Psalm 150: 1 Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty firmament! 2 Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his surpassing greatness!… 6 Let everything that breathes praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Yeah, I know. I said I would take a break from writing this blog until next week, but it’s too much of a pattern in my life – and a life-giving one at that. So, I thought I’d post on this last day of the year.
Psalm 150 is obviously a psalm of praise – and I love it. What an appropriate way to end the year, by praising our God. But what does it mean to “praise” the Lord? Here’s what one of my bible commentaries says about this:
“Praise is the offering of one’s whole life and self to God, and Psalm 150 is an enthusiastic invitation to all creatures to yield themselves to God.” (New Interpreter’s Bible)
Most people I know make new year’s resolutions of some kind. People will resolve to do the usual: lose weight, exercise more, get out of debt, make more time for family and friends, and so on. And these are all good things, no doubt. I would do well to choose some of these for myself. Yet, all pale in comparison to the decision to offer one’s whole life to God. Here’s an important question I’m asking myself this morning:
Are there parts of my life where I am choosing to keep God at a distance?
In the book of Genesis, after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, do you know what they did? They hid from God. They were ashamed of what they had done, so instead of joining God for a walk in the Garden of Eden, they tried to separate themselves from God. That’s what sin does in us. It keeps us at a distance from a holy God. But how do you know if there is sin in your life keeping you from God?
Here’s a clue – if you find yourself “hiding” some aspect of your life there is probably a sin issue there. This has been a helpful clue for me over the years. Where am I being deceptive or secretive? If I’m afraid to bring it out into the light for others to see, there’s a problem.
And, of course, I resolve to continue meeting you in this space in 2016 – starting the day with the Word of God, reflection, and prayer. Together.
Heavenly Father you are so good to us. Over the past year you have proven yourself faithful time and again. This morning we bless you. We praise your name. Give us grace that we might give our entire life to you. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.