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Archive for the ‘Lent…Attitudes of Worship’ Category

“For the Lord your God has arrived to live among you.  He is a mighty savior.  He will rejoice over you with great gladness.  With his love, he will calm all your fears.  He will exult over you by singing a happy song.”  (Zephaniah 3:17).

Webster’s Dictionary defines “exult” as a “leap for joy”.  The Lord God leaps for joy over you and sings a happy song because of His great love for you.  Does that cause an attitude check for you today?  It does for me.  God leaping for joy over me brings quite a picture to my mind.  It is humbling but also exhilarating to realize that as much as I love the Lord God, He loves me even more and wants to celebrate me.  Throughout Scripture, God’s people rejoiced and celebrated with great joy—Nehemiah, in fact, reminds us the joy of the Lord is our strength.  (Neh 8:10).  David danced with joy as he praised the Lord (II Sam 6:16, I Chron 15:29).

As we reflect on our attitudes of worship during this season of Lent, may we all rejoice and exalt the name of Jesus Christ for He is a mighty Savior.  I know I want to leap for joy for all the goodness He has showered upon me—good health, a wonderful family, providing my every need.  What about you?  It would be wonderful to hear what is happening in your life that makes you want to leap for joy because of His goodness—will you share a comment below?

“You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.  You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!”  (Ps 30:11-12).

 

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A professional responsibility I have daily is to listen to people with complaints and offer guidance and solutions.  Although I acknowledge that is my role, and that I am to stand for justice and mercy, there are times it is really easy to grow weary.  Can you relate?  We are focusing on Christ during Lent, and looking this week at attitudes we bring to our worship. In the midst of the challenges our families face daily, how do we keep from surrendering to battle fatigue?

Deborah, a prophet who became a judge in Israel must have felt that fatigue frequently and yet, by continually recognizing the Source of her wisdom, she provided the leadership that led to forty years of peace (Judges 5:31).   Deborah held court and the Israelites came to her to settle their disputes.  (Judges 4:4-6).  Deborah worshipped the Lord God by consistently remembering her wisdom came from Him.  She praised the Lord for the victories and acknowledged Him in a song of praise.  She knew she only had to be obedient and God would bring the victory for each days battles—large or small, God cares.

Proverbs 7 – 9 provide the principles of wisdom and the benefits we will enjoy when we seek wisdom.  “Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life.  If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit.” (Proverbs 9:11-12). James reminds us the Lord will give us wisdom abundantly, if we will but ask; He will not resent our asking (James 1:5).

Ask God today for wisdom, I know when I do, it definitely changes my attitude; I am no longer battle weary, but instead find a heart and attitude prepared for the battle knowing that the victory belongs to the Lord.  (Proverbs 21:31).

Lord God, like Deborah, I seek your wisdom and ask “may those who love You rise like the sun at full strength.”  I need you every hour to make the right choices for myself, my family and to meet my responsibilities.  Keep my attitude positioned for a specific purpose—to bring honor and glory to Your Holy Name—and give me wisdom abundantly so I protect Your reputation in all I do and say.  Amen

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“Oh, I am talking to myself,” was my response to my husband who asked me to repeat what I said because he couldn’t understand my mumbling.  Do you do that?  Talk to yourself?  Did you know that is one of the best ways to correct your attitude?  It is even Biblical.

As we continue part of our series for Lent by looking closer at worship, my eyes have been drawn repeatedly to how the various spiritual giants from God’s word maintained their attitudes.

Throughout Psalms, David used self-talk to adjust his attitude, two quick examples:  Psalm 39:1, “I said to myself, ‘I will watch what I do and not sin in what I say.’” And in, Psalm 42:11, “Why am I so discouraged? Why so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!”

It has been proven that the subconscious is programmed by what it hears spoken out loud.  It may seem awkward, in fact it did for me the first dozen times, but I stand in front of the mirror regularly and remind myself what I am in Christ—this keeps my attitude positive and one of worship as I focus on Him during my day rather than the circumstances around me.  Let me share some of my affirmations—perhaps you have some that you might be willing to share with others through a posted comment here.

I am a child of God.

I am being sanctified.

I am highly favored.

I am immeasurably loved.

God’s power keeps me.

God’s might upholds me.

God’s wisdom teaches me.

The eyes of God watch over me.

The ears of God hear me.

The word of God speaks to me

The hand of God supplies me

The shield of God shelters me.

I am who He says I am.

God made me! I am worthy because I am made in His image!

I can do what He says I can do.

I will bless the Lord by daily thinking well of Him, speaking well of Him and worshipping and praising Him.

 

 

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Being honored and respected as an expert with wisdom and credibility in my profession brought me to the point where I needed a reminder who has poured out this Grace.  A little bit cocky and proud, God’s graciously reminded me, it is the humble He exalts.  (Psalms 18:27, 25:9, 147:6, 149:4).

Repeatedly God’s grace was poured out on Ezra “because Ezra had determined to study and obey the law of the Lord and to teach those laws and regulations to the people of Israel.” (Ezra 7-8)  In fact, even the King instructed his staff to give Ezra whatever he asked for, including money from the government treasuries.  (Ezra 8:21-24).

The King gave Ezra authority to appoint all the magistrates and judges (Ezra 8:25) and ordered all who refused to obey “the law of your God” to face severe consequences.  It certainly was a time when Ezra could have become bigheaded and proud.

Through it all, Ezra maintained a humble attitude, “Praise the Lord, the God of our ancestors, who made the king want to beautify the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem!  And praise him for demonstrating such unfailing love to me by honoring me before the king, his council, and all his mighty princes!  I felt encouraged because the gracious hand of the Lord my God was on me.” (Ezra 8:27-28).

Ezra’s humble worship and praise brought honor to Your name, Lord God.  In fact, Isaiah reminds me that it is the humble you esteem.  Father God, when I think of all the grace you have abounded toward me, I am humbled.  Holy, Holy Lord God, honor and glory is Yours.  Without You, nothing I have done would be possible. Help me to protect my attitude by keeping a correct perspective that all I have and all I am is because of Your unfailing love.  Amen

 

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Eph 4:29-32 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen….Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Oh, do I need this reminder this week!  My attitude has been slipping back into old patterns.  I can feel myself wanting to give in to anger and frustration toward someone who seems determined to malign me.  I am reluctant to release the emotions to worship the Lord with praise and listen for His truth.

I understand how Jacob must have felt when he sensed Laban’s attitude cooling toward him and heard unfounded accusations from Laban’s sons—his brothers-in-law.  Yet, because Jacob quieted his heart and protected his own attitude, the Lord God walked beside him through a difficult family conflict.  (Gen 31:1-13).  In fact, God blessed him.

Jacob could have given in to anger, yet by maintaining integrity in his attitude, Jacob worshipped and honored the Lord, “the God of my father has been with me.” (Gen 31:5), and God protected his family and brought them to the place where Jacob testified of God’s goodness even to the one who sought to hurt him—Laban.  “In fact, except for the grace of God—the God of my grandfather Abraham, the awe-inspiring God of my father, Isaac—you would have sent me off without a penny to my name.  But God has seen your cruelty and my hard work.  That is why he appeared to you last night and vindicated me.”

When we maintain the right mental position toward a situation–the right attitude—one filled with praise and worship, God is faithful.  We do not give the devil a foothold (Eph 4:27).  As always, God in His perfect wisdom and timing reminded me—it isn’t about me—it is about Him.

My cry today, Lord God, please give me the right mental attitude consistently, as a woman, as a professional, as a mom, as a wife and daughter, I want to bring honor to your Holy Name. Amen.

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