“…all that is within me, bless his holy name…”

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Psalm 103: 1 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits — 3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 5 who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 

This psalm is attributed to King David. What stands out for me is the totality with which David worships the Lord. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” David worships with every part of his being, particularly that which cannot be seen “all that is within me”. Two things occur to me in relationship to this passage.

First, David’s worship originates in the deepest part of this being. Nothing is held back. I compare this to worship I sometimes offer to God, which can be more external than internal. It’s true. Sometimes in the middle of worship my mind wanders. As a pastor it’s easy for me to be thinking about what comes next rather than what I’m doing in the moment. I get caught up in the mechanics of worship, which I know is not God’s desire. I’m guessing those of you who regularly participate in worship leadership can understand what I’m talking about.

Second, I’m struck by “do not forget all his benefits”. It’s an invitation to consider the past, not just the present. Sometimes the present is a mess. Problems abound. Distractions. Fears. Doubts. If I only consider what’s right in front of me it can be discouraging. But if I consider the past, the ways the Lord has shown up for me throughout my life, I find faith to bless and praise God despite my immediate situation. The One who is faithful will not abandon me now.

Heavenly Father, I love David’s heart of worship. I don’t know if he was complete in his worship all the time, but these words challenge me to consider that as a possibility. Give me a heart of love and praise to worship you and bless your holy name. Amen.

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