“Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens,” (Psalm 148:13 NIV).
Some of my Girlfriends in God are not going to like this devotion. I’m not even sure I do. But I’m going to put it out there anyhow. During the month of February, I write devotions on marriage. It is the month of love, and marriages certainly are in shambles all around the world. It is a month when I celebrate marriage!
Each February, I am flooded with e-mails: some are appreciative for the reminders on how to love their husbands, some are hurting because they are in their own struggling marriage, and some are broken hearted because of shattered dreams. These women are so thankful for the balm of God’s truth in a very tender area of their lives.
But I also receive e-mails from women who are not married, who do not like the attention to marriage at all. They are flat out angry and frustrated because the devotions do not pertain to them. The same type of complaints comes in during the month of May when I write about Motherhood. And girlfriend, some of those e-mails are not pretty.
I’ve seen the same thing in church. “I didn’t like that sermon.” “I didn’t like the singing today.” “I couldn’t relate to that teaching.”And on and on we go. You know what I’ve discovered…It’s not about me. It is all about God. If the pastor is preaching on a topic that is not my struggle, I pray that God will open my eyes to new truths that I’ve never seen. If he is talking about losing a loved one, I pray for those who have lost a loved one recently…even though that not might not be my struggle at that particular time. Is the teaching on raising young children? I have a grown son, so I pray for those who are in the throes of raising the next generation.
One Sunday, I was singing in church. Barely singing, I might add. It was a dry old hymn and I just wasn’t into it. Then I looked at an older women a few seats down and she had tears trickling down her wrinkled face. She was moved to tears by that old hymn and was taken to the throne room of grace. “Oh Father,” I prayed. “Please forgive me. This is not about me. It’s not about what I like or dislike. It is all about You. Truth is truth. Worship is worship. Help my focus be on You and You alone. It’s not about me.
Listen to how David focused on God during worship:
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:5-8
Teach me your ways, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.Psalm 86:112
So let’s commit to remember together…it’s not about me. It’s all about God.
Dear Lord, please forgive me when I make worship and Bible study all about me. The purpose of my worship is to give glory to You and You alone, not to make me feel better. The purpose of Bible study is to learn what Your Word has to say about Your character and Your ways and to discover the truths that lead me into the way of righteousness. I praise You! I thank You! I worship You! In Jesus’ Name, Amen
What Do You Think?
Here is a fun exercise. Go back and pick out one of your favorite chapters in the Bible. Now, focus on the verses that you DID NOT underline.
Here is a wonderful Psalm to use for your extended prayer time today. Open your Bible to Psalm 136 and pray that prayer of praise with David. Don’t skip over the repeated refrains…His love endures forever! He repeats it for a reason. David meant it. God wants us to get it!
I will be beginning a new on-line Bible study, A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More, on March 4th. If you feel like something is missing in your spiritual life, then this study is for you. Here’s a little good news: the answer is not found in what God wants from you, but what God wants for you. It’s not too late to sign up. I’d love for you to join us. Click here to learn more and sign up. The sign up is on the right hand side of the page.