Monthly Archives: June 2014

Singing with the King (4) – Acts & Attributes

Praise Him for His mighty deeds, praise Him according to His excellent greatness. (Psalm 150:2)


Several years back, I led a chapel at the Intentional Living Center, and we focused on the above verse from Psalm 150. This verse focuses on two things: Praise Him for His mighty deeds—WHAT God does; and Praise Him according to His excellent greatnessWHO God is.

We started with WHAT God does first. It’s relatively easy to recite the works of God, either those you have seen for yourself, or have heard about from others, or have seen in Scripture. And whether you know it or not, we have all been recipients of mighty deeds. As such, we were able to fill up an entire side of whiteboard in a short time.

But when I flipped the whiteboard and asked them to recount WHO He is, it took significantly longer, and we came up with maybe only a third the number of examples.

Why was that? Many of the works of God are tangible; they can be seen, touched, heard, tasted and smelled. His attributes however may not fall within the physical realm, and require a bit more study on our part. The good news is His acts are entirely consistent with His nature; so if you have to start with WHAT He has done in your life—if you look—you will find a divine attribute behind that act.

Mighty deeds – most often, this Hebrew word is translated as power or strength, and what we can learn from its various definitions is, God’s power not only proclaims who He is, but what He has done. And when He empowers us, it reveals who He is, and what He has done—in us:

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

Excellent in excellent greatness is most often translated as abundance, and can also be translated as greatness; so verse two could say: Praise Him according to His great greatness. But the psalmist was seeking to convey a “better” superlative; sort of a super superlative. That makes sense when you’re talking about the Lord. Language tends to fail us when we describe Him. Which only points us back to my introductory post: Be still and know that I am God.

Get caught up in WHAT He has done… This Is My Father’s World by GLAD

Singing with the KIng (3) – Blessed is the Man

Blessed is the man… (Psalm 1:1)

Blessed is the Man

The Hebrew word can also mean happy. It could easily be followed by an exclamation point. There are essentially three ways to receive God’s blessing:

  • The first is that we are blessed because that is in His nature, and is what He has done for us because of our relationship in Him, in Christ.

Blessed are the people of whom this is true; blessed are the people whose God is the LORD. (Psalm 144:13)

Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. (Psalm 32:1-2)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)

  • The second is that we are blessed because we do what is right.

Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. They do nothing wrong; they walk in his ways. (Psalm 119:1-3)

“Now then, my sons, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways. Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD. (Proverbs 8:32-35)

So, the first is our relationship, the second is our righteous actions that accurately reflect that relationship, and the third is our righteous inaction, resisting to do evil: Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.

The great privilege of being blessed by the LORD is blessing Him.

Singing with the King (2) – Be Still 1.1

Cease striving and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10)

sunsetMany times have I looked at this verse, and myriad are the translations in numerous versions of the Bible: be still, cease striving, be silent, and stand silent. All of these are most appropriate and have a lot to do with the worship of the LORD, which is explicit within this verse. A friend of mine even had her own take on the verse: Shut up and know that I am God. But the Hebrew is more than just the cessation of activity (or noise). There are also some pained and exposed translations: helpless, discouraged, feeble, fail, fall limp, let alone.

But even in these translations, we can find insight. Without God, if we do not know God, then we are helpless, discouraged, feeble, failing, limp and alone. Yet even in these vulnerable positions, we are to know God; indeed, because of these vulnerable positions, we are to know God. When we are at our wits end, when we are at the end of our strength, when all the distractions and excuses are exhausted, when we are helpless, then we are to know God.

He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. (Isaiah 40:29-31)

For You have been a defense for the helpless, a defense for the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat. (Isaiah 25:4)

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6)

There is a Gospel song from several years back by Annie Flint that says:

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

Singing with the King (1) – Introduction

The Psalms… Worship, Prayer, Songs. No matter how you explain them, categorize them, or use them, every single one will bring you in to the Presence of the LORD.


Over the next few months you’re going to be introduced to the principle: Living Life in Context. Simply put, to live our lives in God’s Presence, we must stand before Him. When we are before the Lord, we stand in the proper context for our lives. To not be before the Lord (to be out of context) leaves us to our own devices, prejudices, misunderstandings, foolish thinking, sinful nature, bad attitude, and wrong actions. But to be in His presence, to be before Him, reveals Who He is, His attributes, His works, and His will; thereby revealing to us, who we are, what our relationship is, and what our attitude and actions should be. This is Living Life in Context—in His context. So to begin this dance through the Psalms, ironically, Being Still before Him is a great place to start.