October 7, 2013

Filled with praise, filled with God

When I woke this morning, my thoughts were jumbled from a repetitious dream, but as they aligned themselves, I kept thinking that I want this day to be different. Perhaps motivated by Scott Rodin’s wonderful message yesterday at church, I wanted to stay in that high place of rich worship.

Mary, mother of Jesus, had been in that place. She too had heard an amazing message from God and her response was worship. She began by singing . . .  “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” (Luke 1:46–47)

Spurgeon writes about this verse and the response of praise that befits the grandeur of God. Even without a fresh message that glorifies Him, Spurgeon says praise happens when a person begins thinking about God’s character. He suggest to take His attributes one by one and think about them, and as I do that, I will experience great delight and be carried away by wonder, love, and praise as I consider who He is. I will be astonished as I plunge into the wondrous depths of God and everything else will vanish from my vision.

But Spurgeon adds two more praise exercises. He says then to drink Him into myself. He illustrates with lilies that worship God simply by drinking in the sunlight and the dewdrops and by the very human experience of being at the seaside and enjoying the salt sea air. It seems to enter every pore of your body and you feel as if you are drinking in great gulps of well-being health at every breath. He says to do that with God. Go down to the great sea of who He is, magnifying that by thoughts of His greatness and take who He is into my soul.

While God cannot be greater than He is, He can be greater in me than He is at present. He cannot increase nor can there be more of Him than there is, but there can be more of God in me, more of His love, more of His holiness, more of His power, likeness and light.

Then Spurgeon adds another worship exercise. He says, by God’s help, to make Him great by what I give forth. This time he illustrates with a rose. After a rose satisfies itself with a sweet shower, then as soon as the air clears after the rain, that rose fills the garden with delicious perfume.

I am to do the same. First, drink in all I can of God’s great wonder, then exhale; breathe out again in praise, holy living, prayers, zeal and a devotion of spirit that wonder of this God whom I have breathed in. Again, I cannot make more of God than He is, but I can make God more consciously present in my mind and even the minds of others as they think more highly of God because of what I say and do.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14–16)

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