Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Week Twenty-Eight - Where Will Singing Take Me?

Beside The Well
          Remember when I shared that my Bible makes me laugh out loud sometimes?  Well, let me pick up a bit from there!  Psalm 59 ends with David singing aloud of God’s mercies in the morning.  As I read on in Psalms, I came to many chapters that were wholly given to praise, especially chapters 95-100.  But when I got to Psalm 101, I began to see the effect of singing and praise.  Have a look at this:
            Psalm 101:1 – I will sing…I will sing.  The psalmist knows there is power in song.
            Psalm 101:2 – I will behave myself wisely and direct my house aright.
            Psalm 101:3 – I will not look at evil things and have no friendship with evil people.
            Psalm 101:4 – I will tolerate no pigheadedness in my companions or myself. (The Bible                                                               uses the word forwardness, but being pigheaded creates an unforgettable image!).
            Psalm 101:5 – I will not gossip, be proud, or boastful.
            Psalm 101:6 – I will seek good companions and healthy relationships.
            Psalm 101:7 – I will not make friends of deceivers or liars.
            Psalm 101:8 – I will cut off all wicked influences from my life.
            As a young Christian, I noticed “I will behave myself wisely…I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes” (Psalm 101:2,3). Placing these alongside 1 Thessalonians 5:22 (abstain from all appearance of evil), I determined to make a wholesome home my goal.  No questionable magazines, radio stations, music or TV shows were allowed.  Matter of fact, we went a few years with no TV at all.
            Instead, we listened to Christian music, played together, and enjoyed friends and church activities.  We had more time to visit family, help on the farm, go camping, and enjoy life. 
            Today, some 30+ years later, I can see the real benefits of my choice and how by that one decision, the whole of my life has been affected.  My life has a gentle calmness. My marriage is secure. My children knew a loving, supportive family environment. My home was and is a peaceful haven, and God’s hand is upon my life. I can see that my companions are good people, and I have learned to discern character, including my own.
            As I looked at this list in Psalm 101, I began to think of it as a beautiful thing coming from David—a man after God’s own heart, but it only took a moment to start remembering David’s failings.  Why would God record this?  Why? When He knows that we, like David, will also fail?
            Then, I thought.  Praise and singing lift our spirits; taking us from the drudgery and yuckiness of this world, and places our hearts in the heavenlies.  From there, we see a glimpse of the beauty of holiness, and for a moment, our sights are set above this world, and our hearts taste a sample of heaven creating spiritual reflection and spawning a deeper commitment to God. No doubt, this is what David experienced.  He, like us, are given a measure of determination to do better, to be better, as we praise God through song.
            We are faced with the challenge that some things must change.  Maybe it is our companions, possibly our activities, but wherever the Spirit brings conviction, for that moment we are committed to deeper sanctification—to clean up our lives just a little more, or maybe, to take a stronger stand against anything that would hinder our relationship with a holy God.
            I challenge you to sing or listen to songs of praise, and then read this short chapter with an open heart allowing the Spirit of God to call your attention to any changes you need to make.  Steps closer to His holiness are always the right direction.
Gail Gritts
Beside the Well

1 comment:

  1. Hello sister Gail. I am a Pastor from Mumbai, India. I am glad to stop by your profile on the blogger and the blog post. Thank you for throwing light on Psalm 101. A psalm that leads us to commit ourselves to lead a holy life. Thank you even for your challenge to listen to the psalms of praise before reading psalm 101. I am blessed and feel privileged and honoured to get connected with you as well as know you and about your interest in leading a Godly life and encouraging others to live a Godly life. I love getting connected with the people of God around the globe to be encouraged, strengthened and praying for one another. I have been in the Pastoral ministry for last 40 yrs in this great city of Mumbai a city with great contrast where richest of rich live. We reach out to the poorest of poor with the love of Christ to bring healing to the brokenhearted. We also encourage young and the adults from the west to come to Mumbai to work with us during their vacation time. We would love to have your young children come to Mumbai with their friends to work with us during their vacation time. I am sure they will have a life changing experience. Looking forward to hear from you very soon. God's richest blessings on you, your family and friends. Also wishing you a blessed and a Christ centred rest of the year 2018. My email id is: dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is Diwakar Wankhede