I don't know what happened on Sunday, but despite the fact that the day was going along just splendidly, it felt as though discouragement just reached out and hit me on the head.
There was nothing obvious to be discouraged over, and I was not discouraged about anything in particular, it just felt as though life was just too hard.
So I took a page from Davids book, and told my soul "Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me".
And you know what? Nothing changed. You'd expect this to be an encouraging post that said "Oh, I just told myself to bless God, and suddenly the joy of the Lord was my strength!"
But it doesn't always work that way. The important thing, to me, and God, was that while I might not be able to physically change my emotions, or my own heart, I have authority over them. My heart may not have the strength to be thankful, but my heart can't refuse to allow my mouth to bless God. So I can still do my part, because of the spirit that is in me that is willing - even though sometimes my flesh is weak.
It kind of ties into something that I've been thinking about for a couple of weeks now.
Every night almost, I sit down to my piano and just take a time of praise and worship. It turns into prayers, or just songs, sometimes it just ends in silent contemplation. It's an enjoyable time any way I look at it.
There are sometimes, though, that I sit down and close my eyes, and as I begin to play you can just feel Gods presence. Those are the times that by the end, my hearts been broken, or Gods spoken to me about something, or He will tell me of a verse and when I look it up I'll have insight as to what it means that I had never caught before. Those times are amazing. Those times can go on, easily, for a couple of hours.
But on the nights when I don't feel that, I can get up 20-30 minutes later and just go back to my routine.
Hold that thought....
A couple of months back, I was in a really good song service, and the lady sitting next to me wasn't singing. She was holding my foster daughter in her arms and entertaining her during the song service rather than entering in to the service.
When we talked about it later, she said that the service wasn't moving her and that's why she didn't enter in. It wasn't her type of music and it didn't do anything for her.
Immediately I frowned, (it's a good thing we were on the phone) and I thought "there's something wrong with that". Worship, shouldn't be about you receiving. You're coming to give the worship.
Let me say that again, YOU are coming to HIM to give HIM the WORSHIP.
But when I looked at my habits in playing the piano... I can worship God longer when He does something for me. I speak this to my own shame. No one elses.
I think we're all just mixed up, tangled up, in our own self-indulgent self-seeking ways so our worship has become just that. OUR worship. Not His.
When we go to worship (and I'm certainly a chief sinner in this area) if it doesn't speak to me, if it doesn't move me, if it doesn't excite me or resonate with something I'm feeling - then I don't give it my all. "Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me."
God is worthy of my sincerest, most heartfelt, most passionate, most worshipful, my highest praise - even if I don't like the way the words are arranged, the tune it's sung to, the tempo, or if it's been sung 27 times before. On number 28 I should be singing to bless the Lord with all that is within me.
I'm a part of the new worship movement. I enjoy contemporary fast songs,and the new worship songs that are coming out. I love the choruses, the hymns, and awesome praise and worship. That's a good thing, but it's also an obstacle to overcome. Because all that is about what I love. I really don't think God cares. It's all praise to Him. But sometimes I get wrapped up in "why aren't they singing like they mean it?" I condemn others for singing "Oh I want to see Him" like they're singing about how much they want to see their dentist - rather than the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And I do that to the point that I fail to worship myself.
I don't want this blog to be about just condemning myself - but sticking with the "walk" theme... sometimes I see scenery along this walk that I don't think would be on the main road God would have me to be on. Maybe I'm still going the right direction, but instead of walking on the road He'd have me be on, I'm shuffling through the grass off to the side and every now and then a correction needs to be made to get me on track.
I thank God, as I said in a previous post, that He is so good to teach me. He teaches me when I'm just plain foolish and stubborn. He is good. He is kind. He is gracious. He's a comforter when I'm sad and discouraged and His word is an ever present reminder of why I have no reason to be downcast, if I put my trust in God.
God is good.
And speaking of mood songs... I thought you might enjoy this old treat. It's what this post made me think of: