Monday, November 1, 2010

How can I bless the Lord?

I thought blessing was to be done by God upon us.

Barak is the Hebrew word for bless, what God does for man, and is used about 330 times in the Bible. It implies that God is conferring or granting the power of advantage on someone. It is used by a superior bestowing his favor on a lesser. Blessing denotes prosperity in every way, certainly not limited to material substance.

When used by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, the Amplified Bible expands it: “Blessed—happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous [that is, with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions]; [that is, possessing the happiness produced by experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His grace].

I understand the concept when God is the one doing the blessing. But bless is also used by man toward God, as in Psalm 103. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.” How can I bless the blessed who already has everything? Used in this way it is an expression of praise mingled with Thanksgiving, of extolling, celebrating, lauding, reverencing, venerating, honoring, lifting up, magnifying, glorifying, as in Neh. 9:5. In repeated passages in Revelation it is used as the declaration of the angels, the elders, the living creatures as in 7:12, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

This is so exciting! Praise and thanksgiving and worship and blessing are all activities that I can carry over from earth right into the presence of God! I can experience them here, genuinely rehearse them, and I’ll be all practiced up for heaven.

I bless God whenever I come into His presence in prayer. I give Him pleasure each time we meet. I can be sure His face is shining upon me, that He will be gracious to me when I worship Him in spirit and in truth, when I praise Him, when I lift Him up, and glorify Him. This is such a vital part of prayer. If I come into His presence only with a “gimme-gimme” attitude it surely can’t please Him, any more than a demanding child receives favor from a parent whom he regards simply as a bestower of things desired. It is not that I am “buttering up” God so that He’ll give me what I ask. Blessing God, worshiping, praising Him must be the sincere overflow of my heart, loving on Him. Meeting God in prayer is first of all a love tryst. He loves me, I love Him. Plain and simple, that is what prayer is all about.

To assist me with the appropriate words to celebrate God, I went through the book of Revelation and copied verbatim every passage where any occupant of heaven was blessing, praising, worshiping God. What a precious, rich, and authentic Book of Worship I now have whenever I enter into His courts with praise! If I come into His presence in a less than uplifted mood, blessing the Lord is a lifter of my head and heart. God loves it, I know, and inclines His ear, because “He inhabits the praises of His people.”

When I praise and worship God, guess who doesn’t want to be around? The devil, who hates to hear me glorify God. That was his downfall originally—he was the worship leader in heaven, and wanted to deflect the glory away from God to himself. The more I bless God, the more the devil will distance himself!


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