The LORD is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him–my father’s God, and I will exalt him!
Exodus 15:2, NLT
I have stumbled upon a simple practice that makes a big difference in my attitude and how I view life. I want to share it with you now.
After I get the 4 children who go to public school this year out the door, I clean my kitchen. You were probably expecting something else, weren’t you? Well, the clean kitchen isn’t the part that has changed my outlook—although it doesn’t hurt.
I listen to my playlist of my favorite worship songs. I turn the volume up all the way and sing along. (Okay, my singing is really closer to “making a joyful noise” but acoustic harmony is not the point.) There are both hymns and contemporary songs on my playlist. I even have a few Christian rap songs I love. My only qualification is that the song helps me express my heart to God and listen for what He’s speaking to me through the music.
The worship is the main thing. Cleaning the kitchen is just something to keep my hands busy so my head and heart can focus on God. It doesn’t have to cleaning the kitchen. I also use driving time for the same purpose.
If I go several days in a row and miss my “joyful noise” time, I notice myself getting increasingly negative and down. I think, “Oh boy, I really need to clean my kitchen!”
Worship is my weapon against despair, anxiety, lies, selfishness, negativity, cold-heartedness, and more. Worship helps me to be more aware of God’s presence with me in the midst of my daily life.
When I am feeling depressed or anxious, worship is pretty much one of the LAST things I feel like doing. But when I make myself worship anyway, it is one the most effective means of overcoming a spirit of despair soothing my fears with peace. And once I overcome the inertia and get started, I do want to worship.
I used to wonder why God is always telling us to praise Him throughout Scripture. Truthfully, it sounded a little egotistical to me. But then I realized our worship is not for His benefit, but ours. He knows the truth, but we need to be reminded. God does not need us to stroke His ego, but we definitely need to focus on His goodness and greatness rather than our problems and fears. When we worship, we remind ourselves of the awesomeness of the One who lives inside of us, is on our side and who fights for us.
Remember on Day 5 when we talked about the armor of God? I mentioned that the Bible and prayer are two of our offensive weapons. Worship is the third.
When we worship our God, our enemies of fear, doubt, and discouragement flee. Praise is like taking a sword to all the negative thoughts that harass and pull at us and telling them to get lost because our God is great and He fights for us.
Did you know that worship was a military strategy in ancient Israel? I’m sure you have heard of the story of Jericho—the first city the Israelites had to overcome to claim their Land of Promise. Joshua, who was their new leader at the time, came to be an accomplished military commander. But their first battle was not fought with military strategy or physical weapons. The walls of Jericho fell at the sound of trumpeting priests and shouting worshipers.
I think it’s significant that their battle was first won through worship before it was accomplished through fighting. I think God wanted them to know where the real power was and not to trust their own strength.
Exodus 15:2 says, “The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.” Music and strength go together. That is why I’m including a song for you to listen to with every post this month. These are some of my most favorite ones–real gems of praise and truth-telling. I have a hard time each day just limiting it to one. Somedays I sneak in two. If you’ve missed listening to those, go back and find them at the bottom of every post. You’ll be glad you did!
What is your favorite way to worship God?
Today’s song is “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman. We have 10,000+ reasons to worship our God. Let’s start now.
To read other posts in this series, click the image below.