My thoughts and heart has been found in the Psalms a lot this week.
It’s not a bad place for it to be.
I think praying the Psalms is one way to keep our hearts soft in the busy-bustling-reality of life.
I think that’s what the pause and posture of honest praise honestly does.
God is the solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul. (Psalm 61)
Everything I hope for comes from Him. (Psalm 62)
So I’ve been mulling over a question that I frequently revisit with God in my prayer time this week.
Whose praises is my life singing?
Because this question is linked to the reality that my heart’s longing is to be someone who is called a ‘friend of the Bridegroom’ (John 3 v 29) when Jesus returns.
And what hits me so often is that although I know that Jesus is coming back, I can so easily forget to live like this season in history is an urgent one.
It is the middle of the night.
But I get so distracted singing the praises of so many other things.
Let Your love, God, shape my life. Let praise cascade off my lips. I’m homesick, God, for Your salvation; I love it when You show Yourself. Invigorate my soul so I can praise You well. (Psalm 119)
Think about it.
Whose praises is your life singing?
If your life was played in fantastical, musical song, who would get the glory from the tune? Whose name would the words ring out? Who would be the central theme?
I really believe that John the Baptist called himself a ‘friend of the Bridegroom’ in preparation for Jesus’ first coming. And this means that our question now, is what kind of people does God want us to be in preparation for His second coming.
God, mark us with grace. (Psalm 67)
Your vibrant beauty has gotten inside us. (Psalm 89)
I’m a singer. I’m a musician. It’s how I’m wired. I talk a lot about making melodies for Jesus. And praising Jesus. And worshipping Jesus. But what does my life sing? And what do the priorities of my time sing? And what does my thought-life sing? And what do my daydreams sing? And what does my pride sing?
How blessed are those in whom You live, whose lives become roads You travel. (Psalm 84)
Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. (Psalm 73)
If I’m really and brutally honest, I naturally focus on myself. Far too naturally. I am selfish. I boast about what I can do or what I want. My mind makes it all about me. My heart makes it all about me. Everything going on in my internal world feels like it wants it to be about me all of the time.
We all arrive at Your doorstep, loaded with guilt, our sins too much for us – but You get rid of them once and for all. (Psalm 65)
But it’s a war I’m fighting.
It’s a war Holy Spirit stands with me in.
To live a life that sings out the praises of Jesus instead of the praises of Peta.
I have to set my heart to pray and spend time with God daily. I have to believe that living with this vibrant, alive, exhilarating connection to Jesus is the very nature of my being and that He is continually calling me to spend time with Him. Prayer is the place of encounter with God.
Here I am in the place of worship, eyes open, drinking in Your strength and glory. In Your generous love I am really living at last! My lips brim praise like fountains. (Psalm 63)
I love You more than I can say. (Psalm 69)
What would a life that sung uncompromisingly praises only to Jesus look like? What would it sound like? What would it feel like? If I really got that?
Confession time: sometimes it’s an effort. I love prayer. I love it so much and my heart burns for Jesus. But sometimes, it is an effort. Some I have to fight through the boredom, or the distraction. Sometimes… BUT, oh but, we were made for prayer, with an internal world on the inside with which to communicate with God.
The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. (Psalm 118)
I hear this most gentle whisper from One I never guessed would speak to me. (Psalm 81)
I want to love Him rightly, with oil that burns from the inside out. I don’t want to be in a place where everyone thinks I’ve got a flaming lamp or that I’m running really hard after God, but inside be dead of passion with a dull spirit and an empty reality.
You, O God, are both tender and kind, not easily angered, immense in love, and You never, never quit. (Psalm 86)
What would it look like if I really lived like that was true?
I’m not sure, but step by step, and note by note, I pray Holy Spirit helps me find out.
I really do.
Oh Jesus, may I pursue You with the same zeal with which You first pursued me. I love You.
I long to dwell in Your tent forever and take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. (Psalm 61)
Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You. (Psalm 63)
I long for my life to be a place where He can dwell, not in the temporary but in the permanent-Kingship-way. Because then all things are possible.
He redeems my life from the pit and crowns me with love and compassion. (Psalm 103)
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised. (Psalm 113)
I love to sing about who You are
I love to sing about what You do
I love to sing about Your beautiful heart
Makes me want to be closer to You
I love Your power, I love Your ways, I love the fragrance of Your Name. (Jon Thurlow)
Royal splendour radiates from Him, a powerful beauty sets Him apart. (Psalm 96)
For God is sheer beauty. (Psalm 100)