This Is Living Praise

Romans 12:1.2 "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as LIVING SACRIFICE, holy and pleasing to God--THIS IS YOUR SPIRITUAL ACT OF WORSHIP." Do not conform any longer to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."

This verse if full of stuff that will rawk your face off and if you read the whole chapter it will blow you away. It is like a guide for following the perfect way of Christ in one little chapter. I was reading a book by Andrew Murray this summer and he was talking about this particular chapter more specifically the part of "not conforming to the pattern of the world." I was reading it on one of our long bus rides and so I went and talked to each World Warrior, that was awake, and asked their opinion. So here are the opinions of World Warrior's on separation from the world.

-constantly being aware and IN love with God
-reflection of the Lord
-not finding value in worldly things
-keep yourself holy; follow God and do what he tells you
-called for something better in between heaven and earth
-separation and what makes us separate
-not secluding ourselves but turning away
-walking in the spirit
-the mentality that nothing in this world compares to God
-not partaking in worldly things
-remain in God

In addition, I like what Jeremy Kingsley said in his book "Be Last" that I am reading. He said, "Our BEHAVIOR is a direct reflection of the health of our relationship with God." I received an email from one of the World Warrior's the other day and what he wrote was profound and very true. I asked him if he would mind if I posted the email on my blog and said you can post it all day long. So read, be blessed, and apply it.

We may agrue, "Isn't that praise? Songs= Praise, right?" I think they're more like burnt offerings. The good news is that GOD doesnt find fault in our song offerings. There is nothing wrong with them. In fact, they can be beautiful expressions. But often they're nothing more than ritual, and at their worst they can even be provoking to GOD. Well then, what is He looking for? What is this praise He is after? It is praise living. It is GOD leaning in and shouting "I am the center!" and the sum of our lives nodding back in agreement. It is the core of our hearts echoing this statement. He is not begging to be the center- he is the center. He is the source. Our songs might verbalize and echo that at times, but so what? It is the nuts and bolts of our living that indicate if we really think this is truth. I would be so bold as to say eating barbecue and wearing the sauce on your fingers and face with the knowledge of GOD is at the center of this can be truer praise than belting this "song ritual" that we have elevated to dangerous heights. According to psalm 50, even the simplicity of calling out to Him in times of trouble is considered the truer sacrifice. How surprising is that? And how easy? Higher than our ritual is the simple acknowledgement that, in truth, He is what we need. We, like the Israelites, often find rescue in the burnt offering and not in the GOD who is the source of all. We find comfort in the song and not the comforter. It is a subtle but necessary shift. It is more difficult to find the creator in a barbecue sandwich than in your favorite sunday-morning song, but when you do, when you begin to find Him in all the stuff of life, everything starts singing. Every moment breaks into song. Every breath becomes sacrifice, and the songs become sweetness. This is living praise.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:03 PM CST

    Interesting thoughts... and so true.