There is no question in my mind after reading this psalm what we are to do. This is last psalm, and the last line, verse 6, says it all: “Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord!”
This is chapter not only focuses on the “who” we praise but on the “how”. There is no question our God is worthy to be praised. Over the years, at one congregation or another, we have always been in the center of movement for change in worship styles, or “how” we worship. As I reflect on our life of ministry, I am saddened that so much time and energy was spent on this issue.
In my heart I believe there is no wrong way to praise and worship. The wrong way is to not worship. In this psalm, I picture such a joyous time of singing, dancing and playing instruments, all to glorify God. There are no frowns, and everybody is engaging in the way they feel moved. I think we as a society are too uptight (for a lack of a better word at the moment) and don’t allow our guard down, even to worship our God.
I enjoyed a story this week from a pastor counseling a woman in his church. She came to him all upset about this thing or that, all happening within the congregation. She was going to leave the church because she couldn’t believe the pastor wasn’t doing anything to control these “things”. The pastor’s wisdom here gave me goosebumps. He welcomed the woman to leave if that was her desire, but he made one request before she did so. He asked her to carry a full glass (completely full to the brim) around the church and report back to him. Believe it or not she did so, probably wondering what in the world was the point. When she met with the pastor to say her goodbyes, he asked her if when she was carrying the glass she had witnessed the “this and that” happening around her. She told him she couldn’t, she was too focused on not spilling the water. He told her that’s what it’s like when we are focusing on Jesus with our whole heart and mind. We are less likely to notice or be bothered by what someone around us may or may not be doing.
Are we focusing on Jesus enough? Are we being drawn into our own selfish desires and not putting our trust and reliance in our God and Savior?
Think about your worship life. How can you improve it? Remember worship isn’t confined to an hour on Sunday morning. We should be living a 24/7 faith – praising God at every turn, keeping our eyes focused on him and his path for us.
Guess, what? I found a song. Let it wash over you here.
Let’s pray. Lord, thank you for the reminder today, simple as it is. Praise to you! I might not feel like dancing right n ow, but my heart is smiling and I feel a bubbling joy inside my being. May that pour out today as I get to work and to serving your kingdom. Thank you for the opportunities you give us each day. Help me not to overlook what is right before me and keep the focus on you. Guide my steps. Guard my tongue. You are an amazing God. May I worship you as you deserve. In Jesus’ name. Amen.