Friday, December 11, 2009

With Praise

"Praise the LORD!

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever. " Psalm 106:1

"Praise the LORD!

I will praise the LORD with my whole heart,
In the assembly of the upright and in the congregation." Psalm 111:1

I've been very slowly getting into reading a new book that's been on my shelf for a while. It's a fictional book, and it's taken a while to start taking off. It's a fictional account of what might of happened when the angel Lucifer fell from heaven and became the enemy of all, and last night I was really, really struck by something as I read what I read. (Keeping in mind, this is fiction.) Picture this: An angel walks across the room of his home and picks up an instrument. He starts to play this musical instrument, and the whole time, all he can think about as he plays a few notes on this instrument, is whether or not his playing was pleasing to God. He randomly picked up the instrument and started praising God right there in the comfort of his home. His whole reason for playing that instrument was to praise God- it wasn't to please himself, and it wasn't to show off or anything. It was for the express purpose of praising God.

While he was playing and praising with love in his heart for God, God showed up and let him know that the music pleased Him. And as the Glory of God entered the room, the angel became overwhelmed by the presence of God and fell to his face and trembled at the beauty and the glory of God.

I read that part of the book a few times last night, because I was so struck by what to this angel was a simple every day act of playing the instrument- yet he did it for the sole purpose of praising God. And it made me think about me and my days.

Do I praise God with everything I do? When my hands set forth to do something, is it with praise on my mind? Or is it because I have something that needs to be done? Then do I do that something grudgingly? I think of the everyday mundane tasks that I do- the dishes, the cleaning, the laundry, the child-rearing, and I have to say, I don't think that I truly do all these things with praising God in mind! Now, I'll often take the time that I am doing housework and spend that talking to God. When I do dishes, I'm talking to God non-stop, and folding laundry is pretty much the same. But when was the last time I woke up in the morning and said something like "may these hand bring God glory and praise today." I confess, it's been awhile.

Maybe it's because I've been thinking like the writer of Ecclesiastes.

"Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun." Ecclesiastes 2:11

Sometimes everything does seem meaningless. I can spend an entire day working my tail off, cleaning my home to perfection, but what does it really matter? In less than a day it can be in such disarray, and then I need to start all over again. Talk about pointless! But I happen to think that the pointless and meaningless part comes in when I do it all without God. This morning, all I can think about, to be honest, is how different everything could be if I tried to keep myself in the mindset of praising God in all that I do. If I were in a perpetual state of praise, I imagine my day would go much smoother. If I set forth to spend my day praising God with all that I do- I think I would be more likely to do, rather than spend my day wasting away at the computer yet again. And then there are also all these wonderful verse in the Bible that set my heart on fire!

"Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. " Revelation 22:12-13

Just thinking about that has me so excited, because there is another thing that I have had on my mind as of late. (And I really apologize, because I feel like this post is a bit disjointed today, and not making sense.)

"Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." Genesis 1:26-28

God made man for a reason. God made you and God made me for something specific, and I can't help but think that it was for so much more than simply washing dishes and cleaning toilets. While I could go on speculating to some greater purpose, I actually think it's much more simpler than that. I think it's because before I was born, God already loved me. When God first decided to make man, He thought of me specifically and thought to himself that I was going to be someone that He would love and cherish. And you know what? He thought the exact same thing about you. He thought about how much He was going to love watching you grow and how much He was going to enjoy watching you draw closer to Him. I think that God created you and simply out of love.

That's why I want to learn to praise Him in all that I do. Because if I have a God who loves me this much, to even create me and call me into being, I want to learn how to praise Him for every day that I have. In all that I do, I want to give Him praise, because He is so worthy.

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