The topic on my heart today is worship. This isn’t completely surprising since that’s the heart of Dyed4you Ministries and D4Ymin is my life 🙂
But today I want to challenge us to consider who we are actually giving our praise to. I know most who follow this blog or are part of the D4Y Community would quickly answer (as I would) that their praise goes to the Lord alone. But I want to pause and ask does it really…?
I wrote a post about a year ago called Not Speaking on Behalf of other gods (Exodus 23:13), I won’t reiterate the whole post, but I do want to touch on the highlights briefly because this is an area MANY believers struggle.
As we speak we often do not consider WHO we are praising with our words. We say things like “man, the enemy has just been attacking me so much lately!” and “Oh it’s been horrible recently because satan has been doing ______!” So let me ask you – who is being exalted in those statements? Is YHVH being acknowledged as sovereign by those words?
I’m not saying we can’t make reference to the enemy ever, but he is NOT the source behind every difficulty in our lives. When we say that he is, THEN we open the door for him to move more in our lives. Father is ALWAYS working things for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28) – so regardless of circumstance, we can trust He IS moving. As a people called to live lives of worship, who we give our worship to REALLY matters.
I know I have caught myself glorifying the enemy – so it’s possible for all of us to slip. But we need to correct our way of speaking. We will answer for all those careless words.
Glorifying the enemy and what he is doing is WAY too prevalent in the church. In my opinion, it is one of the enemy’s most successful tactics. But we can start a shift by guarding our own mouths and helping others learn to guard theirs as well. The scripture that comes to mind is James 3:10 ESV
From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
Note: if you’re in a situation where you aren’t sure how to praise God, consider revisiting my Not Speaking on Behalf of other gods (Exodus 23:13) post as I address that more specifically there.
We are also called to exalt Him in our actions. We are called to be set apart and holy. Here’s some scriptures that come to mind on this:
- Psalm 4:3 ESV, “But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for Himself…”
- 2 Timothy 2:21 ESV, “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.”
- 1 Peter 2:9 ESV, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
- James 4:4 (ESV), “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
When we CHOOSE something over God, we make a god of whatever it is. In other words, if I know Father would be grieved by a particular movie or TV show and I choose to watch it anyhow, I have exalted it over God.
The same holds true for possessions. If I hang on to things that are displeasing or dishonoring to Him, again I am making an idol out of it. I will tell you firsthand, it can be HARD to part with things we have an emotional attachment to, but in the end it is FREEING.
Time and time again the number one comment people make when they visit our home (after they comment on the size of my big puppy) is that there is a deep sense of Shalom (peace) here. And there is! It has come at a cost. Repeatedly, Father has called us to dispose of things that are displeasing – and some things that simply are not beneficial (good post to consider is Permissible vs. Beneficial). The cost has been worth it. (my next post will be a how-to on cleaning house).
So today I want to encourage you to consider who you are worshiping. Think about your words and your actions. Listen to yourself. Ask Holy Spirit to show you ways you can draw closer to Him. We all desire amazing encounters with God, but few will create an atmosphere where He will move. Be intentional about creating an atmosphere His presence wants to hover. Boldly be light and salt (Matt 5:13-16)!
Father, I ask that You would open our eyes to anything we say or do that is worshiping anything but You. Our hearts’ desire is to bring you praise and exalt You alone. Please give us wisdom to know how to do that. Please give us eyes to see and ears to hear. May our lives bring glory to You alone!