Thursday, July 31, 2014
How quickly, needing God turns to forgetting God
Deut. 8:14 ...When your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt…
IT TAKES humility to consciously adopt God’s perspective instead of your own. Praise is always a response to God’s perspective which hands Him the honour – often as a payment in advance!
God’s perspective is a bit difficult to grasp, sometimes. For a start He does not respect the boundaries of our present timeframe, but considers what will come to pass. And expects us to do the same.
So that means giving Him glory (that sounds like a good expression of praise) for what is future reality to Him, but not yet present reality to us.
“I am the Lord; that is my name!
I will not yield My glory to another
or My praise to idols.
See, the former things have taken place,
and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
I announce them to you.”
I can cope with the attitude: “Just run with what you’ve got…” Everybody who has worked in a newsroom has become used to working with that. The story is lopsided or there are elements lacking, but there’s a deadline coming up. This is where the skill of a news editor comes in to create balance, and weave in factual reinforcement – quickly and clearly.
However, this is “Run with what you DON’T think you have.” That is harder. How do we do it?
This is where the Holy Spirit steps in and reveals the heavenly viewpoint, the future truth, the perspective that is missing to us – if we ask Him. We need to have that active relationship with Him. He is the “God that gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were” (Romans 4:17). He enables us to praise by making a faith connection. Perhaps it would be more accurate to talk of Him setting out a faith connection that we are enabled to make.
This is how it works, in God’s order – but it is challenging. We yearn for a less challenging relationship. When we enter a season of greater prosperity, the need is less and we become self-sufficient and even at times a bit arrogant. This comes out in what we say, and the Holy Spirit is grieved. We have slipped into the hardly trivial sin in which we “forget the Lord your God” – and at the same time we are causing the Holy Spirit to back off from us – a double whammy.
Pride is a killer of praise, and praise is what ‘enthrones’ the presence of God, and praise is dependent on humility and and humility releases us to see what the Holy Spirit shows us. Here we are in a negative spiral, one we have all been trapped in at times.
But we can stop it. There is a re-set button, and it is simple repentance. Ask God: “What would You have me repent of?” Read Psalm 139, especially verses 23-24.
There is a simple practical tip here, and it works every time. Read praise Scripture out loud, as a declaration (the Book of Psalms is a rich resource here) and ask that question. Where do I need to re-align? Yes, to repent?
This is the spiritual re-set that breaks deception, conquers confusion, has the measure of depression and overcomes unbelief and hopelessness. It takes us back to praise, and praise puts the focus firmly back on God, who He is, and ushers in His rule and reign again.