One evening at a church service, I was watching a little four year old boy during the Praise & Worship. This little boy was dancing so freely and from his heart to the Lord. He had his hands raised to the Lord in worship and was just a pure joy to watch. As I watched this little boy I was reminded of two verses, Psa 8:2 (NIV) “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise….” And, “MAT 18:4 “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” I thought, this little boy is just having a time before the Lord and doesn’t even know enough to care what others think. Praise God for the innocent. If we as adults could just get that free and easily worship the Lord, oh how positively it would affect our lives!
A few years back, I was leading our Men’s Advance the weekend before Thanksgiving. I had all the men take on a spiritual task that I was sure would make them uncomfortable. At the same time, I was confident it would bless them when all was said and done. I asked them to sit down and write a beautiful letter to the Lord—a letter from their heart, really letting the Lord know how thankful they were for the many things He had done for them. We were away up at a camp by a lake and surrounded by a forest. The men all took their tablets, went off by themselves on a walk, found a quiet place, and began to pray and write. Before they left, I told them there was one other thing they had to do upon completing the letter to the Lord. They had go off alone on a second walk and create a melody and sing their letter to the Lord.
I was helping them to see that when we read through the Psalms, this is the experience we are reading. David would be out in the field with his sheep, singing his heart of love and thanks to the Lord. Or in a time of trouble or after a great victory, he would get by himself and sing his heart to the Lord. God had declared that David had a heart after Himself. Acts 13:22 (NIV) “After removing Saul, He (God) made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.'” How did David become that man? Many things contributed to David’s faith-filled character, but maybe none as much as his heart of thanks and worship toward God. You see, when your heart is full of thanksgiving, you see more of God in your life. You see God working behind the scenes. They eyes of your understanding become enlightened (Eph. 1:18) and you see more of God and become even more thankful! That was David and he just could not contain his thanks and worship.
When I gave the men this assignment, they actually kept a good attitude and went for it. They were surprised that they had a new, deep, and in most cases quite emotional encounter with God. When the weekend was over, most had shared that it was one of the most powerful and intimate experiences they had ever had with the Lord.
Eph 5:19-21 says “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…” Learning to sing your words of thanksgiving to God from your heart can be a continuing and awesome way to share your thanks to the Lord. He is truly worthy of this sacrifice of praise! And, don’t forget this Biblical truth—praise quiets your mind and emotions and helps you detach from the cares of this world. And, it stills the voice of the enemy in your thought-life!
Two dozen years ago, I turned the radio off and instead began to sing my own melodies of thanks to the Lord. It was and is life-changing. I’ve reduced the garbage and noise that I used to perpetually let in and instead began to let my heart lift up melodies and praise to the Lord. I sing to the Lord from my heart almost daily. (I’m a closet singer and songwriter. No talent or training except the help of the Holy Spirit. I just love to do it!) The ways in which it draws you close to the Lord and transforms your heart is beyond words! Besides, it’s our future destiny once we are reunited in Heaven with Jesus. So you might as well get started now! It will transform your life!
Revelation 7:9-12 (NLT) After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb… And they fell before the throne with their faces to the ground and worshiped God. They sang, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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