Pause for praise

I would like to differ from my normal devotional format. I’m not really going to follow my usual routine. Today, I would just like to share with you from the heart. Last night, I was getting ready for bed and I really didn’t feel like reading my Bible. I felt perhaps that maybe I should just skip my usual reading instead of doing it out of “duty.” The Lord quickly showed me that was wrong and I decided to read a few chapters despite my feelings.

I flipped to Psalms and just glanced at the last Psalm. It read, “Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him . . .” The chapter went on, and it ended with, “Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD.”

I reflected on a previous time when everything in my life seemed to be perfect and God was blessing tremendously. I was encouraged, I was excited, and practically dancing for joy because of God’s blessings. But this moment seemed different. I wasn’t feeling quite so happy. The atmosphere wasn’t so bright, and I was sullen.

The idea of praising the Lord hit me like a ton of bricks. I am completely humiliated to say this, but I hadn’t been taking time during my day to praise the Lord. I’d like to think that I’ve been thankful, but I haven’t praised Him. I haven’t reflected on His greatness and His love. While I was reading, I couldn’t believe how much I had forgotten something so important and so rudimentary.

I am to praise God.

While I read the previous chapters of Psalms, I realized that part of praising God must be a proper fear of Him. We can praise God in hard times and in times when things seem less than great because we know Him and how great He is. When we live in awe of Him, and how big He is, our problems and situations look so small. He is so much greater than anything else in our lives, and we ought to fulfill our purpose in serving Him.

I could ramble on about how great God is in comparison to our lives and situations, but I won’t. I am writing this to you, because I couldn’t help wonder if there was someone else out there who hadn’t taken the time to praise the Lord. If you haven’t taken the time, pause. Stop your thoughts; stop your actions. Empty your mind and rest.  Remind yourself of His greatness and rekindle the fear of the Lord in your life.

“He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.” – Psalm 147:10-11

Praise ye the Lord.

Job title: National leader ~~~ Job experience: shepherd

There’s something great about someone who does great things. A person who has an important job or completes a crucial task. We sit back and say, “If they never did that, then I don’t know what we’d be doing.” All of us humans are often impressed by what a person does in their life, but it seems that God’s emphasis is often on how a person does in their life.

 When the great prophet Samuel was anointing the next king, he was told not to anoint Jesse’s firstborn. God said, “I have refused him.” The candidate for king was David, a shepherd boy. Taking care of the sheep is, I’m sure, a crucial task, but it’s not very noteworthy. It doesn’t represent greatness.

 Moses, the great leader of Israel, spent decades keeping flocks in the desert. Yeah, wonderful. Do you think he was really racking up the qualifications for a national leader and diplomat? I’m sure the world didn’t think so. But apparently God did, and God used that time of preparation to mold Moses into the man God needed him to be.

 There are countless examples of someone doing something small in a great way.  I’m sure at some point Nehemiah felt that his cupbearing wasn’t doing much good for God, but when God used that position to allow Nehemiah to go rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, it was clear.

I’m sure Joseph felt that his sitting in prison wasn’t doing much good for God, but the Bible tells us that in prison, Joseph had a change of character. You see, God isn’t always focused on our changing the world for Him. Sometimes He wants to change us for Him. Sometimes the “pointlessness” of a task is designed to change us. Once we are changed, then God can use us to change the world.

 So next time you are getting ready to sweep the floor, or do that Algebra you think you will never use, remember, sometimes God will use the menial tasks to change you. But He doesn’t call every faithful person to the stage.  You may sweep the floor faithfully, and do your algebra without fail, but never get recognition. Are you willing to do that which is little, for Him? Will you be one to do the small things in a great way?

 Whatever God’s will is, be open to it. Be faithful and diligent to do what God called you to do.  You’ll be doing God’s will, you may never lead a nation, or who knows? Maybe you will.

 “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” – Colossians 3:23

 “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: ” – Luke 16:10

What is in thine hand?

Uselessness is something we all feel at some point in time in our lives. We’re humans. Yeah, that’s kinda depressing, but I have some news for you. If you walk in the power of Christ, then you don’t have to ever feel useless. God empowers you to do anything and everything that you need to do.

Our God is awesome.

Let me give you an example. When Moses was commanded by God to bring an entire enslaved nation out of Egyptian bondage, he felt kinda small. He wasn’t sure of himself, or of God for that matter.

He protested and told God that he didn’t think that Israel would believe that he was from God. Exodus 4:2 gives God’s response, “And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.” God then instructed Moses to cast it down and then God turned the rod into a serpent. He showed Moses that he could use anything.

God knew what was in Moses’ hand. God knows everything. I would imagine, in my own head that is, that God was giving us a vision of how powerful He is. It’s kinda like one of those cheap slight-of-hand tricks when the guy’s like, “Pick a card, any card.”

In a way, God was showing how great he was. But it was no trick. God’s power was and is real.

God was showing how great He was, and He still demonstrates His power today.

God wants to use you for great things. He has a plan in your best interest. All you must do is trust Him and follow His lead. God doesn’t need great skill, talent, riches, fame, or beauty. Don’t forget, He created all that. God wants you. He wants to use you for greatness. He wants to show His power through you.

He doesn’t need much. He needs a willing servant.

Are you willing?