Monday, July 23, 2012

LOL: in Praise

Memory/Meditation Verse: Then the prophet Gad said to David, “Don’t stay in the stronghold. Leave and return to the land of Judah.” ~ 1 Samuel 22:5 (HCSB)

Living Out Loud has been my focus this year. As I get deeper into this concept, God is getting louder. The louder He get, the more we hear Him, right? But hearing alone is not loud enough for our response to Him. We have to do something about it and that is what I am learning.

The same message keeps spreading before me. It has been in my pastor's sermons, in my quiet times, in my readings, on the radio and with a message this morning on TV.

Pastor Jentenzen Franklin is one of my favorite ministers to watch on TV. This morning he spoke of the chaos of our lives and he stated...

"Gratitude is the seed for more of God in your life."

I post it again on today's blog because it is something I have learned well in my relationship with Him. No matter how bad life could get for me, I have learned that turning to scripture has been my life line, my salvation from a mental, physical or spiritual breakdown.

Scripture has breathed life into my soul when I wanted to throw in the town. Scripture has made God my best friend, the one I run to first. Scripture has closed the wounds of my past and covered me with protection.

I have been strongly convicted that Scripture alone isn't the only recipe for a fulfilled life that Lives out Loud. You cannot Live Out Loud without praising God. Its not just the praising of what He has done in your life, which is necessary, but more so, it is the praising of who He is.

On this particular morning Jentenzen Franklin from the Free Will church in Georgia referenced our memory meditation verse above. A gem hidden in the Old Testament that spoke so loudly for Living Out Loud. David was running from his chaos-Saul. He was hiding in his chaos.

Isn't that so like us?  To run from the problem or the pain? To  hide or wallow in it? If I am honest here, it sometimes takes me a good 24 hrs to clear my heart and mind and respond appropriately to the stressor. And how should that response be? Look at our memory/meditation verse again...

Then the prophet Gad said to David, “Don’t stay in the stronghold. Leave and return to the land of Judah.” ~ 1 Samuel 22:5 (HCSB)

What did Gad tell David to do? To leave the hold that had him gripped and paralyzed from Living Out Loud. But not just to leave but to do what? Did you know that Judah means praise? Gad instructed David to leave the chaos, the pain and to instead praise.

Such strong implications for us today. Supporting implications from my previous post you can read here. Selflessly living and seeking God for who He is and not just for what He does for you. Selflessly seeking God because He is enough. Reacting to His greatness in gratitude and humility.

This week, I am focusing on Living Out Loud in praise. Praising Him in my quiet times, my prayers, and throughout my day for who He is. A constant praise that will draw Him closer to me. Words of praise no matter the situation. Yes, I will still pray for his covering on my children, healing for a sick friend, wisdom for a difficult situation but maybe worded differently...praising and thanking Him of His control and His outcome of the need.

Thank about it. He knows what is on our heart before we even pray the words, right?  If so, then instead of asking God to cover a wayward child far from a godly life, maybe you praise God in that He is in control of that child's life, teaching them life lessons for His greater plan and thanking Him for loving her and protecting her when you cannot.

Maybe you spend a day praying back praise verses to God about His glory and majesty. No request. from your end...just praise and reverence to Him. Imagine the depth of love that grows within your relationship with Him?

Selflessness and praise go hand in hand when striving to Live Out Loud your relationship with God. Here are some verses to help carry you through this week as leave your chaos and turn to praise instead. I skimmed through my bible for verses I have underlined in purple to signify God character. Here are a few to use this week as you praise Him for the fullness of who He is...

Sovereign Lord, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do?  ~Deut 3:24 (NIV)

Yahweh, the God of our ancestors, are You not the God who is in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand, and no one can stand against You. ~ 2 Chronicles 20:6 (HCSB)

The Lord is holy and kind. Our God is full of tender love. ~ Ps 116:5 (NIV)

Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you. ~ Jeremiah 32:17 (NIV)

Christ is all, and is in all. ~ Col. 3: 11b (NIV)

God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords,  who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen. ~ 1 Tim 6: 15b-16 (NIV)

Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.  Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. ~ Heb. 7: 25-27 (NIV)

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” 
~ Rev 4:8b (NIV)


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Hey friend, while reading this I was thinking about Elijah on God's mountain, the place of refuge after a lengthy battle with the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel. When God passed by, he told Elijah to "go back the way you came." In other words, leave the safety of this mountain and get busy with the rest of your ministry! Over and over again in scripture we read a similar story. God pushes us out of our comfort zones and asks us to walk in trust and with faith our stories.

I know you are walking yours out loud and with a praise on your lips, despite hard situations in your life. I admire your faith and your willingness to "take care of your heart" each and every day.

Keep to it, and thanks for your authenticity.


Faraby said...

God bless america.