WEEK 31: HIS POWER AND YOUR WORSHIP- STRENGTH FOR TODAY AND TOMORROW
We don’t mean to sin. If I were to ask a large group of Christians if they would want to know they would never sin again, I believe they all would say, “Oh, yes, I want that very much.”
But we find ourselves sinning again and again. Paul expressed this regret-filled condition this way:
“15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” Romans 7:15
God began perfecting us the day we accepted His free gift of salvation. Even though we sometimes feel this perfecting process is two steps forward and one step back, we can trust Him to complete the work that He began. Think about it. We may not trust ourselves, but Paul said in Philippians 1:6 that we could trust Christ because it is His work, after all:
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
The sanctification process is going on in us daily because God loves us that much and wants to heal our sin-sickness. And we are better for it. More content for it. More fit for His use because of it. Every battle and trial we face is part of this process to strengthen us and make us more like Him. James 1:2-4 says:
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
The NIV version of verse four says:
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
So the perseverance and endurance and steadfastness that are working in our imperfect souls and in our mistakes and in our circumstances are part of Christ working in us. It is not all on us.
So now that it is established that our sanctification is His work, let’s look at one of the most effective things we can do to prepare our hearts and minds to accept His perfect work in us. I see this effective habit in the lives of so many people I admire.
Psalm 22:3 says:
“Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.”
In other words, God dwells in our praise. It is where He lives and can be found readily, consistently. Surround yourself with praise at all times because we never know what temptations and ambushes the day may hold for us, despite our good intentions. Starting the day in worship is especially effective. Being extra attentive to praising and worshiping Him grounds you in Him, reminds you of His identity and sovereignty, and allows you to rest in Him more easily. Soak yourself in His Words. Sing to Him and just talk to Him about His character and His great love for you. You will form a barrier to the enemy’s attacks that cannot be pierced.
And if the attacks do come, fighting back with worship can send the enemy on the run. As you sing praise songs about how you love Him, that there is power in His blood, that He is a mighty fortress, and other truths that are in Bible-based music, your mind and heart are planted firmly and will not be easily moved to sin.
Be sure that the music you listen to is Biblically sound. Today, there is great emphasis on how Jesus can serve you to make your dreams come true. Some songs bring God down to our level. Be sure that the music you listen to and sing is true in every stanza about a God who is to be obeyed and adored, who loves you very much, but whose will is sovereign.
I have had times when I was so grief-stricken or hurt that I could not think to sing. In those times, I have gotten out an old hymnal and feebly sung a song that is easy to remember. My voice is weak at first, but I find I get stronger as I sing each word. Or I sing a childhood song like “Praise Him! Praise Him! All Ye Little Children.” If I truly cannot sing, I get out a few old CDs or download some songs that I know stir me to worship. I listen to the words and pray and agree with the singer as the song plays. Sometimes, if I am feeling dry, I will attend a hymn sing or worship time at another church who is holding a special night of praise.
Your worship can take many forms: prayer, song, art, or special love-gifts to acknowledge His goodness. Worship Him today to prepare your heart for whatever comes tomorrow.