Hebrews 13:15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise- the fruit of lips that confess his name.
A new theme has emerged. Living in praise.
Really, I am just overwhelmed with all of the good things coming at me. I almost feel like I did in high school when I barely paid attention in class and knew enough to do well but it's final exam time and I need to cram it all in so I can get it all right.
I received yesterday some books on tithing and biblical money principals that a wonderfully kind lady sent me. She also sent me some CD's from her church. I have only listened to one so far and having 4 kids who wanted to argue all day yesterday I didn't have time to check but I suspect the preaching was of her hubby. I need to check today and email her a thank you. Great stuff. But I was ready to dig into these starting today and I will. I am set to learn these tithing principles once and for all. It's confusing depending on who you ask. So why then as I settle in to learn these things God has shown me I need to fix is something new popping up? Since November of 08 God just started a barrage of teachings that have been life changing one after the other and sometimes 2 or 3 at a time!! Wow. Really, I don't think I am the same person since November started. A new creature for certain. I'll be digging into the finances but here is something I know I need to get down pat.
Living in constant praise of the Lord.
As Christians a great deal of us study the word. Some of us even read the whole book. More than once even. We study and we know lots of stuff right? It has become more than obvious to me that knowing something and actually living it are two different things. Can I say that again?
Knowing something and living it are two different things!
I am not saying anything here that a Christian for more than a month or two shouldn't know. We are to live with an attitude of praise. We are to stay in the Lord...... We are to thank him continually. We should pray often and not just for ourselves. But do we? Do we really live in praise of God?
This past Sunday we had two guest speakers at our church. One was a traveling evangelist and boy was he on fire. It was funny to me that both of their messages led to the same truth. God wants us to have total faith in Him. And in that total faith filled life we are to live it in praise of Him. The first evangelist's message was titled: Fret Not, Fear Not, Faint Not, & Forget Not. Oops, did he say not to forget God? Whoopsies. It was a total faith message with constant references to the fact that you can't forget God, you can't forget to place your faith in every situation if your whole life is lived in constant praise of God. Talk to Him, thank Him, in everything give thanks & praise to the Lord. The second message hammered in this relationship of constant communication with God all throughout the day.
Then the CD I listened to yesterday was all about the words we speak. Our words have power and they can be a blessing to us or a trap. He was talking about speaking the expected end over your life and situations. He was talking about Faith. Boy, was that CD convicting because this time last year I did nothing but speak negatively over my life. "I hate my life." was a daily staple. One big moment for me was when he was trying to convey just how much power words have and he said. What did God do when he created the heavens and the earth? HE SPOKE IT!! I know I drew in a breath at that one. The tongue is the Rutter that controls our ship which is our bodies, our life. That is in James I think? So it hammers in, my tongue (what I speak) controls the direction I am going in! Oh my. So, what then would I desire my mouth to be speaking over my life? Who I am in Christ, that's what.
Joyce Meyer has in her book on Happiness that I have numerous scriptures as to who we are in Christ. I have decided to do a post and place those references of who we are in Christ in the sidebar as soon as my chores and children allow me to. She has hammered over and over that first, I say FIRST, we need to know who we are in Christ before we can do this life thing right. I see that. We need to be able to speak these things over us daily. Boy, in the car listening to that CD I immediately began speaking those things over me.
But it all ties in. We need to be shutting our mouths from speaking those negative things out loud. We need to give our thoughts and words to living in praise. There is a scripture that says God ingests the praises of his people. Your praises go straight into the living God who loves you. We were created for relationship with Him. Therefore it only makes sense to live a life full of God's blessings and provision that we are to stay in a life of praising Him. What am I speaking about my life? How much do I speak to, give thanks and praise God throughout my day. Do I give God as much time as I do blogging? How much time in my day is spent thinking on Him, worshiping Him, praising Him. Not enough, clearly or He would not show me these things.
We know we are to life a life of praise but how many of us actually do it? There are some Christians who just radiate the love of God from them. It is so clear to anyone how the love of God is so prevalent in their lives. Might those be the people who have been successful in living a life of praise and faith?
I think living a life of praise is not hard to do, it's just hard to get started doing it if it's not how we live already. I wrote yesterday about "walk by cleaning", I want my life to be more than "drive by praising". You know, every now and then we give God a shout out during the day. I want to be in a constant state of praise of Him. I have been praying for the last few days that God would keep me in his constant embrace. An embrace requires both of to be holding on.
If you don't truly believe that words do have power as the Bible clearly says they do in many passages then consider these non Christian ideas. The Secret. Heard of that book? It's all about the power of positive thinking and placing out into the world positive words about what you want to happen. Just Google even the power of positive words and see how many things come up that aren't Christian. One of the first things a doctor will tell you after diagnosing you with a terrible diagnosis requiring long treatments is that a great deal of the battle is in your attitude.
Our words and thoughts do have power. We believe prayer is powerful don't we? What are our prayers? Words and thoughts going out from us out into to the universe and being delivered up to God. Might I ponder for a moment the theory that many have that only our prayers are delivered up to God's throne. What if every word uttered, ever thought pondered was sent out into the throne room of God? What if every word, every thought spoken was a prayer? We want our prayers to come true don't we? Well, I do. ha ha. So if my prayer coming home from work was "I'll bet I'll be coming home to a dirty house and even though my husband has been home for an hour the place will be a mess and he won't have started dinner.". And I get home and that's what I find. Yipee, my prayer was answered. This is something serious to consider. I know the Bible says we will be judged for every word spoken and every deed. Yes, but I only considered my specific "prayers" words and thoughts I utter directly to God as the only words and thoughts being delivered directly to His throne, to Him.
Oh my, could it be that even though we know God knows our minds, our words, that it is not because he is so cool that he could just magically know but because ALL of our words and thoughts are delivered up to him? Now that is something to ponder. And if all of our thoughts and words are basically prayers what are we asking for? What are we saying about our life? Our relationships? What are we expecting from God today? What are we expecting from our spouse and children today? What are we asking God to help us with today?
Without Faith it is impossible to please God. In other words, you can do all the good you want. We can live out all the good actions and deeds we want. But Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith is speaking the expected end over your life and situation. In these words, when they arrive at His throne, this is pleasing to Him. And that is what we would be asking for, whether we know it or not.
Mmmmmm, this is some good stuff for me to chew on!!!!