This is the last in a series of blogs discovering the awesomeness of God using an acronym for AWESOME!
A – Through Adoration
W – In Wonder
E – With Energy and Expectation
S – In Simplicity
O – By Obsession
M – Through Meditating on Him
E – With Excitement Everyday
We can explore the awesomeness of God today and every day with excitement IF we want to! I’m going to suggest we start with standing up and reading this Psalm “out loud” and “really loud”!
“Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations!” (Psalm 100)
When we do simple things like this, our obsession with God increases, our adoration of Him swells, the wonder we experience burgeons and we want to meditate on Him and His awesomeness more and more each day! In this Psalm of thanksgiving we read about WHO God is! He is GOD! He made us! We are His and He is ours! He is good! His mercy and truth endures forever! He is AWESOME!
When we read the Word of God out loud, we hear it coming out our mouths and faith comes. Romans 10:17 “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” When faith comes, excitement to experience more of God comes right along with it!
However, getting excited about God and His awesomeness isn’t something we need to “work up”. Exploring the awesomeness of God with excitement everyday isn’t about feverishly praising, thanking, or shouting to the Lord until we “feel” it! It is much simpler than that because the Word of God in and of itself IS excitement! ”For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
Since His Word is powerful and life giving, our excitement mounts as we speak, sing, and shout it out loud! In other words, excitement happens! The only thing left to do then is to respond to His living, powerful Word! When we know WHO He is, (an awesome God…just sayin…) we EXPLODE with EXCITEMENT!
If you’re unsure HOW to respond to this Word from Psalm 100, let me help! We just DO what we SPEAK!
Make a joyful shout! Go ahead and try that…it’s kind of fun and super simple! “Make” means “to make”. Haha! It literally means to make a joyful noise (not an obnoxious one). There is no way around this! Just open our mouths and let it out! I personally don’t like shouting but something breaks inside when we do what His living, powerful Word says to do! Today…make a joyful shout to the Lord!
Serve the Lord with gladness! Don’t worry about the time and effort serving requires…just find a way to serve the Lord today and do it with a smile. Serving always requires labor and sacrifice. That’s why we’re told to do it with gladness. Otherwise, we focus on “us” and how much we’re putting “into” our service instead of focusing on the Lord, and what we get “out” of it!
Come before Him with singing! Yep, you’ve got it…coming before Him and singing means “action”! We can’t come before Him by sitting back or sitting still! If someone says “Come here” we actually need to get up and go! It’s no different with God! And…claiming we don’t have good singing voices doesn’t excuse us from going and singing before Him! Truth is, the more we sing OUT LOUD, the better we sing! Usually, if we aren’t great singers, we lip sync or sing so quietly no one can hear us. God said “Come and sing” so we should just do that and stop making excuses! Now, THAT is exciting stuff!
Know He is God! Knowing infers more than head knowledge; it means heart knowledge! It intimates familiarity with the God who IS the great I AM. When we KNOW He is God, we lose all excuses and inhibitions! We simply go for it, or in this case, go for Him!
Enter INTO His gates with thanksgiving! Again, entering requires action. This isn’t an imaginary relationship we have with the living God so we can’t just “enter in” in our heads. We literally need to enter His gates with thanksgiving on our lips! THANK YOU GOD for life, for family, for church, for trials, for faith, for grace, for mercy, for food, for water, for jobs, for friends, for forgiveness, for children, for responsibilities, for health, for struggles, for joy, for today, for…the list is unending! Start entering by thanking!
Enter INTO His courts with praise! Once we’re through the gates we’re IN! A court is an enclosure! The imagery here is that once we enter through His gates with thanksgiving, THEN we’ve entered His courts, His manifest presence; His enclosure! Now it’s time to praise! We’re enclosed with God! There’s nothing left to do; nothing more we want to do but praise Him!
Be thankful! We entered WITH thanksgiving! Now it’s time to “BE”! We’re IN; it’s time to celebrate and BE in His presence! Think of it like this! You’ve been given a ticket to attend a concert or big game with some friends! It’s like a dream come true! You are extremely excited and can’t stop thanking them for such an extravagant gift! When the big night comes, you’re standing at the gate with them, waiting to get in! You’re exclaiming how excited you are; you can’t stop thanking them for this opportunity! Finally you’re through the gate, in the court, and it’s show time! The excitement just quadrupled (or more)! You’re no longer simply grateful you have the opportunity to partake; now you’re excited and thankful you ARE there! Now you get to “be” thankful, celebrating in the presence of whoever it is you are there to “see”! Today, be thankful to God for being awesome!
Bless His Name! Once you’re in, now that you’re busy being thankful, there’s nothing left to do but be excited and bless His name! You don’t even care what’s happening “outside” the courts! You’re in! And wouldn’t you know it…blessing God, experiencing His awesomeness takes us right back to adoration, the “A” in awesome (blog #1 in this series). Yep! We’ve come full circle! To bless God is to adore God!
I don’t know about any of you, but after I read a Psalm like this, I realize I tend to take life for granted most times…I take God for granted. I spend more time talking about my problems and pains than I do about my pleasure in the Lord! I complain more about my circumstances and conditions than I do about my confidence and certainty in the Lord! I speak more out of frustration with life than I do of my fulfillment in the Lord!
I’m convicted! Today will be the day I choose to experience the awesomeness of God with excitement! I pray you will too! Today and every today from now on! After all, that’s what we have…TODAY! Psalm 95:7 “For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice…” Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Even while writing these seven blogs about exploring the awesomeness of God, I’ve wasted a lot of time exploring how NOT awesome life can be! I’ve even shared with other people how not awesome certain aspects of my life are right now; how hard it is, how uncomfortable I am, how I wished things were different!
Well…I guess this just means two things; I get to spend some time repenting today…AND…I get a fresh start! I’ll go back to blog number one and answer the question “How awesome IS our God?” Then I will live IN His awesomeness! I hope you’ll join me!