Thank God for pie! Tonight we had our usual weekly church night changed up a bit and we spent time fellowshipping with wonderful homemade pies and a time of shared praises. It was such a great encouragement to hear praises that others had for things that God had done for them or in the lives that they have seen recently. I myself was and am thankful for the direct access to God that Christ gave us through prayer! It has helped me in astounding ways these past few days. I am filled with such joy that that vail was torn in two!
Afterwards we spent time indulging in as much pie, of just about any imaginable flavor, as we could handle…whilst trying to monitor how much the kiddos ate the whole time. (Thankfully my kids either don’t like pie or will only eat one or two small slices. More for momma!) I got to talk with people I normally don’t get to talk to much and to spend time with close friends that I haven’t seen much of, due to the business that comes with this time of year.
All in all it was a joyful night that truly made me feel incredibly thankful for the friends, community and family that I have been blessed with! A thankfulness that I really needed to feel. We often get so tunnel visioned by our own lives and the things that are driving our day to day living that we forget to look outside of what is happening directly in front of us. We forget that there is an entire world around us with so many other awesome things happening in the lives of others.
We also forget to offer up praises to God in the midst of our prayers asking for help and guidance and wisdom. We forget to be thankful for all that He has already blessed us with. We take advantage of his ever presence and how he is continually working in everything that we do or don’t do. I was reminded of this tonight, as we read Psalm 95.
O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.
O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.
When our minds and our hearts become so focused on our own desires and our own plans, we don’t remain open to hearing the voice of God telling us what to do, where to move or how to act, think and feel. Our hearts become hardened.
Have you ever held a dead heart in your hand? It is literally hard. The tissues tighten up and it shrivels in on itself. In 4th grade I had an awesome teacher and he arranged it so that we got to dissect sheep hearts on Valentine’s Day. (yes…he was an odd one but we loved him!) The hearts were pumped full of a fluid to keep them pliable, but only for a short period of time. As we held them, dissected them, studied them and the hour passed, the hearts grew harder and tougher to move. A heart that is dead/dieing is like that of one that is giving in to temptation.
The further away you get from the life saving blood of Christ and the less it is fed by the Spirit and by faith, the less it will be exercised properly. It will become choked by the cancer and disease of our own selfishness and fears that satan places in us. Fear, doubt, uncertainty, anger, jealousy, guilt…those are all things that satan places in our minds to keep us from hearing the voice of God and to keep us from placing our complete faith in Him and in his goodness. To stop us from praising the one who has blessed us in so many ways.
Praise takes effort because it forces us to step outside ourselves. It forces us to look at the big picture and to see how busy God has been in our lives. Sometimes it may feel uncomfortable if we’re not used to it and it may even be scary. As if letting go of our wants and simply focusing on the goodness we already have will somehow “allow” God to forget about the things we pray for. As if it is us saying “Thank you for everything you have done! I’m good now,” and God will walk away and leave us to it.
Like a waiter that asks if everything is good….and we always have a mouthful of food when they ask…..we nod appreciatively or make yummy noises and the waiter leaves. Well, yes, it was good and we’re thankful for it, BUT I really wanted an extra handful of napkins because my kids are super messy! Now I’m stuck waiting on the next time for him to chance by the table or I have to live with the sticky fingerprints all over my shirt sleeve and pants.
When we forget to offer up praises we neglect to see the good that God is doing and to acknowledge that He IS good. When we don’t see the good and how we NEED him, we fall prey to temptation and our hearts become hardened. Our prayers begin to be driven by fears, guilt, doubt, uncertainty, etc. that satan places there. And, yes, it’s satan that puts those feelings there because they don’t line up with who God is and who he says he is. So then, our spirit starts to shrivel up and grow dry because we only see what we don’t have. We don’t see the life he is giving us and is trying to make great for us….if we would only seek him and give him the glory.
So, seek to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. Step outside of your comfort zone because His love and goodness for your life is just a step away. Give praise to God and see how he will bless you even further because you have placed that much more faith in him and in his goodness. If it helps, eat some pie while you’re praising him!Tags: faith, God, Goodness, Praise, Prayers, Thankfulness
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