What Matters to God … Part III

“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad.  Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.”  ~ Psalm 34:1-3


Last year I began a new journey in which I traveled through the dark valley of depression, anxiety, disconnectedness, tension and a profound, incessant hopelessness.  I can’t tell you why, other than I believe it was a definite spiritual attack.  Added to this attack was the fact that I was physically out of shape.  There were physical abnormalities in my blood work that had to be addressed.  This compounded the impact of the darkness.  Things looked bleak.  All I knew to do was continue to approach God.


The above scripture came to mind in this difficult moment.  “I will bless the Lord at all times.”  Too often we complain about life’s uncertainties, problems and discomforts.  When God desires we worship Him in good times and in bad.
Job said, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21, MEV).
I don’t think it was a lack of worship that took me down the dark valley.  It may have been worship in the wrong direction.  That’s when we look in the wrong direction for anything other than God to bring ultimate satisfaction, comfort, security or even joy.  This kind of worship is idolatrous.  It’s as if I’m saying, “Fulfill me.  Console me.  Protect me.  Rule me.  You are worthy of the strength, time, energy and affections.”  We may not bow down to idols physically, but the truth is we do it with our hearts.  We make worship about us.


Instead of trusting God’s sovereignty it is easy to begin to trust our own abilities.  Instead of magnifying God’s mercy, we promote our own efforts.  Instead of exalting God, we exalt ourselves over the situation.  And when things don’t work out like we want them to … darkness pervades. 


In Job’s story he accepted both the good with the bad.  He knew ultimately that God would bring about good.  “In all of this Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 2:10b, MEV).


What God wants and what matters to Him is our continual worship.  Sometimes it’s a sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15; Psalm 27:6; 50:23; Isaiah 42:8).  Sometimes it’s a Holy Roar! 
~ Pastor Greg

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