But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you.
May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, ‘The Lord is great!’
As for me, since I am poor and needy, let the Lord keep me in his thoughts.
You are my helper and my saviour.
O my God, do not delay.
Psalm 40:16-17 (New Living Translation)
These words are a great conclusion to this Psalm, it’s the outpouring of a heart brimming over with happiness in God. He is the one who rescues us from ourselves and from sin, who brings us into glorious relationship with Himself. An overflow of that is that we share this good news – this brilliant, amazing news – with others. When opposition, temptation and trouble come, God again helps us in, and rescues us from, difficulties. No wonder King David pens these words of exuberant worship.
Exuberant worship….. I used to think that raising arms, and allowing any part of my emotions into worship was wrong. I disliked the fact that other people did it and thought of them as inferior Christians. In my heart I think I suspected they were often connecting with God in a way that I wasn’t, and that made me uncomfortable. Maybe I was angry and jealous that they didn’t fit into my sedate, sterile way of worshipping God. It was during autumn 2010 through to the following spring that the Holy Spirit began drawing my attention to the kind of whole body, whole mind, whole heart worship that God wants. As it says in many of the Psalms, to worship God is good. The Psalms command that we should sing, shout, raise arms, dance, play instruments in our worship. This speaks to me of exuberant worship. A New Testament reference to whole-hearted worship is where a prostitute washed Jesus’s feet with her tears, dried them with her hair and then poured perfume on them. All this before a group of religious men at a meal!
I am so grateful for my church, which has showed me how to truly engage with God in Spirit-filled worship. A Sunday meeting where I haven’t met with God or known His presence is wasted time now as far as I am concerned. I’m not talking about emotional hype (which I still despise) but about truly engaging with Jesus through His Spirit. Sometimes there are tears, sometimes there is laughter, sometimes physical ‘side effects’ like shaking or falling over. But these, to me, are simply just an outward demonstration of the fact that the Spirit is on me and I’m meeting with God. Sometimes it’s just a heart bursting with joy at being in His presence. There is power and healing in His presence. Healing covers so much – emotional, physical, mental, spiritual. God makes whole!
Exuberant worship…. What does this mean for me? What does it mean for you? Every part of our lives, every day of our lives, should be an act of worship. I think the more we get to know God and comprehend His love for us, the more our hearts leap in worship. The more we know and enjoy Him, the more satisfied we are with Him, the more we want Him.
In conclusion of this mini series of Psalm 40:
* Be filled with joy and gladness in God (ask the Holy Spirit if you don’t have this or want more because it’s something He is committed to giving you).
* Love His salvation.
* Worship God with extravagance because He is great.
* Remember you are nothing without Him.
* Remember you’re always in His thoughts.
* He is your helper and saviour.
Why not take a moment to thank God and praise Him for an aspect of His character or for something He’s done for you? He loves to be praised, thanked and worshipped. Because He is great!