Sunday, November 20, 2011
As many who follow this blog know, on Sundays posts pause from regular devotions and prophetic words to purely lift up the Lord and worship Him using His Word, lyrics from worship music and prayer. To help us along, usually there are introductory remarks about worship.
On Friday, the Marine son of a friend and her dear family who was deployed to Afghanistan was killed in action. Two weeks ago, I already had written, and scheduled publication of the Ascending In Worship post for today. I could not let it publish in light of this news and have moved it to another Sunday.
Today, I could not simply cheerfully praise the Lord – which could come across as uncompassionate, ignorant, and even flippant. There is pain in this world. There are times when worshipping God does not come easy because the hard things in life overwhelm us and threaten to overtake us. Certainly God calls us to worship Him still because He knows who He is, what He plans and how He will use all things for eventual good. But in the moment, with only what we can see, the worship comes hard. There are times where in the moment God’s hand – though we trust He was and is there (because it is what He promises) – is not immediately evident. At these times our choice to attempt to worship in spite of pain is a sacrifice of praise. And our words change. Certainly we still adore Him, but we adore Him as we wait for Him to wipe our tears away. In honor of LCpl Joshua Corral and out of respect for his family, today Ascending In Worship is dedicated to those who grieve, mourn and are suffering.
We do not need to attempt to hide our sorrow and pain from Him when we come before Him in such circumstances. He knows our innermost thoughts. He created us to “feel” as we do. He Himself is well-acquainted with sorrow. He gave His Son. He watched Him die so that those who loved Him and those who hated Him would both have the opportunity to accept life eternal through Him. We do not have to (nor should we) pretend everything is all right, when it is not.
So today this post is dedicated to lifting up a sacrifice of praise on behalf of all who may be hurting. If today, all is well with you and yours, give praise and mighty thanks to God and print this off or “bookmark” it for when you may need it.
We will all face sorrows and hard times. This is earth, not heaven.
Lord, help us come alongside those who hurt in the way they need most…In Jesus’ name, Amen
Now let us praise Him in a way we can when we hurt bitterly, deeply and when things are not how we wanted and they do not make sense. ~ Elizabeth
PSALM (42:1-8 Amplified)
1AS THE hart pants and longs for the water brooks, so I pant and long for You, O God.
2My inner self thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?
3My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, Where is your God?
4These things I [earnestly] remember and pour myself out within me: how I went slowly before the throng and led them in procession to the house of God [like a bandmaster before his band, timing the steps to the sound of music and the chant of song], with the voice of shouting and praise, a throng keeping festival.
5Why are you cast down, O my inner self? And why should you moan over me and be disquieted within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, my Help and my God.
6O my God, my life is cast down upon me [and I find the burden more than I can bear]; therefore will I [earnestly] remember You from the land of the Jordan [River] and the [summits of Mount] Hermon, from the little mountain Mizar.
7[Roaring] deep calls to [roaring] deep at the thunder of Your waterspouts; all Your breakers and Your rolling waves have gone over me.
8Yet the Lord will command His loving-kindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me, a prayer to the God of my life.
THE ANSWER WAS NO ~song & lyrics by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2007 from the WALK ON WATER worship CD
1) I have prayed till my knees are aching; I have prayed for what I thought best.
Persevering and travailing; giving Your throne no rest.
Now I have Your answer. Father God, it’s not what I sought.
Yet I know You are sovereign; You must know something I do not.
The answer was no, still I worship.
The answer was no, lift my hands to You.
The answer was now yet, I still trust in You.
I cry and praise You anyway.
Give me strength, Lord, for I trust in You.
2) I will trust without understanding; I will trust for You are God
Oh, it hurts so I lean on You, Lord; and Your promise to restore
For now I have Your answer. Father God, it’s not what I sought.
Yet I know You are sovereign; You know something I do not.
WORSHIP PRAYER ~ when we address God, focusing on Him and adoring Him, our prayers and proclamations become declarations of worship which honor our King. According to His promises, He responds to our authentic worship with release of His sovereign power into our circumstances in the way He deems best.
Lord, You are the only God. There is no other God, but You. All things are in Your hands and in You all things live, move and have their being. You are LIFE. There is no life besides in You and through You. You have the plan for each of us to eternity. You ordain the times of birth and the times of death for each one of us. All of our days are numbered in Your book before they began. You created us to love for You are love. You created us to love children and family because we are Your children and together we are family. It is Your Way. Lord God, we do not understand and yet we bow. We do not understand and yet we choose to praise You. We do not understand and yet we consciously choose to say once again You are God and pledge allegiance to you from this place of hurt, confusion and questioning. Lord, send Your angels of comfort. Lord, wrap those who hurt in Your arms of love in a way they can feel. Re-engrave Your promises on the hearts of those for whom these promises momentarily seem de-void of meaning. Send other people to come alongside those who are hurting in exactly Your way to be Your arms and words of love. Holy Spirit come powerfully and lift those who are hurting up and help them walk hour by hour into the new day. Remind them of Your promises that they might never lose grasp of Your hope. Help them to choose to trust You. Help them to rest in You. Lord, it is not easy. But You are the only answer. We cannot make it through this without You. Speak to us; we are listening. In Jesus’ name, Amen
Note to ASCENDING IN WORSHIP on Sundays: I have always loved music and worship music, but have not always understood worship. For many years it was just a word used to describe church service or a type of music. But that changed radically in Feb. 2004 when friends prayed over me to start hearing (thus composing) new songs from heaven. (Since their prayers I have composed over 350 worship songs and recorded more than 60.) Then in Feb. 2005 the Lord gave me a vision which implied worship changes things. I needed to understand what the vision meant. I needed to understand His way. After months spent in Scripture studying everything I could find about worship, it became clear that indeed God promises to respond to our worship with a release of His power, which changes things. Thus worship is not a song, service, drum beat or lifting of hands (though all of these things with a worshipful mindset can be worship). Worship is an attitude of heart which adores God in the majesty and sovereignty of who He is in our lives at all times. Worship is the ultimate expression of our trust in Him, because we choose to spend precious time contemplating the awesome wonder of all He is, without the need to ask Him for anything. It expresses to God we can abandon ourselves to worship Him because we trust He already has everything else handled – that which we can see and which we can’t.
Worship is not a Sunday activity, but a lifestyle. However, Sunday is the traditional day within most Christian circles to take a pause from our work which helps refresh us and honors God as our ultimate provider and protector from whom all good things come. Worship honors Him and strengthens us in Him.
On Sundays, to facilitate this “pause” before God, NUGGETS OF GOD’S WISDOM features Scripture and song lyrics to assist in laying down everything that burdens us and constrains the mind, to enter into blissful, restorative worship of the only One who can which writes His promises on our hearts.
To God be the glory forever and ever!
Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist. She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way.
For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.