tough. You may be playing the church game going to worship and bringing your requests to Him, but if there is unconfessed sin, or hidden sin - not hidden from you, but one that you feel like you are hiding from Him (yeah right), then your worship will be rejected or politely not accepted.

Lord we praise You!! You are worthy of it all. Lord we lift Your Name on high and knowing You are in control of it all. Thank you for loving me and for holding me tightly in your hand. Thank you for never allowing me to be snatched away. Thank you for giving me a heart that wants to praise You. Lord, you are it! You are the holy one and the one that deserves all accolades. We WILL enter your courts with thanksgiving in our hearts, we will enter your courts with praise. Take me into the Holy of holies. Accept my praise and be glorified. I love you my Lord. Make all my heart be glued to You and set my sites on You. May i never fall away from this commitment. I know You are here for the long run, but may i never be swept away by anything but you. I abandon it all to be with you and live for you! You are more than worth it! I love you!

1 comment:

Charis said...

God is so amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your heart. The Lord has truly spoken to me through you today. While reading your post, I felt led to pray and ask God cut open my heart and expose anything in me that is hindering me from totally and completely abandoning myself in praise to Him and Him alone.