It is beyond important to start out with the very real and understandable truths found only in the Word of God. YOU WERE CREATED TO PRAISE!
- Isaiah 43:21~This people I have formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.
- Ephesians 1:12-13 ~ That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.
- Hebrews 13:15 ~ Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of the lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name.
Psalm 75 says we praise God for his wondrous works, which declare that he is near and that when we invoke the name of God, we actually REHEARSE His wonders. ( Ps 75:1) Further in this song of praise there is a simple phrase and a promise which says, when the earth totters and all those who live upon it are shaken, it is GOD alone who will poise and keep it steady. SELAH… Think about it.
When your world is falling apart around you, do you immediately find yourself submitted in pose of praise?
Since I have been writing to you about the need to drop our masks, be real, and transparent, and ultimately stand open before God, then I need to be real with you and confess that I don’t always find my first response is always one of praise. Perhaps, instead it is a reaction of unbelief, or shock, and yes, sometimes even anger.
But this is not what I want my reaction to be. And thankfully, as we routinely come to God He is manifesting that glorious work of sanctification in our lives. It never ceases to amaze me how wide and deep is His love for us. The chasm that He crossed for us is beyond our very limited understanding, but gratefully He never changes or sways in his trustworthiness and reliability. This is why we can trust Him. This is why we can still praise even when our whole world has been turned upside down.
Opened hands and bowed knee before God, in our trials, reflect a heart which trusts Him fully.
In the margin of my notes I have written the following questions that come to my mind as I consider this concept of opened hands to God.
- What does it mean to give my all to God?
- When I come with open hands do I really and truly believe that He is able to do something with my offering?
- Do I give up everything, and mean it, or do I give it and take it back repeatedly?
- If I lose everything today, that has any importance in my life, will I still find a way to praise God?
Rolling our cares upon him prepares us to roll them out of our hand, from our responsibility to solve the problems of our life, into His.
It is when the pillars are teetering and the foundations are shaking that God comes in and is the strength in my storm. I don’t have to be strong, because He is. I can stand with open hands, unclenched and free to release every specific detail to God in faith and assurance that He is fully capable of taking my life and making something beautiful with it. 1 Peter5:7 tells us how to perform this act of release. “Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully”.
What do you need to roll upon the Lord today?
The concept of opened hands and cleaned hearts is a process of preparation for God’s entrance into our reality.
There is a small, yet powerful, book I read years ago called, My Heart Christ’s Home by Robert Boyd Munger, which illustrates this principle of preparing so eloquently. The necessity of cleaning out the rooms of my house (my heart) in preparation of Christ’s habitation sets us up for an element of expectation. This week as I read through the Gospel of Luke, I found myself revisiting Chapter 7 often as Jesus discussed the importance of John’s ministry. John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, prepared the way for the miracle working, soul-saving, life-changing ministry of Jesus. (Mal. 3:1, Luke 7:27)
How can you prepare for his entrance into your reality today?
With my hands open, I am ready to both release and receive.
Today as I looked at my closed hands, I realized that they could hold very few things inside of them when clenched shut. There was so little I could adequately do when my hands were tightly shut. I couldn’t embrace my children. I couldn’t hold a cup of coffee to relish the aroma as the steam wafted upwards in my face causing me to sigh in contentment. I couldn’t work in my kitchen creating something wholesome and sustaining to feed my family. I was limited by my own destructive habit of holding on to those things which I am supposed to hand over to the only One who can truly take care of them.
Do you think that releasing what you have is worth the risk of what God has to give?
He meets our needs in complete sufficiency, lacking no good thing. Don’t let what He died to provide be stolen by the tactics and lies the enemy has spoken into your heart.
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows.) ~ John 10:10 Amp.
He is the Creator of all the gold, treasure, and wealth of this world. He is the great physician who can heal any disease. He is the master planner who can orchestrate the details of our days.
His wealth is enormous and it is waiting for you to claim, but first you need to come with opened hands and a clean heart; your perspective bowed to His Will.
When we pray in faith, we release God’s blessings.
When we believe in faith, we are strengthened by His promise.
When we stand in faith, we lay the burden upon Him.
When we receive in faith, our storehouse is filled with eternal treasure that does not fade.
Today, what is He asking you to release and what is holding you back from doing just that?
- I created a journal page for you today which lists the questions I asked in the post.
- I want to encourage you to read through Luke chapter 6, first, and then consider how you would answer those questions after reading His Word and thinking about the promises He has placed there for contemplation.
- After you have answered the questions, make a list of all the things you are holding on to. Fears, concerns, worry, unforgiveness, strife, sickness, doubt, … you list whatever it is that is keeping your hand closed tightly.
- Once your list is complete, write each item on a small piece of paper and ball it up, like a marble, and place them in your hands. Notice that your hands were not meant to carry the rough and imperfect burdens.
- Open your hands flat and willingly go through the process of giving each burden back to God. Ask Him to remove the weight of it from your heart. Look in His Word for the promises that address each of these burdens and write them on the journal page. Then throw the pieces of paper away. Make sure you get rid of them, physically.
- Each time you feel like taking that burden back, remind yourself of that prayer promise you found in His Word and make that your confession of faith.
- Then PRAISE THE LORD!
- When you are done, go do something nice for yourself or fun. Do something positive and encouraging to remind yourself that His heart is that you know the fullness of His grace and mercy.
- If you have to, start back at the beginning with the list and the paper burdens in your hand. Then by prayer and confession give them back to God and put them heartily in the trash one more time.
Here is a link to a pdf. version of the tract I mentioned above:
Praying for your hearts to be prepared for His presence to invade your reality today!
~Blessings and Prayer~