Praise. It lives at the intersection of earth and heaven.
It's loving on the God we live with.
To paraphrase William Murphy...
Lord, it's what we do when we want to be close to you.
It is how we "woo" God,
how we celebrate his sovereignty,
how we proclaim him as our Lord
But it means nothing to God to lift up our hands and our hearts not be in it.
What are Your Doing?
The lifting up of hands is designed for one of two things: to give something, or to receive something.
What are you doing?
If we want to keep God close, our praise should look like covenant, not casual.
Covenant says "I'm not going anywhere. I'm staying right here and growing in love and fellowship with you not because of what you can do for me, but because of who you are to me.
~From the book, GOD 'n You: Finding Your Place in Forever
I had an amazing time this weekend at the book signing. Everyone was so gracious. I felt God's presence and felt privileged to read and share what God had given me.
And yet...I let the little foxes of perfection temper my praise.
The next day I found myself wallowing in what didn't what didn't go as planned. Finally, I had sense enough to ask myself,
"What are you doing?"
"Do you know what just happened?"
"Are you discounting his glory with imperfections, and if so, who were you trying to impress in the first place?"
Assessing Your Praise
[So I went with him, and when we were climbing the rocky steps up the hillside, my beloved shepherd said to me] O my dove, [while you are here] in the seclusion of the clefts in the solid rock, in the sheltered and secret place of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.
[My heart was touched and I fervently sang to him my desire] Take for us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards [of our love], for our vineyards are in blossom. ~Songs of Solomon 2:14-15, Amplified Classic Edition
The book signing was a wonderful moment with supporters, but essentially it was a sacred, vineyard-blossoming encounter with GOD 'n Me. How dare I quench the Spirit with my need to be perfect.
As we journey into the fulfillment of purpose, we have to be diligent about keeping God close and our praise of him a priority. Something goes wrong? Fix it and move on. But let nothing... nothing... nothing dampen your praise.
Time to Clean House
This was the problem with the Israelites but it couldn't be mine.
This is the God who counted my tears.
The God who gave me back the years.
The God who silenced my fear.
Little foxes will not take away the fruit of our love.
Take for us the little foxes.
Let the vineyard of our love affair with you flourish.
Let your love be elevated and your grace be celebrated.
Not because of what you can do for us, but because of who you are to us.
Time to clean my house of praise and keep my God close.
What are you doing?
It is in the seclusion of the clefts of the solid rock.
In the sheltered and secret place of the cliff.
It lives at the intersection of earth and heaven.
Its how we love on the God we live with so we must work to keep it pure and pristine.
Father, let us never taint our place of touch.
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