God is Good; The Devil is a Jerk
The Bible likes lions. Jesus is the Lion of Judah. (revelation 5) Satan is like a roaring lion. (1 Peter 5:8) I have been reading the book Lioness Arising by Lisa Bevere and she talks in-depth of how the women of the church are lionesses. Lots of lion references here.
Yesterday, started as an honestly crappy day. I was tense and irritable for no apparent reason. At one point my attitude was evident to me and I had to stop and pray. I asked for forgiveness, addressed some areas I knew were tugging at me and started giving God praise. It was not over the top shouting praise, but it was praise from my mouth to God’s ear. Thanks Pastor Luke for reminding us the importance of continuous praise. (Check out the Sacrifice of Praise series here.)
Within moments my attitude shifted, my mood softened. Then I get a text message I was not expecting. Someone I spoke with about a job following up with me to let me know they were really interested in me having a future with their company. Then the praise went to a whole other level. God knew what I needed in that moment and when I yielded to him, I received the blessing that shifted the entire course of my day…until about 3 PM.
Get Thee Behind Me Satan
The enemy was ready to pounce and rip away the joy that had welled up in me earlier in the day. My husband had to go to the doctor to get medical clearance to return to driving for work. His A1C was up when he went for his DOT physical. Honestly, we thought nothing of this. The day before we ate far more bread than usual and he had more than a serving of Reece’s Peanut Butter dessert at church. We figured it was a fluke. He has not been ill and has shown symptoms to raise concern.
The doctor tested him and told him he was diabetic. The next time I saw my husband he had a bag from the pharmacy with injectors, test strips and that gadget to measure his sugar. My husband is not about to spend the rest of his life taking shots. He told me that he was dropping the weight and he would be off “this mess” soon. Suddenly, all that joy I felt earlier fell away.
This is one of those demons I battle with…worry. My mind starts filling with all sorts of thoughts. When my husband decides to lose weight he has always been able to do it. With God all things are possible. None of my worry makes any sense at all but the panic just keeps creeping in.
God is Good, Even When We Drop The Ball
I would love to tell you I am a pillar of faith. That praise is continuously on my lips and my heart focused on God. The truth is that praise is mostly on my lips, but not quite continuously. I have faith but I want it to grow. I keep straining to hear God’s voice, but when I do…I question if I am just listening to my own thoughts. I think most of us have struggled or do struggle with this reality. Brings everything back to the spirit being willing and the flesh being weak.
Not long after my freaking out over Joe’s diagnosis, I found myself pulled into addressing responsibilities I have with the upcoming mission to Cambodia. I myself cannot make this trip, but I am one of the people working to raise money for the team. My son is going and I could not be more excited about the experience for him. God pulled me back into his work. Some may see it as just getting a task done, but for me when I work on things for church…my attitude shifts and praise enters my heart. As chaotic as things sometimes seem with all we do at church, the participation in the kingdom work brings me great satisfaction and peace.
I completely let the devil jump into my business and stir me up yesterday. God was right there to chase that away and give me peace. The devil may be a lion roaming around. I see him as “Scar” from the Lion King. He connived and tried to rule but that element of his nature, sin, prevents him from having authority. He meets a pretty nasty end too…just like Satan will have in time.
It’s not rocket science. Give God praise. Ever heard that saying, “your attitude dictates your altitude”? If we have an attitude of praise it moves our altitude higher. Yes, when you first start it may feel odd or even fake. Don’t praise God for your struggles, praise him for the victory over the struggle. Praise him for all the good things in your life. Praise him because he loves you in spite of yourself.
Pastor Luke left us with Psalm 103 during the first week of the “Sacrifice of Praise” sermon series. Go read it…now. Here is the highlight to take for the moment, but read the passage in full. You will find praise is not so hard to do after all.
Share your praise story in the comments below.
I would love to hear how praise brought through!