walk in the word
Category: Relying on God
I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul will make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear it and rejoice. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. Psalm 34:1–3
Worship is a buzz word among Christians these days. It covers everything from guitar groupies waving their hands to solemn, prayerful hymns. I’m not going to get hung up about how anyone worships the Lord but I do want to make sure we’re clear about what worship is—what it means to ascribe worth to our Almighty God.
Psalm 34: 1—7 gives us incredible insight into how we can choose to worship God. In just three short verses we find six different expressions of worship:
Six Expressions of Worship
#1 Bless. “I will bless the Lord.” Usually we think about God blessing us. But 35 times in Scripture we get this concept: “I bless the Lord.” You might wonder, “What could I ever add to God?” But His own Word has told us that when we worship Him, we bless God. Are you kidding me? We could do something that blesses Him? Sign me up!
#2 Praise. “His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Praise is more than a compliment. “Hey, I like your hat” is not praise. Instead, praise is honor. It refers to things beyond externals. Praise refers to a person’s character. When we praise God, we’re honoring Him for His nature and for what He’s done for us.
#3 Boast. “My soul will make its boast in the Lord.” My mom always told me that it was a bad thing to boast. But here’s the thing. As wrong as it is to boast about yourself, it’s that right to boast about God. (1 Corinthians 1:31 says so, too.) Maybe best of all on this subject, Jeremiah 9:23 says this,
“Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me.”
The next opportunity you get, boast on the Lord. Say, “I’ve been going through this but God has taken care of me—He’s been so faithful.”
#4 Rejoice. “The humble shall hear it and rejoice.” Deep within the heart of every person is a fountain. Jesus said that the life He gives us is like a fountain of water springing up inside (John 14:4). We’re each made to rejoice—but worry, fear, and sin plugs the fountain of our joy. When we get right with Him, bubbling up from inside us is this joy that we can’t contain. It bursts forth. When joy is in your heart, rejoicing is on your lips.
#5 Magnify. “Oh, magnify the Lord with me.” Magnify means in Hebrew, “to expand or enlarge.” As a kid, do you remember looking at a bug through a magnifying glass so that you could better understand exactly what it was? When we magnify God, we don’t make Him larger, but in our souls, we are able to rightly understand how big God is.
#6 Exalt. “Let us exalt His name together.” The word “exalt” means to take something that is low priority and make it high—to give to it an elevated or celebrated status. It’s to take God out of the “I’ll-worship-Him-when-I-get-around-to-it” category and put Him in first place. It’s to say, “Lord, You don’t belong down there. You need to be elevated as the only One, the supreme affection of my heart.” That’s exalted.
Don’t Miss Your Opportunity
Worship is an act of your will—it’s a choice. Don’t miss the opportunity to do the thing that you were created by Almighty God to do. Children of God, bless the Lord when you see His goodness and when you don’t. When the future is bright and sunny, but also when it’s cloudy and uncertain. When God’s presence is so real you could reach out and touch Him but also when God seems so far away. Like David in Psalms 34 say, It is my choice. “I will bless the Lord at all times.”
Listen, if you want to understand what it is to really know God and to walk with God, I invite you away from the shallow waters and out into the deeper glorious truths of following Yahweh God. So much of your joy hinges on this very critical choice. Worship is for all times.
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