There is something about clarity that is so reassuring. When everything extraneous is stripped away and things are simplified, I just find my soul can be at peace. When I face challenges that threaten to bury me alive, this is especially so.
This passage offers clarity to me:
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. ~ 1 Peter 2:9,10 (Emphasis added)
Why am I on this planet? Why do I continue to breathe this earth’s air and why do my feet continue to walk the dust of this beautiful orb floating in space?
So that I may declare his praises…
It is right there in 1 Peter 2:9. I have been saved and continue to live so that I can declare the praises of the one who called me out of darkness. This simplifies everything! Whether I am on the tennis court, teaching lessons to a seven year old, cleaning the kitchen counter tops, driving on the highway, struggling to wrap my mind around horrible news, speaking with my kids on the phone, meeting a friend for lunch, I am here so that I may declare his praises.
That is my role, my joy, my job!
On Monday, you began creating your God List.
I want to show you today what I do with my God List–this is where it gets FUN!
While searching the Scriptures and taking note of what we find there about the truth of who God is and how he treats His people can be a great quiet time exercise and encouraging to my heart, what we do next takes it to the next level, offering us an opportunity to experience His presence powerfully. When we praise Him, he fills the praises with Himself.
But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. ~ Psalm 22:3
Get out the God List that you began. You can take time to turn to a psalm if you like (I recommend Psalm 18) and to add a few more things to your God List using the strategies from Monday.
In case you haven’t gotten that far yet, though, here is a sample from my God List: Sample God List
Now, I will show you how I use my God List to have what I call a “Praise Fest.” People in my Thin Within classes have called it “Praise Feast!” I love that because what we have found is that when we feast on the Lord and his presence by praising him, our hearts really DO get filled up and we aren’t nearly as likely to respond to life’s circumstances or difficult people in ways that are counter to our godly goals.
Here’s how you do this: Look at your list and using “You” statements, you speak (preferably out loud) the truth about who God is and what He does for men. It would go something like this (using my sample):
God, you have created and formed me. What an amazing thing!
You call me not to fear.
You have redeemed me, taking what didn’t have value and attributing value to it…to me! To my life!
You have summoned me by name.
I belong to you.
When I pass through challenges, Lord, your Word says you are with me.
You are the LORD, MY God, MY Holy One, MY Savior.
You have ransomed me, paying such a great price that I might belong to you.
I am precious and honored in your sight.
You love me.
You are with me.
You are the God of all comfort.
You are the Father–MY Father–of all compassion.
You comfort me in all my troubles, Lord.
You raise me above my circumstances.
I have found this to be transformative not just of my life, but it transforms my moment–my NOW. One night last week, I was feeling overwhelmed with grief. The trial I am facing just seemed larger than life. I pulled out my God List (which is quite lengthy by now as I have been adding to it for about four years now) and had a massive praise-fest! My heart began to be lifted up. I went from WOE IS ME, to GREAT is GOD! In this way, I chose intentionally NOT to magnify the dust mite, but to magnify my God!
Give it a try and see what you think.
I would love to hear from you about it.
Level 1: Use my Sample God List, select 5 things from it and use them to praise God for His character and His actions toward men. (Estimated time: 5 minutes.)
Level 2: Use Psalm 16 and 17 to create your own God List, if you haven’t already. Then select 5 things to praise God for. (Estimated time: 15 minutes)
Level 3: Add to your God List from any Scriptures of your choosing and take as long as you can afford to praise Him for anything and everything on your God List. (Estimated time: As long as you like!)
Let me be honest: I have a book proposal that I have submitted to my literary agent. I hope to share this material and stories of how God has used it over the years. It would be really helpful to me and to the possibility of getting this material published if you could give me feedback or share your thoughts here in the comments. Ideally, a potential publisher would love to see that a little community of people have “bought in” and are interacting with one another here at the blog! Any chance you want to help me with that? If so, please participate as often as you can by commenting. I have no shame! I don’t mind asking! If anything here is helpful or if you have questions, please DO post! If you want to say something, but can’t or feel odd doing so where it will be posted, please email me at email@example.com and let me know that. I would love to hear from you.