Our Strength and Song

Psalm 95:1-2 NIV

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.

Let Us Sing!

I love to sing songs of worship and praise to my Lord. I love so many of the old hymns which give glory to God and which express the richness of Biblical truth. I like many of the contemporary Christian worship songs, too. And, I am blessed that the Lord has given me so many spiritual and scriptural songs to write, too, in worship of him and in giving glory to his name.

20180824_080622Music is a big part of my life. It always has been. Scripture put to music touches my heart. My Lord speaks to me through spiritual songs and hymns throughout the day. Sometimes, when something is on my heart, and even before I even express a prayer to the Lord, the Lord will place a song in my head, and as I listen to the words, I realize he is already counseling me in the way that I should go, or he is comforting my heart.

When I am sad, or feeling depressed, or when I am going through a trial or a difficulty, or when Satan is attacking me fiercely, if I lift my heart and my voice to my Lord in song it lifts me out of that emotional down, and it encourages my heart. It is part of my spiritual armor which I put on, too, to fight off Satan’s evil schemes against me.

Psalm 95:3-5 NIV

For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.

God, Our Creator

I love to be out in nature and to enjoy the beauty of all that God created. Last night I was admiring the formations of the clouds in the sky, and I was in awe of God who created all of this. It brought tears to my eyes, in fact.

20180831_063623My husband and I are making it our practice to walk outdoors at least one time a day, and we usually go out at sunrise, so that is a beautiful time of day, when we see the sun come up. We live near the mountains, so we get to see some mountains in the distance, too. I love to take pictures of God’s creation. And, I get great enjoyment out of looking at all that God has made.

But, it is not the creation which I worship, but the God who created all of this. The trees, the sky, the clouds, the sun and moon, the flowers, the birds, bunnies and squirrels, etc., were all made by him. All of this is in his hands, and all belongs to him, and he is King over all that he has made, too. So, when I admire his creation, I am giving thanks to him, and my praise goes to him, too, for I see his greatness through his created works.

Psalm 95:6-7 NIV

Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.

Bow Down

To bow down and worship our God is not a formality, though. It is not a ritual, or a thing that we do on a specific day in the week, at a particular time of day, in a specified place. It is not a religious practice. It is a lifestyle.

For, to bow down in worship of our God means to humble ourselves before him in confession of sin, in recognition of our weaknesses, and in acknowledgment that through him, and through him alone can we have life to the full. It is to say to God, “I need you! I can’t make it without you! You are the air that I breathe, the sustenance of my life, the bread of my life. My dependency is in you, and in you alone.”

20180827_061631And, to worship God is to give our lives to him as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, for this is our acceptable worship of him (Rom. 12:1-2).

It is to lay our lives down on his altar and to die with Christ to sin so that we might live with Christ to righteousness. It is to be separate (unlike, different) from the world of sin, because we are being made into the likeness of Christ. And, it is to forsake our former way of living for sin and self, and the ways of this sinful world, so that we can walk in holiness unto our Lord.

Psalm 95:8-11 NIV

Today, if only you would hear his voice,
“Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah,
as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness,
where your ancestors tested me;
they tried me, though they had seen what I did.
For forty years I was angry with that generation;
I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray,
and they have not known my ways.’
So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’”

A Warning to Heed

Even though we may now walk in holiness before our God, and take pleasure in Him and in worship of Him, and even though now we may have forsaken our sinful ways to walk in obedience to our Lord, it does not mean we can never fail. For, we still have the propensity to sin against God, and scripture warns us to take heed if we think we stand, lest we fall.

We must daily die to sin and self. Daily we must put on the armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil schemes against us. Daily we must, by the Spirit, be putting to death the fruitless deeds of darkness and exposing them for what they are. Daily we must throw off any hindrances to our walks of faith and anything which may weigh us down that might keep us from running our race of faith God has laid out for us, so that we can run with perseverance. And, daily we must guard our hearts against the evil one.

ForfreedomFor, any one of us can slip and fall if we do not have on our spiritual armor and if we are giving way to the world of sin in our lives. We can’t play with fire, or we are likely to get burned. We can’t test fate, either. Especially if we have once battled in any particular sinful area, we must be so careful that we do not permit anything back into our lives that could lead us down that path again. We have to be smart, or stupid will be our downfall!

Too many people get careless and then they fall, and then they act surprised when they do. God has given us the way out – the escape – from temptation to sin. We just have to take the way out he provided for us, and we have to not get prideful and think we can handle situations which we have a history of not handling, but frequently giving into and failing. God gave us brains. We just have to use them! And, we must always put into practice that our Lord is our source of strength to help us in our battles. So, yield to HIM!

Total Praise / Richard Smallwood

…You are the source of my strength
You are the strength of my life
I lift my hands in total praise to You…

Friday, August 31, 2018 – Thank You, Jesus! Help us, Lord, to be wise, to be discerning, to not stray from you, and to make you our strength and song.

 

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