Monday, January 9, 2012

Skipping Praise

I haven't asked for anything today...

At least from God, I haven't.

I went to bed last night, and then woke up this morning with Psalm 100:4 on my mind:
Enter His gates with Thanksgiving and into His courts with praise.”

I came to the harsh reality recently that I have been guilty of entering into His presence with either questions or needs. I mumble my way through how much I love Him and how grateful I am for His blessings...then it's on to the 'important' stuff (AKA - My List).

Federal Hill
(Baltimore, MD)
My dad could always tell when I wanted something. I used to (and probably still do) come around and speak in tones I didn’t normally speak in. If I knew he liked it when I did a certain thing, I would make sure he was around and could see me doing it. Anything he needed, I was right there on the spot awaiting his beckoning call. And finally, the words would come…
“Son, what is it that you want?”
Any other time, I was about my own business. But now it was just too obvious to hide…I needed something and had to work my ‘magic’ in order to get close enough to ask.

It is shameful how many times I have used my praise and worship to Christ as some kind of ‘magic’ formula to get me close enough to share what it was that I needed from Him. I wonder how often He has had to look past my mis-use of worship and just say, “Don’t worry about it…just tell me what you need? Your mind and heart is not really consumed with praising me, so just get to the heart of the matter and let me know exactly what it is you need.”

(Bel Air, MD)
It is really tough to look within and check our motives, but when it comes to genuine praise and worship of our Creator, where do we stand? If praise to Him is not our heartbeat, then I wonder how many miracles we have missed? 
The reason I say that is, in study of scripture, every time Christ showed up on the scene, something spectacular happened. And scripture says that, “Jesus inhabits the praises of His people.”

* How many financial blessings have we missed because we spent all of our time asking, instead of praising?
* How many physical healings have been missed because all we did was feel sorry for ourselves instead of saying, ‘The God who created me is greater than my sickness, so I praise Him’?

On and on the list could go.
Inner Harbor
Baltimore, MD
Fathers are pretty smart. They can read between the lines. He already knows you need something because…all children do. He made you, so He already understands what you are going through and what you need to make it. So why not take a day and not ask for anything? Just let your ‘list’ go (no matter how long it is), and devote a day to letting Him know how awesome He is. Spend some time concentrating on ‘true praise’ and let Him inhabit your stuff.

We might just be surprised at the needs that start getting marked off our ‘list’ when we do.

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