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Daily Thought - "meditating In Praise; Worshipping The King!"

Discussion in 'Thoughts for Today' started by anthony wade, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoicein the Lord. – Psalm 104: 33-34 (NIV)

    We live in an over-commercialized world and that zeal for commercialization has stretched through the borders of the church as well. It has invaded the pulpit through slick marketing campaigns at the cost of maintaining the purity of the Gospel, which I have written about extensively. It also however has infiltrated the realm of praise and worship, where perhaps it does even more damage than we realize at times. Praise and worship itself should have standards of purity that we need to adhere to. Why? Because it is the very act of praising and worshipping God that we usher His presence into our midst. This is true during corporate worship as well as our own personal time of worship. Now, worship does not need musical accompaniment but it is simply the vehicle we are most familiar with. The key verses reveal something I want to focus on today. The Psalmist here prays that his meditation be pleasing to God - as he worships Him.

    What does this mean for us today? It reveals two important truths for us. The first is that worship is not meant to be some mindless act of repetition but there is actually supposed to be meditation on our part as we worship. There needs to be a thought process going on as we lift our hands to the heavens. It is not supposed to be entertainment for the saints beloved by a sweet fragrance for our Lord and Savior! It is not about the beat, the musicianship, or the power of the vocalist. It is about our time to reflect and meditate on who God is. So often however we can sit in church and petulantly dislike certain songs, seem disinterested, or simply pay no attention as we wait for the preacher to bring the Word. The Bible however does not say that God inhabits the preaching of His people! It says He inhabits the praises of His people!

    Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. – Psalm 22: 3 (NLT)

    The choir is not supposed to lead you in singing but lead you into the presence of Almighty God! It saddens me to look out over a congregation during worship and see people completely detached and disinterested. Hands in their pockets, shuffling their eyes around the room, just waiting for the music to end. What a wasted opportunity to meet one on one with Christ! Likewise it is a wasted opportunity to spend the worship time in the blind obedience of rote singing. That is what the Psalmist is trying to say here. I love “Amazing Grace” for so many reasons but the most glaring one for me is that it reminds me of who I was when God found me! I am the wretch the song sings about! When I sing “How Great Thou Art” it reminds me of how infinite God is and how merciful He must be to think of me amidst the entire span of the universe! A song like “It Is Well with My Soul” allows me to put my problems in check before a God I know is coming back soon. This is not an exercise in entertainment but a chance to communicate with God all that He has been, is and always will be to you. Don’t waste another moment of worship by neglecting to meditate.

    The second truth is this – if the Psalmist feels compelled to pray this then it stands to reason that our meditation (or lack thereof) could not be pleasing to God. We spoke already about those who might not be involved at all during worship but the truth is that even when we try, sometimes our thoughts wander. We start thinking about the rest of the day, the big football game coming up, or what we have to wear tomorrow for the big meeting – all during worship. It is like inviting God down into your heart and then hanging a do not disturb sign over it! God wants intimate fellowship with us! He does not want us dumbing down this deep spiritual experience. There is a story in the Gospel of John where Jesus asks a Samaritan woman for some water. Through the course of the conversation the Samaritan woman discusses one of the pointed disagreements her people had with the Jewish people back then. She asks Jesus why the Jewish people insist that the only proper place to worship God is in Jerusalem while the Samaritans insist that it is at Mount Gerezim. Here was the response of Jesus:

    Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” – John 4: 21-24 (NLT)

    Worship is not the things we make it out to be beloved. Likewise, we have turned Christian music into background noise in our lives. Sometimes, in an attempt to blot out the world many believers abstain from secular music at the cost of minimizing praise and worship. I do not want to walk around humming How Great is Our God – I want to sing it to Him at the top of my lungs! I do not ever want my worship to become musak to God. An annoying little tune you hear in elevators. It should mean something! I always love Christmas season because we get to watch the world sing Christmas carols, which has some of the deepest theology ever written. Take a good look at the lyrics to “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” one day. But they do not get it because the things of God are foolishness to them. I do not want my praise and worship to become like Christmas carols are to the world. Nice tunes to sing once and while without deep meditation to the One I am singing to!

    Beloved, praise and worship is more than a music set at church. It is more than background music in our lives. It is our lifeline along with prayer and His Word to the presence of Almighty God! Like the key verses say – I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

    Rev. Anthony

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