The following exposition is in relation to Kyle Roger’s spoken word on praising the Lord inspired by the Psalms. It resonated with me because it hit on the key truths of why we praise:
- Praising God with all our being leads to an abundant lifelong relationship with God.
- Our praise accomplishes more that we think or feel; it sows seeds in our hearts and deepens our connection to God wherever we are at. Music is a powerful medium to get lost in ourselves and access the depths of our heart, enabling those seeds to be planted beyond our mind and emotions.
- It seems radical to think that we should praise simply because we are alive. But that surely is a good enough reason! Isn’t it amazing we have being? That we are here? That we can connect to God? To take every second for granted is to forget we are alive. Let us not lose perspective.
- At the end of the day, focusing on God in a loving relationship and trusting Him is the key to life. Circumstances should not define us. Our past should not define us. Failures, judgments, labels, and flaws should not define us. God is our focus; not our self. Authentic praise puts our attention where it belongs: on God alone!
Praising With All Our Being
When to Praise
I loved how Kyle opened with Psalm 104:33 “I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.” For we are not called to sing praises to God a few times a year, but rather with our hearts in every moment! Every moment we have our being, our soul here on this Earth, is a moment more to know the Father and understand His grace in this life.
Praise should happen in context of relationship. We aren’t to praise on command or by obedience unless we know and desire to attempt to acknowledge God, for praise is not meant to be empty words of discipline and rote prayer. Rather praise is motivated by a longing and response in our heart to God. Once we are in relationship with God, praise is to acknowledge and declare God’s Goodness and Sovereignty in all things, especially in our own lives and circumstances. We can praise out of the overflow of our heart and love. Or, we can praise when our hearts yearn for God yet are far away and empty. We may even having nothing to say. But uttering a breath of praise connects us to God, in both our closest moments and our most destitute. Praise helps us choose God and abundant life rather than wallowing in self-pity. Praise lifts our eyes to trust.
Praising With All Our Being
Let us praise with our bodies, souls, and spirits! God created us. He created our bodies. Then He breathed into us, putting our spirit inside our flesh. Our soul was a byproduct of our spirit linking to the natural world of our body. If all of parts of us are of God, but God gives us free will to choose what we do with our spirits, hearts, souls, and bodies, then what glory would it be for Him to have His children dedicate their bodies and souls, spirits, and hearts out of their own free will, back to God? Pure joy it would be! Pure elation! Pure love it would be!
And so as we let our spirits govern our hearts, souls and bodies, in relational harmony the Holy Spirit, let us love God with all our heart, all our mind, and all our strength. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it; love your neighbor as yourself. As we praise and love God and others with all our being, no room is left for idolatry in our hearts; our hearts are captivated by Jesus alone.
Praising Him with all our being, as long as we live, is the road to an abundant life and heart through God, for what else can deliver? Whom do we have in Heaven? We have God. And so let it be the same here on Earth. Let all of our being behold God, and Kingdom of Heaven will be in our midst.l
Music Stirs Our Souls and Spirits
In my post, The Truth In Music, I wrote about being stirred at the very core of our being with music. Kyle’s spoken word highlights this as he says, “Singing to the Lord goes deeper than we realize; it’s a praise from the heart to the Most High. Music is good for faith because it connects with us wherever we are at.” I wholeheartedly agree! To share this common truth together and to speak of it in the same way affirmed my heart.
Music Softens Our Heart
Music can bombard and soften our souls, allowing us to access our spirit. As a result, music can prepare us for love. It can break up the hard soil in our hearts and allow for seeds of love to be planted. Such a connection to our heart gives us a chance to choose freedom, life, joy, and fullness of love. Furthermore, God is a consuming fire and we can ask Him to burn away all parts of our heart that favor our self-life rather than our godly-life. Ask Him to soften your heart and make it like deep water. Open your heart in trust and love to receive depths of His oceans of love.
Music Clears Our Hearts To See God More Clearly
Music is a conduit to wholehearted connection and praise! Others’ words of God help correct our distorted thinking and feelings toward God if we have gotten off track. Once in our right mind and heart, we can again praise Him fully without reservation! If we are still reserved with Him, we can work on issues with God within our relationship. We don’t need to be perfect before we come to God. Relationship is the means of trust and love, and God will perfect us through our mutual love. Once we have healed enough in trust, we can let the music and lyrics remind us and help us believe the fullness of who God is, beyond what we previously felt.
Personal Expression Is The True Music Is And Song Of Our Souls
Eventually, though music and others’ words are poignant and beautiful, we will want to sing our own songs and words to God. Using our own words stirs our very soul in vulnerability. Expressing our own personal heart to describe God is a delight of our spirit and to the Holy Spirit. Such expression takes work, but it is a labor of love and leads to an even deeper relationship with God, forged through a bond of personal truth.
Acknowledging That God’s Grace Is Why We Are Here
Kyle says in his spoken word, “We should sing joyfully to Him for it is by God we have the air in our lungs to produce a praise.” Is this really true? Weren’t we made with lungs? If we were made, then why should we praise what we have no choice about? Why should we praise what we already have received?
A Test of Acknowledgement
You see, both of these questions lead towards selfishness and idolatry as we elevate our self and our reasoning above God. We praise because we are made. If that is not enough, then we will have to learn through a harder truth: we praise because all of what we have can be taken away. If all that we have can be taken away, then it was never ours to begin with, but rather a gift. Humans become selfish and self righteous when we think we have a right to what we have. This life is all God’s gift to us. That is the truth. Also an incomparable gift is His son Jesus, our forgiveness and right standing with God through His death on a cross, and the connection and personal relationship to God via the Holy Spirit. These are divine gifts from a loving father. To take or think any of this is our right, or of our self, is the same capital sin and betrayal of God that Satan committed. If we think any of this is for our self, we will never acknowledge God with our hearts with anything but contempt.
We Are Made For God
Knowing and praising God with all of our being is our purpose! That is why we were created: to know God and enjoy Him forever. God fills the void in our hearts with His perfect love. Such a void was there to begin with so that anywhere in the world we would look, nothing but God could ever fulfill. Our earthly appetites can only consume and yet will never be satisfied. We must drink from the living water of God to be eternally satisfied. We were made for relationship with God, and we become fully alive in all facets of our being by connecting with Him and Him walking us through a holy path. Eternal life will be yours and you can grow in the ways of God today and forever. To acknowledge God is to let your heart’s cry be fulfilled. Be whole. Be loved. Be transformed.
Focus on God
Staring at God transforms our life. This goes beyond acknowledgement of God. Focusing on God is the key to true and full intimacy. Our hearts are transformed. Our attention is transformed. Our lives and priorities are transformed. We should be transfixed in curiosity and captivated by love towards God! When we are, we abide in true divine love.
In Every Breath
“So God, while we sing and speak of you, let us forget about the rest and focus on your Goodness. You are worthy of every second of my time; every breath I take makes me think of your Grace.” Let everything in our life, soul, and mind point us back to God! When we know that nothing in this world will ever fulfill us completely, no matter how hard we try or wish it was so, we can remember all our striving is always ever in vain. As such, every effort is a remembrance that God fulfills us! Every breath can remind us of the same – that as the deer pants for the water brooks, so our souls pant for You, O God.
In Every Season
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being. Psalm 104:33
But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. Psalm 59:16
I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. Psalm 63:4
I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. Psalm 146:2
The above scripture passages from Psalms are all similar. Far from being mere redundancy, they tell us that to praise the Lord is to praise the Lord in all seasons and all ages of our life. Praising Him in only a few circumstances is not enough, but rather praising Him in all our ways for all our life is a true act of worship and act of love.
God’s Life Is For Us
As our relationship with God deepens, more and more true, everlasting, and abundant life is revealed from Him! Our souls and flesh become sanctified through the work of God in us, and our spirits in communion with Holy Spirit begins to live out from the abundance of God’s grace and love in the here and now. This should generate even more praise for it is confirmation that God’s ways for purity of spirit and heart are the true way of living.
As we trust God, we find our identity more in Him, and not in the world, and for that we surely have an eternal life to live in this very day. So I sing my praises! For our God knows the ways of this world and the best of love for human hearts. Truth. Justice. Freedom. Strength. Bravery. Courage. Innocence. Purity. Goodness. Kindness. Gentleness. Self control. And love. Let us receive God’s way of life for us, and not live any other way. Let us sing to the Lord in praise! Amen.