Thought for the Week - 8th JulyPastor Gareth Watkins
Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples!
Shout to God with the voice of triumph!
For the Lord Most High is awesome;
He is a great King over all the earth.
He will subdue the peoples under us,
And the nations under our feet.
He will choose our inheritance for us,
The excellence of Jacob whom He loves. Selah
God has gone up with a shout,
The Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
Sing praises with understanding.
God reigns over the nations;
God sits on His holy throne.
The princes of the people have gathered together,
The people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
He is greatly exalted.
The writer of this Psalm is alive with the feeling of thanksgiving and praise to God. He repeats himself “sing praises”. There’s something in this man that’s bubbling up. It’s all to do with what’s in him being the temple of God – praising, speaking, thanking and worshiping God.
There is a part of us that is meant to worship God. We are the created beings, we’re not the creator. Part of our makeup and who we are is something that is needing to praise God. Yet, in 2018, many people have become too full of their own self-importance. They’re full of their own self-worth and what is happening in this world. The part that is meant to worship and praise God, to connect with God, seems to be missing.
The scripture above puts the position of God very clearly. In verse 2 we read that God is “most high”. He is awesome. He is King over all the earth. He reigns over all the nation. He sits on a Holy throne. He shields the earth. All the earth belongs to God. It sets thing in its right order. Things are in its right position. We are the created beings, and He is God. We are meant to be the ones who bring praise, thanksgiving and worship unto Him.
This is a wonderful picture that belongs to God and God’s people. God is there and His people come into this grandeur that God Himself has. What a blessing and a privilege that belongs to the Christian people, that they can come into the place where the creator of all things is! Without asking, without anything – because Christ has made a way.
What is our response to it? Are we drawn toward Him through it, or do we retreat from that position? Our position in this way doesn’t really matter – God is still God, whether we’ve retreated from Him or gone closer to Him.
The Psalmist above is talking of a place where we go towards Him. He wants us to go towards Him with thanksgiving and praises. He is who He is. What we do is up to us. But the place that God has made for us – where the presence, mightiness and power of God is – that is a place we should go towards naturally; to be part of the place that God has made for us.
It’s up to us to choose. God’s position doesn’t change – He will still be God. We have to choose whether we go one way or another way. God has called us to be temples of the Holy Spirit. Everything that is in that temple is meant to reflect God, and give praise God. We wouldn’t expect anything in the temple that wouldn’t give glory to God.
Things like thanksgiving belong in a Christian’s life. We are temples of the Holy Spirit. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit that will then bring praise, thanksgiving and glory unto God. Like the Psalmist.
Do we have things in our lives that don’t belong there? As we see our position before God, do we clean out the temple from time to time? Do we keep on going on closer to God?
Are we able to see God clearly? Are we able to emanate and transmit the Holiness of God in our lives? Or are other things coming in, contaminating us in different ways, and restricting that ability to connect with God? The thanks that we have in us is in us in such a way that we can’t help ourselves, it bubbles up. Is that able to come up and out of us? Or are there things in this temple that are stopping us giving the praise we read the Psalmist give?
There is a Christian being that knows the Holy Spirit and knows the emanation of God that can fill their life. But involuntarily, there needs to flow out of them the streams of living water that gives praise and thanks to the One who made the heavens and the earth. The needs that comes out of our inner being is the need to praise, thanks, and worship God. The Psalmist struggles with the words – he says it over and over again: “sing praises to God, sing praises, sing praises to our King, sing praises…”.
With the person who wants to bring something into their life that isn’t of God, spending time doing things not of God, living in a world where they do what they want etc. This person becomes rebellious because they want to do their own thing, like the prodigal son. Where does that take a person? Where does it take a person who would rather follow their own pleasure than the things of God? The going away from God itself becomes an impurity.
The temple should only be full of the things that give glory to God. These impure things will start to demand their own praise and attention. That praise in us that belongs to God, dries up. That singing to God, dries up. That worship of God that comes from within them, dries up. They live in a different place, with imperfect things built into it. Those impure thing prevents the praise of the individual. Ultimately, if it goes too far, it would prevent the being connected properly with the Glory of God.
What are the implications? Is salvation in doubt? Yes, a person can lose their salvation. When that which is spiritual dries up and is no longer bearing fruit, the vineyard owner will cut off that which is broken and burn it in the fire.
If the glory of God is not there, can a ministry be lost? Yes it can.
Can the spiritual power and authority in a person’s life be limited and then lost? Yes, it can.
Will God’s protection of the person be limited? Yes it will. God has been gracious to us all. But if we deliberately step outside the will of God, the protection of God will be limited. We have chosen to bring something impure into the temple.
God wants us to have a pure, true, honest filling of the Holy of Spirit that flows up and out. That continues on. Things that are impure and things that are wrong are not meant to be in place.
Inward sins aren’t as easy to see. But the result and the implications to the behaviour are the same to the believer whether the sins are inward or outward. God wants to protect us. He wants to deliver us from all manner of circumstances.
How do we deal with those troubles? Where do we take our troubles?
Offer to God thanksgiving,
And pay your vows to the Most High.
Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”
Those who are thankful to God call upon Him, and He will deliver them from their troubles. New job trouble, financial trouble, illness trouble, fear of the future, family trouble, exam trouble, life trouble, marriage trouble.
The bible talks about the temple of the Holy Spirit being set apart and everything in it being pure and giving glory to God. Do we find God’s way out of the troubles? If we want to find God’s way out of those troubles, we have to look at passages like Psalm 50.
We need start bringing thanksgiving to God. We need to restore God to our life where He should be. Thank Him for creating, saving us, that His son bought us for a price. Those things that are impure will rob that position of who He is. If we want God to bring us through the troubles, we need to offer Him thanksgiving.
We need to pay our vows to the Most High. We can’t cook the books with God. We can’t say one thing is right when it’s not. When pressures come against us, we need to restore the position of God and recommit some of the promises we might have made years ago that we’re no longer doing in the right way. We need to start to see that God has a way out for you in this circumstance. This is not the end.
God is saying be thankful, sing praises, recommit your vows and look to Him for the answer through the problem. That is the answer for God’s child. Follow His way, not in our way, but in His way. When pressures come, we turn our attentions toward God.
Don’t turn to the impure things in the temple. Don’t look for other pathways through the troubles. Don’t look to every easy road that can provide a temporary fix. We start to restore the order that God has made and do things the way God has made them to go.
Sometimes there are times where only God can rescue us. That’s a tough place. No man can take the problem away. No party can rescue us. It’s at that time we’re not to put impure things into our life, but instead we start to thank and praise God. We recommit our vows. We will find Him, His ways and His rescue. We find His focus.
Have you ever felt tormented, lost, crushed or alone? In that place, sometimes there is nobody that God allows us to have. All He wants is for us to go through it in His way. The scripture above shows us how to do it. It gives us His promise that He will do it.
God is faithful! The faithfulness of God is with us. If we go out in His strength, if we follow His plan and His purposes, God will do the rest.
Restore your vows. Place Him first over your life. See Him as the one who rescues you. Glorify Him.