Delight in Approaching God

Most of the first half of my life, I only approached God when I needed anything, or I thought it was the right thing to do. There were nights when I was too exhausted to finish a replay prayer (replay means it’s the same prayer every night of my life). That’s because I delighted in all the things I did all day and not looked forward to spending time with God. I treated God as the Source and Giver of all that I needed and wanted (mostly wanted), and so, I approached Him to ask, ask, and ask. Of course I knew how to say “thank you” for every blessing. But did I really have that desire in me to pursue Him and know Him well – His ways, His will, His joy (yes, the things that bring Him pleasure)? Did I reserve a special time in my jampacked schedule, while I was busy advancing my career, to seek His presence and tarry with Him with my undivided attention?

The answer to all that is “No”. I wonder now – we call God our Father but often times, we don’t act as children. Kids love to play with their Dads. They shriek in delight when he tickles them or carouses with them; they climb up to his knees and listen to his stories; they follow him around, hero-worshipping him. I know because that’s what I see with our 6-year old boy. Indeed, kids do better.

I only learned to really know God and pursue Him with a purpose and longing when I received the Lord Jesus Christ in my life and embarked on an intimate relationship with Him. When I made it my life’s purpose and joy to know the God who created me, loved and saved me, and who delights to bless me – that’s when I learned that God doesn’t only bless but also longs for His children’s love and adoration. When the Holy Spirit began to dwell in my heart, that’s when I became sensitive to the voice and whisperings of God in my heart and soul. I began to live like He was in everything I did, and indeed He is, if we really consider it. He’s everywhere. Even with our crammed minds and days colored with confusion and weariness, if our souls are attuned to Him, we will hear Him calling.

Yet they seek Me daily,
And delight to know My ways,
As a nation that did righteousness,
And did not forsake the ordinance of their God.
They ask of Me the ordinances of justice;
They take delight in approaching God. (Is. 58:2)

When we start the day with the intention of spending time with Him and end it the same way, we will know that He is faithful to be ever present. And when He sees that our shoulders begin to stoop, our brows knit, and we look like we are drained of all energy, peace, and joy – He comes to the rescue.

This is one of the important lessons I’ve learned recently: The Lord calls us to His presence in many different ways. It could be a deep longing in our souls that we can’t really put our fingers on. A restlessness that no tangible thing on earth can quieten. A sadness or sorrow that can’t be reached by words or actions by another human being. Yes, I’ve learned that through these the Lord calls us to enter into His presence. And enter into His presence with an offering of praise. I know no other, shorter way to His heart than heartfelt songs of praise.

So, keep still before Him, open your mouths and sing. Sing loud, sing low – He hears them all! There are times when I sing and I just want to speak out what’s gripping me, and the singing and the wanting to speak vie for time. But this is what the Holy Spirit has whispered in my heart: Sing and let the lyrics speak; sing with hearts trembling because it’s bursting with love and worship for the living God – because your singing has touched the throne of grace and God is listening. And He’s delighted. It is when praise, words, and tears exquisitely meld together that we.are.in.true.worship.

Delight in approaching God. Not because we want things, but because we want. We want Him, His very essence.

(Photo courtesy of Perla Frisberg).

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I might be linking up with these lovely blogs and Still Saturday and Coffee for Your Heart.

Journey with Jesus,

Praise and Worship

Meditating on Psalm 150.

Praise the Lord!

Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament!

2 Praise Him for His mighty acts;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!

3 Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;
Praise Him with the lute and harp!
4 Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
5 Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with clashing cymbals!

6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord!

In our Church, Jesus Miracle Crusade International Ministry, we were taught not only to praise and worship God every morning and evening, but through every circumstance, be it celebration or grief, sickness or healing, battle or victory. In prayer and fasting, praise strengthens the flesh and spirit. Through any sickness in our home, praise terrifies the enemy and it flees. My husband and I sing praises until a sick child goes to sleep. Praise defeats Satan’s schemes, for he can’t stand true worship of God. When the powerful, holy presence of the Lord descends, no work of the devil can prosper. There is only victory.

 But there was a time that I was too weak and sick I couldn’t sing a single stanza of praise. This depressed me, so I compensated it with more reading and meditating on the Word. God was faithful to honor my offering. While reading His Word, I would feel His touch and tears would stream down my face. I’d found that soaking ourselves in the Word ushers in His holy presence, too.

But having said that, singing praises with all our beings is the best WAY to feel the presence of the living, breathing, all-powerful God. I know there are Christians who sometimes dither in approaching the throne of grace because of their failings and shortcomings. The feeling of unworthiness bars them. I go through those, too, sometimes. But I’m slowly understanding the Savior’s heart for me, and that is – He wants that I approach Him however messed-up I am or however I’ve messed things up. I’m learning that when we withdraw from Him because of feelings of shame or unworthiness, it is really pride that is prodding us. But if we humbly present ourselves to Him, bowing down before Him with our repentant hearts and tears – He will not turn us away.

Though wounded and bruised because of our own stumblings and failings, because of hurts brought by dashed hopes, unkept promises, prolonged suffering, unanswered prayers – we sing, we seek, we invite Him into our lives. And He will surely come. He will touch our hurting places and heal them. He’ll heal our spirits, even our bones and flesh.

So never give up on praise. Our souls thrive in worship. It feeds on worship of the living God. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

If you have been blessed by your visit here, please like Our Healing Moments on Facebook and connect with me there. Thank you!

I might be linking up with these lovely blogs and Still Saturday.

Journey with Jesus,