"Bless The Lord O My Soul!"
You want God to bless you. But what about you blessing God?
One frequently occurring expression in the Old Testament Psalms is
Bless The Lord. For example, it occurs seven times in Psalm
On a momentous occasion, after the
exiles had returned to Jerusalem, and the wall was complete, the
Levites declared to the gathered worshippers: ďStand up and
bless the Lord your God forever and ever! Blessed be Your
glorious name...Ē (Nehemiah 9:5).
Repentant adulation and praise to God
then followed. You can read this uplifting piece of Scripture in
Nehemiah 9:5-38. It was a declaration of the peopleís intent and
commitment to obey God. They blessed God that day, and He accepted
them for it.
What about you? Is blessing a one way
street? Do you merely want God to bless you, but forget that He has
been waiting for you to bless Him?
A Reminder To You From God
On 8th October, as I was praying in
the morning, God spoke to me. (For those who are not familiar with
the fact that God will communicate through His Spirit if you make a
home for Him within you, please read the MM publication Listening
To God.) What He put in my spirit was a series of exhortations
to pass on to others.
This is the outline of what He said:
Let us be:
Stronger in faith
More diligent in service
More fervent in spirit
More yielded in submission
More single-minded in purpose
More faithful in prayer
More patient in hope
More understanding in love.
Do you realise that you can either
please God or displease Him?
A lot of Christians just donít think
about it. They carry on in their lives, so engrossed in the daily
cares that they donít care about the fact that God cares.
He cares for you! Greatly! (1 Pet
5:7; Jn 3:16.) God has so much love for people, and such a yearning
for them Ė for righteousness, for them to be holy Ė that most people
simply have little concept of it!
Because He cares so much, you can
hurt His feelings. You can grieve Him (Ps 95:10; Eph 4:30; Is
63:9-10). OR you can please Him. Thatís your choice and decision Ė
1) For those who are unaware of this, just read Hebrews 11:6, where
there is a statement about one of the ways you can either displease
Him or please Him. If you want union with God, or if you need
anything from God (and who doesnít?!), faith is the only avenue to
receive. Lack of faith is one way to grieve Him.
If you read The Missing Dimension
in Christian Living you will see there why many grieve Him.
Humility is the foundation for your faith in Him to grow.
So, as the God-given list opposite
reminds us, faith is the starting point for your contact with Him
that will please Him immensely when you act upon it.
Read Faith: Raising Our Level Of
Expectation and Keys To Answered Prayer in Why Pray?
and challenge yourself to press the boundary of your faith. As you
go deeper with Him, He will take you higher.
2) What is your service like? Do you live to love, or do you live
We may not need reminding that love
(true care for others) is the centrepiece of Godís nature, but we
may need reminding of our failure to be that way (Rom 13:8-10; 1 Tim
1:5; 3 Jn 1-6).
3) What about your fervency in spirit?
Paul reminded Timothy to stir up the
gift that God had given him (2 Tim 1:6). Do you live for yourself or
ďfor Him who died for you and rose again?Ē (2 Cor 5:15.) Have you
gone to sleep and let your giftings become of little worth? Have you
left your First Love (Rev 2:4) or drifted into a complacent malaise?
(Rev 3:15.) Do you please, or grieve, Him with your spirit?
4) What about your submission? Is
there any area of your life that you still refuse to submit to Him?
Do you want to hold onto something that He wants you to let go of?
What areas of personal pride or ambition still hold you?
When you are willing to give up
everything, if need be, to love Him, He will hold you.
For I, the Lord your God, will
hold your right hand, saying to you, ĎFear not, I will help youí
What more could you want than that?
5) How single-minded are you?
The lamp of the body is the
eye. If therefore your eye
[outlook] is good [clear
or healthy], your whole body will be full of light. But if
your eye is bad [evil or unhealthy] your whole body will
be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is
darkness, how great is that darkness! (Matt
Jesus used the metaphor of darkness
above to illustrate deception. It is something that you donít see,
of course. You canít see in the dark. Nor can many believers see the
evil in their own hearts that compromises their loyalty to God, nor
the deception that always follows in its wake.
The Church in its broadest context is
riddled with error, misunderstanding, and false concepts because of
this failing of the human heart to want to serve God in purity and
No one can serve two masters;
for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he
will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve
God and mammon (Matt 6:24).
Mammon includes physical things, or
anything in which you put your trust. Too many trust in a substitute
rather than the real thing. They are not single-minded. They care
about themselves more than God.
When the Romanian prophet Dumitru
Duduman was moved to smuggle Bibles into Russia during the dark days
of Communist repression, he didnít know how to do it. Nothing was
working out. His father asked him, ďHave you fasted and asked God to
Dumitru fasted and prayed, and God
answered. An angel came to him and told him what to do, where to go,
and who to meet at the railway. He went as he was shown, and it was
all exactly as the angel said. He was led to the one man whom God
had prepared to make this clandestine operation succeed. From that
day over the next 15 years, Dumitru smuggled 300,000 Bibles into
Others could not do it because they
were not prepared to pay the price. If caught, a Bible smuggler
faced 25 years in a Communist prison (few Christians came out
alive!) and the confiscation of all oneís property. To Dumitru, the
purpose of God meant more to him than his life. So it must be with
6) What about prayer? How much does it mean to you? Does it mean the
difference between life and death? Because thatís what it is!
If you donít pray enough, you will
wither and die. Without prayer you have no lifeline to God.
Whatever God births in His spiritual
plan is birthed with prayer. He raises up intercessors to pray. God
always involves people in what He is doing.
Is He involving you? Thatís up to
you. Most donít want it; they are too self-centred.
My wife is an intercessor. She
intercedes in the spirit. Today, as she was cleaning the house, the
Spirit came upon her with a burden to pray. She gets a very heavy
head, like a headache, when there are battles to be fought in the
heavenlies in which she is caught up. As she concentrates her mind
and links up to the Spirit the battle ensues. She feels demons leave
the people whom she is praying for, and the pressure eases.
God gives various people gifts of
tongues. These are invaluable tools in spiritual warfare. But there
are two ways you can use such spiritual gifts.
One is to use them for yourself only.
The other is to use them for the common good.
I know of people who have tongues,
but who havenít realised yet that God gave them such a gift for
othersí benefit as well as their own.
Many people are weak and need help.
God helps them by giving them tongues as a gift. (It is often the
bottom rung on the ladder of spiritual gifts.) And He also gives
them such a gift so they can learn to be more caring and spiritual Ė
to pray for other people. They should link up to the Spirit by using
the gift, and let the Spirit harness them as intercessors for the
But I know that many donít harness
the gift as they should. They would rather turn the telly on or seek
something else selfishly than spend half an hour or an hour in
intercession in tongues for others. But until they lay down their
lives, the benefit of the gift God has given will not help them as
much as it ought.
Whether you have tongues or not (my
wife and I donít pray in tongues; we have other giftings), pray,
pray, and pray, because there is no other way to be in harmony with
7) ďThe grand essentials to happiness in this life are: something to
do, something to love, and something to hope for.Ē Itís true.
Without hope you have no hope. If you let hope die, you die.
Jesus endured the cross for the hope
that was set before Him (Heb 12:2). Christians will be sifted in the
days ahead by how much they will endure in love and hope (Matt
24:13). Without hope you wonít be able to do it. God gives you that
hope as you trust in Him.
...we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have access by
faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of
the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in
tribulations... (Rom 5:1-3).
With hope, you can persevere, endure,
and even glory in suffering and troubles! You need to hang in there,
never giving up doing right, by hoping in Him!
8) You are called out of this world
to hate the evil but to love the evildoer who turns from wickedness.
...you, beloved, building
yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy
Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the
mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some
have compassion, making a distinction; but others save...
pulling them out of the fire (Jude 20-23).
In all these 8 ways, you can bless
Now to Him who is able to
keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the
presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Saviour,
who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power,
both now and forever. Amen. (Jude 24,25.)
Malcolm B Heap