It’s I WILL Wednesday!
Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. Psalm 43:4
Today’s I WILL passage is found in a journey from pain to praise. At the onset of this Psalm, the psalmist starts by crying out to God. From a place of despair, he seeks God’s help in desperation. He pleaded for vindication and rescue from the assaults of his enemy. The psalmist cried out to God because he confidently knew that God could deliver him. Verse 4, our focus for today, points out a very important thing the psalmist did, he went to the altar. Now an altar, in this time was a place of sacrifice, a place where something changed, a place where something died. Today it’s not so much a place, but the posture of our hearts. Our hearts should be a place where something changes, where something is altered.
This psalmist reminds us that when we come to the altar something will change. It may be your broken heart, it may be your wounded spirit, it may be your wayward thinking, or even your negative outlook. In the presence of the Lord, change happens!
Look at the psalmist’s altar experience. At the altar, he remembered his God; at the altar, a praise burst forth. At the altar, his pain turned into praise. He began to speak to himself! The psalmist asked himself, “ Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues?” (v. 5MSG). Then he had a reality check, and told himself, “Put your hope in God” (v. 5).
At the altar, we can gain an objective view of ourselves! Am I wallowing in self pity? Have my circumstances clouded my thinking? Is what I’m going through bigger than my God? NO! Then adjust your thinking, adjust your speaking, and place your hope where it belongs, in God.
Are you in need of a change? Does depression, negativity, and self pity need to die in your life? Do you need to journey from pain to praise? If so, remember this psalmist and share in his declaration, “l WILL go to the altar of God.”
For a year now we have been putting the Word of God above everything else. Through this year God has blessed us so much and there’s no going back now!So for those of you who are new to Sparrow’s Song, I challenge you to branch out with us and Write the Word. And for those who have been in the journey for some time now, let’s keep going!
The Word of God is so important in our lives. It’s more than words on pages, it’s living and life giving.
The Word of God is a wellspring to a dry and thirsty soul.
The Word will strengthen a weary heart.
The Word can redirect your focus towards purposeful things.
The Word brings comfort to wounded souls.
Yes friends, THE WORD (STILL) W.O.R.K.S.
Starting March 1st (for the second time), with one verse, or as much as you want, we’re going to journey into the Bible together. We’ll do it little by little, with no pressure! No study guide or workbook. Just the Word. How? By writing it. When you write the Word of God in your own handwriting, it helps you get a better understanding of what you’re reading, and it helps you to remember it. Studies have shown, writing makes it easier for our brains to store, retain, and recall information. What better content to store, retain, and recall than the Word of God.
Join me in our Write The Word Challenge. For the next 31 days make the Word of God a priority. The challenge will run from March 1-31, 2020.
I hope you decide to join us (or rejoin us) in this challenge! Invite your friends! We are excited to continue diving into God’s Holy word with you all.
It’s so easy to sign up, just enter your first name, email, and comment the words “I’m in 🙋♀️”, down below, OR comment on our Facebook Post, and we’ll send you suggested templates, and scriptures to get started, as well as other helpful resources and encouragement.
Don’t know what you’re going to write in? Try Sparrow’s Song’s Scripture Writing Journal. https://www.amazon.com/dp/108124285X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_
It’s the last week in January. I hope you are still pushing and moving forward, doing what God assigned you to do. Don’t let 2020 be like every other year; we start great but quickly fizzle out. This year we want to see what we have been praying for. We want to see the fruit of our hearts burning desire. We want the assurance that we are walking in His will for our lives.
Well, can I tell you something? Yes, you! You need to know that you were made for this!
Ephesians 2:10 tells us “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
In Christ we’ve been made new! A work of art, touched by the Master’s finger of love, made into a masterpiece. He took our messed up lives and made something beautiful, so that we can do the good works that God predestined for us.
Before you knew your name, there was a divine assignment designed just for you. Jeremiah 1:5 recounts God’s Words to the prophet Jeremiah. “Before I even formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew all about you. Before you drew your first breath, I had already chosen you to be My prophet to speak My word to the nations” (The Voice).
Likewise, Paul shared his testimony in Galatians 1. He too, tells how he was chosen from his mother’s womb. Paul wasn’t called because of anything special he had done, but by God’s sovereign election, Paul was made to do the work of the Lord.
You too, were made for this!
Whatever your “this” is, is a divine calling by an all-knowing God. You were created for good work! Before any training, before any degree, before you were born, you were made for this! So you cannot fail! You were created for this!
Read the other posts in this series:
I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34:1
One of the most well known “I WILLs” in scripture is Psalm 34:1. It was written from a cave when David was hiding from King Saul. Ironically, while he was hiding, many others found David and began to follow him. They joined David on the run. Saul sought to take his life. All that he knew had changed. And now others had come under his care. Not ideal circumstances, but from what should have been a dismal situation, came a beautiful song of praise.
The entire Psalm is filled with admonishments, as David gives encouragement when he himself could have used it.
“oh magnify the Lord with me, let us exalt his name together” (v. 3)
“Taste and see that the Lord Is good” (v.8)
“Fear the Lord you holy people” (v.9)
Here David only uttered what would be an encouragement to others and to himself. Praise continually.
It is difficult to praise and complain at the same time. Near impossible! Complaining keeps you in self pity. Praise lifts you out of that pit! Choose praise! Praise continually.
It is interesting to note that this Psalm was written like an acrostic poem in Hebrew. Each line starts with a letter in the Hebrew alphabet. This was a feature used to help the people remember and rehearse these truths over and over. David wanted them (and us) to remember this situation changing strategy. Praise the Lord at all times. Don’t let your circumstances change you, keep a praise on your lips and watch God move.
Can a beautiful song of praise rise from your dismal situation? Will you raise a hallelujah in the presence of enemies? Will you lift every praise to God when you are pressed on every side? Can you let praises rise from the inside so that you can be lifted up? Choose praise, and praise continually! Make this powerful declaration, “I WILL bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
Well, we are three weeks into 2020! The New Year’s excitement is waning and many are settling into their “normal.” Some are still grinding away at their goals, but, for some, discouragement and even disappointment is starting to set in. It’s not for lack of effort, or lack of motivation, but lack of results. Three weeks of advertising and promoting and only a few sales. Three weeks of praying, fasting, and dedication to a reading plan and no apparent breakthrough. Three weeks of diet and exercise and only a few pounds lost. Or worse, only three short weeks and already messed up, or, even worse, given up!
Last week we saw, in Zechariah 4, that Zerubbabel received encouragement to continue the work of rebuilding the temple. (The Limits of Your Best) Discouragement had set in, and the Lord’s messenger reminded him, that it’s not by his power or might, but only by the Spirit of the Lord would the work be completed (Zechariah 4:6 ).
A second part of this message speaks volumes to us. The Messenger goes on to pose the question, “Who dares despise the day of small things . . . ?” (Zechariah 4:10). Sadly, I’m guilty. I sometimes look at my meager results and wish things would move along a little—no a lot faster. And because it is not, I feel defeated and deflated. This is a hard one for me. I know that starting small is par for the course, but slow growth can be discouraging and frustrating. It is at these times, that I need this reminder not to despise small beginnings. The passage goes on to tell us why. “. . . for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin” (Zechariah 4:10 NLT). He lovingly looks on to see us start the work He’s assigned to us. Our faithful Father’s eyes watch over the work and sees to it’s completion. Philippians 1:6 admonishes us to be “confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
Don’t resent small beginnings! If God has given you the vision, resist discouragement. It may start out small but hold on. He may give you a glimpse of the end result. You may feel ready for that end right now, but you have to walk through each season of growth, preparation, and refining. Starting small allows you to GROW through the process.
If your heart has been stirred with expectancy, don’t let your expectation dwindle. Don’t let small beginnings hinder you. If God gave it to you, trust Him to bless it, grow it, and cause it to prosper and bear fruit.
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It’s I WILL Wednesday!
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple. For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at His sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord. Psalm 27:4-6
Sometimes we just feel generally happy. Needs are met, family is well, doggy is wagging his tail. All seems right in your world. We just feel good. This was not the case for David. Yes this Psalm begins with David confessing faith over fear, but he still had enemies! Vicious enemies who desired to utterly destroy him. Wickedness came against him, armies surrounded him, threats of war rose against him. Everything was not good!
In this period in David’s life, he could have asked for anything. Protection, peace, an end to all this turmoil. Instead, the one thing David desired was the presence of God. He names several blessings that he found in God’s presence.
1. In the Lord’s dwelling, David was safe. (Vs. 5). This was not just a position, but also a posture—the presence of the Lord is a safe place. Though danger looms, my heart can rest in the safety of my Savior.
2. In the shelter of the Lord, David was hidden. Concealed from all the noise around him. He was very conscious to the reality of his situation. However, David’s security, as our security, is found in the Lord.
3. David was set high upon a rock. Jesus Christ is the Rock, our foundation that we should build upon. If I am on the Rock, the storms may come but I will not be moved.
4. David was able to lift his head above his enemies. Yes his enemies were still present, but David did not set his focus on them. He set his eyes on the Lord so that he might gaze in His beauty.
With all these blessings that stem from God’s presence, it’s no wonder why David responded, I WILL sing! We should respond that way too! Singing praises to our Lord, for He is worthy, He is faithful, He is constant, and He loves us. It is in Him where we can truly rest in the midst of danger, in the midst of the rain, in it the midst of our enemies. We can rest in Him. He is my safe place. He is my hiding place. He is my rock. So I will shout and offer sacrifices of joy, and I WILL sing a song of praise to My God.