June 20, 2007

A Devotion for Today : A Sacrifice of Praise

Hebrews 13:15 By Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

In the month that lies before you, you'll have countless opportunities for sacrifice. Think of that person that you struggle to love. What if you visualize putting that relationship on the alter as an offering of praise to God?

Your marriage needs to be offered up as a sacrifice every day. So does the way you spend your free time. If you begin to make a list of the things you could offer up in sacrifice, you might never stop writing. The truth, you see, is that when your life becomes a temple, a home for Jesus, you begin to see His face in the faces of all those who surround you. You begin to treat them as you would treat Him. You begin to realize that all ground is holy ground, because God is there. You begin to see every situation as a potential act of worship, a time to magnify the name of the Lord.

Solitude. Service. Struggles. And ultimately, the one that escapsulates them all: sacrifice. Worship in the midst of these. When that happens, be prepared to throw open the doors of your life. The world is waiting to see the person you will become when you live every moment in the wonder of worship.

Taken from the devotional book:
Sanctuary written by David Jeremiah

God is so good. I know I say that alot but it is so true. Today was a getting rocky as surprise bills come in the mail while the work for my husband is so slow for whatever new reason comes along each week. We have been struggling now for over three months. Seeing this trial through my physical eyes is very depressing. Savings have dwindled away and there is no cushion there to ease the worry that has been hanging around. We have been in prayer, we have petitioned the Lord. We have held our head up in faith knowing God is going to deliver us.

I sort of had a goal in mind. That always helps me deal with stress having a back up plan so to speak. Tony can't change jobs until after he has been with this particular company for a whole year. He left his past job for this one for more money and he needs one year of experience to be able to move on. This job was all that was promised until around February and it appears to be getting worse instead of better. We thought the tough spell would ease after a couple of weeks we could make it that long, no worries. Then a couple of weeks went by and we thought again, it'll get better after a couple of weeks and a couple of weeks have turned into months. Now we are hanging there suspended in mid air knowing we have GOT to make it until July. He had some options opening up and things would be looking brighter for us if he could get a better job then. So in my mind my goal is July. We can make it until July. I push the worries out of mind thinking 'just a little longer, have faith, trust for all things' just a little longer.

Well this morning Tony gets a call out of the blue from someone who had worked for the company he had an interview with IN JULY. The news wasn't good. Tony had been praying for a sign from God on whether to take this job or not and felt this was his answer. I thanked the Lord for answering my husband because in all honesty it saved us alot time and more loss. And yet my heart sank because now I had no goal. I had no back up plan. I went from thinking 'just a little longer' to thinking 'HOW much longer???'

Then the mail ran and there were those unexpected bills. My minds goes berserk wondering how we are going to make it. Everything around me seems to reel. I feel so overwhelmed I can't even focus on my class I have to teach tonight and responsibilites. I begin to wonder how I am going to handle the kids tonight alone. The things I need to do seem so huge and I feel so burdened and all I want to do is crawl in bed. I fight the urge. I remember that I ate something last night that I wasn't suppose to have. I was disobedient. I had repented but not forgiven myself. I was feeling condemnation. I cave and go to my bedroom. It feels so good. Its the coolest room in the house and there are two fans running. If I can just crawl under the covers and fall asleep all these thoughts will leave my mind. Then I see my devotion book and remember that I haven't read it in days. I think to myself, "God, do you have a word for me today?" And I open the book to today and I read the devotion above.

When I first read the title I wondered to myself how anyone could think that praising our sweet Lord and Savior could be sacrifice. I love praising Him and raising my hands and telling Him how much I love Him. I have never considered it a sacrifice. I still don't. As I read through the devotion I realized that the sacrifice wasn't praising God, it was choosing to praise God in the worst of situations. The sacrifice was in essence crucifying the flesh, putting aside your physical eyes, your feelings of despair. Sometimes I forget that I have to make choices everyday. Somedays the same choices have to be chosen over and over again. Sometimes we fall into old habits.

God answered me. Not in the way that I wanted to hear because I really wanted to hear His audible voice say, "My child, I am opening this door two weeks from now on Wednesday July the 4th, at 2:15 p.m. you only have to make it until then." But He told me what He wanted me to do and that is to praise Him in this storm and to trust Him and only Him always, forever, not just 'until then'. So even though we are hanging suspended in mid air it is my Abba Daddy's hand holding us there!!!


Susanne said...

You sound so much like me in that I like to know the details. It's the not knowing that is so difficult! But I love how God answered your prayer and how even though you still don't know what you do know is that you are safe in His hand.

TCC said...

What a neat post for me to read tonight. I am teaching a class at my church about the Foundations of Worship - next week we focus on praise and the weapon that it truly is.

Casting Crowns has a song "Praise Him in the Storm". The lyrics are excellent and mirror what you shared.