What if our days were filled with rip-roaring praise to God–praise that just came out of us like the most naturally-expressed excitement in the world? Suppose, for a moment, with me, that we–as recipients of God’s great love–could simply overflow with exaltation of our God. Thanksgiving would be to us something that did not constitute effort, but was the beautiful culmination of all we knew and received from God, our beloved Father.
We wouldn’t try super-hard to be pious and ritualistic in our affirmation of God. We would merely become chronic victims of authentic and unapologetic delight in the One who rules our lives with love. We wouldn’t care what anyone thought of us–we’d expect the same joy from them too! In case you don’t have in your head a handy picture of what this would look like, let me share with you a few sketches God gave me a few weeks ago.
Sketch One: Your best friend steps up to you tomorrow and lets loose: “Bro, I just wanna give my Lord props! Have you seen the good He’s been doin’ in me? I mean–COME ON!–He and His works are off the chain! Com’on dude, you know what I’m talkin’ about!!
You respond: “Boy it sure is a kicker! Who would have thought that we–I mean you and ME!–would be able to know God like dis!! Man, it’s crazy. Sometimes I’m not sure I’m alright–like it can’t be possible that all this good stuff is happinen to me–but if this is insanity, I don’t want to be in my right mind!”
Sketch Two: On Friday morning you get a call from your younger brother. He’s the one who’s always been jealous of what you have and how easy he estimates it was for you to get it. For years you’ve been rather frustrated with this brother, wishing he would–at the very least–stop making excuses for what he lacked in his own life and, perhaps–if there was a real miracle–be able to share in your joy over God’s grace to you.
When you answer your iPhone, you’re startled to hear him shouting. At first you think there’s something wrong, but as you listen, you wind up needing to get off your shaky feet. The words he says wash over you like waves. He is encouraging you about God’s goodness to you:
“…What He’s given you isn’t even street-legal, man!” his full-heart bursts into your eardrum. “I don’t know how you’re able to stand so much good. Do you see what love our Father has for you, bro? I can’t believe how blind I’ve been to seeing what a bucket-load of praise this deserves from us. I feel compelled to worship the Lord with you in honor of all He has done–We can’t hang up this phone without shaking His throne room with the noise of our praises!
Sketch Three: On your commute to work, your Monday takes on a whole new chromatic quality when you start thinking about the work environment you’re about to enter. You almost feel guilty for the benefits you enjoy with such abandon. You don’t have a terrible relationship with your boss and your coworkers seem to value your input on corporate projects.
“God,” your voice fills the car, “why are You so good to me? I could be stuck in a dead-end job installing door-knobs at the county jail, but You have me here. I know it’s not because I’ve been a professional God-pleaser or anything; it’s just that, You are showering pleasure on me! Gosh, how did I not see this sooner? With all that I have in Your love, I’m making lottery-winners look bad!”
Sketch Four: On this one, God decides He wants to do the talking–after all, you’re having so much fun with this, that He wants to join you! God takes your heart on a little journey, where He reintroduces you to some key people in your life. Each of them are individuals that–with their have-it-all state of blessedness–have seemed to serve no other purpose in your life than to incite you to discontent with your personal portion of glory. He says:
“You see these people that you’ve struggled with knowing. But, My child, I have had a larger purpose for their presence in your life. I have wanted you to know that the real blessings that are worth boasting of are the ones that can’t be measured by what you can see on the outside. I could give you the world, but it would do you know good if it hindered your soul from receiving Me.
Therefore, I desire you to understand this one very best pleasure I plan to bestow upon you all your life: The invitation to have your little voice heard by Your Redeemer. I, God, have attended to every one of your cries and, in them, I have blended My own cries. I’ve made you know what it’s like to know and be known by Me. That’s just sick, you know?! Come on now, act like it is! No more grumblin’; let’s get cruisin’ in new depths of fellowship that’s holy-hot!!