Bless God Devotional
“Does not all nature around me praise God? If I were silent, I should be an exception to the universe. Does not the thunder praise Him as it rolls like drums in the march of the God of armies? Do not the mountains praise Him when the woods upon their summits wave in adoration? Does not the lightning write His name in letters of fire? Has not the whole earth a voice? And shall I, can I, silent be?”
To ”bless God" is a phrase that some might find strange or counter-intuitive, as we are perhaps more familiar with the idea of blessing being something that comes from God to us, perhaps not as much so the other way around.
But to bless God – to exalt, praise, magnify Him – becomes a habit – a first response - in the lives of those who have let themselves receive the love of the Lord.
To bless God is really the only appropriate response to the realization that the only reason that the possibility exists of making the choice to bless Him is because He has first so richly blessed us.
When we "bless God," we are not adding anything to God or giving Him something He lacks, because our Triune God is utterly complete. Rather, when we worship Him, when we declare that He is worthy to be praised, we are aligning ourselves with the truth of His worthiness of all praise and honor, we are rightly seeing the true order of things – you might even say we’re aligning ourselves with reality.
And when we align ourselves with reality by declaring His reign and His worth, bringing Him worship and sacrifices of praise, we’re also entering into communion with the Father and participating in the relationship we were born for. Blessing and glorifying God is a pathway to the gift of His presence, the preciousness of His nearness, and the unspeakable treasures of the joy therein.
C.S. Lewis expressed it this way:“The Scotch catechism says that man’s chief end is ‘to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.’ But we shall then know that these are the same thing. Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.”
We bless God because we’re made to. We bless God because we need to – I need to. We bless God because scripture invites us to, encourages us to, and commands us to!
Psalm 150:6 “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord."
Original post by Brooke Ligertwood available on YouVersion. A five-day reading plan exploring some of the Biblical perspectives that anchor Brooke’s album, EIGHT. Enjoy devotionals that journey through themes like the fear of the Lord, postures in prayer, enduring in wilderness seasons, enjoying God, and choosing Him in response to His choice of us!, as well as featuring lyrics and music from songs throughout the Album EIGHT by Brooke Ligertwood.
Last Updated: February 21, 2024
“Saviour I come, quiet my soul, remember.” Approach, posture, reflection. These three simple actions at the beginning of prayer have been hallmarks of my own devotional journey for decades now. Firstly, my choice to approach. As a recent paraphrase of Psalm 100, “the Lord is always good and ready to receive me," but I've learned it is still always my choice as to whether or not I will come to Him. Oh what a world of difference our lives become based on the choices we make. Secondly, my posture. A life of prayer means that I am invited into an ongoing conversation with the Father in whatever state I'm in. (Thank God!) Occasionally, I come to God bouncy and grateful, astonished in wonder and aflame with love. But often I come to God all bombastic and blustery, flustered, frustrated, mad, sad, indignant, any number of things – and that's actually wonderful – because the point is that whatever state I'm in, I've stepped “through the door” so to speak. I've come. And once I have, He has a way of sorting me out, calming me, helping me settle into the posture of quieting my soul, even if the way I've come in is anything but quiet, getting into a place where I'm ready to listen: “I'm here, Lord." Thirdly, remembering. Remembering who He is, tracing the lines of His faithfulness in my life, remembering the promises, power and hope that issue from the Father's supreme gift. His Son died on the cross for us. I fix my eyes on my Savior. I focus my heart and mind and soul and remember that I might press on with the right things in focus. Approach, posture, reflection and then, consideration. In the light of the cross, we can now rightly consider all that we would bring to the Lord in prayer. We can allow His love, grace, truth and mercy to teach, lead and guide us. I finish with the glorious consideration of Paul in Philippians 3. Philippians 3:7-14 “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ. 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Original post by Brooke Ligertwood available on YouVersion. A five-day reading plan exploring some of the Biblical perspectives that anchor Brooke's album, EIGHT. Enjoy devotionals that journey through themes like the fear of the Lord, postures in prayer, enduring in wilderness seasons, enjoying God, and choosing Him in response to His choice of us!, as well as featuring lyrics and music from songs throughout the Album EIGHT by Brooke Ligertwood.
The first of the Petrine epistles in the New Testament begins like this: “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God's elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.” 1 Peter 1:1-2 (NIV) What a beautiful “establishment of audience” in this opening paragraph – and a really clear reminder of a truth that can only be received with awestruck humility: that an unlikely, ragamuffin, unqualified and undeserving bunch like you and me are the choice of our Triune God – “chosen by God the Father, through the work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus," Peter writes. Then a few verses down, in the following chapter, comes a really well known verse you have probably heard many times but not ingested the second half of it as much as the first (which has made it onto a lot more bumper stickers). It's 1 Peter 2:9: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." In the first half of the verse, Peter uses the phrase “chosen people”. He's re-emphasizing that choice that he referred to in the opening of this letter to the exiles – God's choice. But then he goes on to immediately talk about a choice that we now have in response to God's choice of us: what choice? In case you didn't catch it, Peter says that we are chosen, God's special possession,“that we may declare the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light." It doesn't say we will, it says we “may." In response to such an expansive and extraordinary mercy, the reality is that there are some who may, but will not; but many who may, like the Psalmist, and who will. Psalm 145:1 “I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever.” So what will our choice be? What will my choice be? I may…and I will. Original post by Brooke Ligertwood available on YouVersion. A five-day reading plan exploring some of the Biblical perspectives that anchor Brooke's album, EIGHT. Enjoy devotionals that journey through themes like the fear of the Lord, postures in prayer, enduring in wilderness seasons, enjoying God, and choosing Him in response to His choice of us!, as well as featuring lyrics and music from songs throughout the Album EIGHT by Brooke Ligertwood.
“ 2 Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.” Deuteronomy 8:2-5 (NIV) We know of course, that the Israelites to whom this was spoken failed the wilderness test miserably – they grumbled, they rebelled, they slipped into idolatry – yet God still sustained this people, stuck with them, they remained His choice. In Luke 4, Jesus is led into the wilderness by the Spirit and passes the test that the Israelites centuries prior couldn't pass – but as Tim Keller pointed out in his sermon “Honey from the Rock” (yes, it's the same sermon that helped inspire that other song!), Jesus passes the test that we cannot pass. We are going to face wilderness seasons, desert seasons, in our lives, and statistically, the likelihood of us navigating them perfectly and sinlessly is absolutely 0%. 1 Corinthians 10 tells us to take heed of what happened with the Israelites, to be warned and not to think we're beyond making some of the same mess ups – but we're also encouraged in the same chapter that God is faithful and that when we're tempted He WILL provide a way out so that we can “endure” (that's such an important word for the wilderness) and told that even those wild post-Egyptian Israelites were accompanied by Christ: “They drank from the spiritual Rock that accompanied them, and the Rock was Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:4 NIV) If He accompanied them in the desert, He certainly accompanies us. Thank God we have a Savior who navigated the wilderness perfectly before we ever had to, that He will help us endure and sustain us therein. He is one in whom we can absolutely trust and on whom we can utterly rely. “To him who led his people through the wilderness; His love endures forever.” Psalm 136:16| Original post by Brooke Ligertwood available on YouVersion. A five-day reading plan exploring some of the Biblical perspectives that anchor Brooke's album, EIGHT. Enjoy devotionals that journey through themes like the fear of the Lord, postures in prayer, enduring in wilderness seasons, enjoying God, and choosing Him in response to His choice of us!, as well as featuring lyrics and music from songs throughout the Album EIGHT by Brooke Ligertwood.
There's a story in 2 Samuel 6 that has always fascinated me. The scene is one of noisy celebration, vivid with imagery, the characters well intentioned, when a slight accident and seemingly innocent reaction leads to tragedy. The “ark of God” was a golden chest in which the tablets of Moses were kept and functioned as a symbol of God's Presence with Israel. The ark had been on quite a journey (which included being captured by Israel's enemies for a time) but was finally being brought to Jerusalem by King David. It was a time of great celebration and the 30,000 strong crowds rejoiced musically and noisily as they accompanied the ark from Abinadab's home in the direction of Jerusalem. But there was a problem. The ark was supposed to be carried by specific people in a specific way. It was Levites who were charged with carrying the ark, and only then by holding poles that were inserted into rings at the sides – it was never to be touched. But on this day, the ark is on a cart drawn by oxen being guided by the sons of Abinadab (a non-Levite, as far as we know). With all the good intent in the world, God's instructions hadn't been heeded. Near the threshing floor of Nakon, the oxen stumble and tragedy strikes. As the cart wobbles, Abinadab's son Uzzah reaches out and takes hold of the ark – the untouchable – to steady it and is struck dead then and there. God is not any less holy now than He was when this scene in 2 Samuel 6 played out. The preciousness of His presence, the weight and worth of His glory are unchanging. The Holiness of His presence is unwearied by time, undiluted, and uncompromised. But through Jesus, the difference is, our ACCESS has changed. At the exact moment Christ died on the cross, the curtain in the temple was torn from top to bottom signifying the access that any who trust in Him for salvation now have to the very presence of God. We who have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God can now be reconciled to Him and are invited to approach the throne of grace with confidence even as we work out our salvation with “fear and trembling” (Rom 3:23, Heb 4:16, Phil 2:12). To fear the Lord simply means that we refuse to grow familiar with His holiness. We won't cheapen in our own minds what it cost the Lord to reconcile us to the relationship we were born for. The fear of the Lord actually gives us more intimacy with Him, not less. Psalm 25:14 (ESV) says, “The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear Him, and He makes known to them His covenant.” The fear of the Lord brings not only friendship with Him but also wisdom, understanding, refuge, life and a sure foundation for our times. So Lord Jesus, help us to live and walk closely with you, in the fear of the Lord. Amen. Original post by Brooke Ligertwood available on YouVersion. A five-day reading plan exploring some of the Biblical perspectives that anchor Brooke's album, EIGHT. Enjoy devotionals that journey through themes like the fear of the Lord, postures in prayer, enduring in wilderness seasons, enjoying God, and choosing Him in response to His choice of us!, as well as featuring lyrics and music from songs throughout the Album EIGHT by Brooke Ligertwood.