Let memory heap fuel on the altar of praise.

Let memory heap fuel on the altar of praise.

let-memory-heap-fuel-on-the-altar-of-praiseWe are at the beginning of a new year, 2017, and at the beginning of a new sermon series: “Praise and Worship!” In my spirit I sense we will be on this topic for a while as we usher in 2017 on the best foundation we could ever lay down! The Bible is really one complete inspired Word of God to show us how to worship. God created us for communion. He created us to worship Him.

The book of Psalm has many verses referring to praise and worship. I love the heart of the writers in this book. They speak out how they are feeling; good or bad, and allow you to see their human side. Then they pour out their praise to God for Who He is.

Psalm 9:1 – 20 NLT

Psalm 9:1 – 2 NLT

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;
    I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.
I will be filled with joy because of you.
    I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.

 

“I will praise…” This phrase is stating what someone will do. It is a declaration

The word Praise is translated: H3034

ידה

yâdâh

yaw-daw’

literally to use (that is, hold out) the hand; physically to throw (a stone, an arrow) at or away; especially to revere or worship (with extended hands); – cast (out), (make) confess (-ion), praise, shoot, (give) thank (-ful, -s, -sgiving). Strongs Hebrew and Greek Lexicon

It is a hand extended out to revere or worship God. When someone extends a hand, like a hand shake, they are saying: “I accept you.” “I make a covenant with you” (shaking hands in agreement). One may say that the hand is an extension of the heart. Praise should come naturally to a believer.

“I will praise You, Lord, with all my heart…” The heart joins in with the praising, it can’t help it. “With all my heart…” expresses the psalmist’s deep devotion and commitment. This is what is called in the New Testament “making melody in the heart,” or “singing with grace in the heart.”

Eph. 5:19 NLT

Singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.

It is not mere mental singing, but vocal singing, the heart joining in; for the word here used for praise is to confess, to speak out, to declare openly the praises of God in the public congregation, as David elsewhere determines to do.

Psa 111:1 NLT

Praise the Lord!

I will thank the Lord with all my heart

as I meet with his godly people.

Our whole heart should be engaged in every part of divine service and worship, whether in preaching or in hearing, or in prayer, or in singing of praise. Sometimes our hearts are far from God in worship and divided between God and what is going on in this world. That is why we need to pray the prayer of the Psalmist in

Psalm 86:11 NLT

Teach me your ways, O Lord,

that I may live according to your truth!

Grant me purity of heart,

so that I may honor you.

Lord teach us to praise and worship You with all of our heart, not just lip service, or quickly spoken and then forgotten.

There is a new song by Kalley Heiligenthal that speaks of God’s praise to be ever on our lips:

Ever Be

(Kalley Heiligenthal)

Your love is devoted like a ring of solid gold

Like a vow that is tested like a covenant of old

Your love is enduring through the winter rain

And beyond the horizon with mercy for today

Faithful you have been

faithful you will be

you pledge yourself to me and its why I sing

Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

You Father the orphan

Your kindness makes us whole

And you shoulder our weakness

 and your strength becomes our own

Now you’re making me like you

Clothing me in white

Bringing beauty from ashes

For You will have Your bride

free of all her guilt and rid of all her shame

and known by her true name and that’s why I sing

Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

You will be praised You will be praised

With angels and saints we sing worthy are You Lord

You will be praised You will be praised

With angels and saints we sing worthy are You Lord

And that’s why I sing

Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

You will be praised You will be praised

With angels and saints we sing worthy are You Lord

You will be praised You will be praised

With angels and saints we sing worthy are You Lord

We should always be ready to praise the Lord with our lips with thankful hearts for Who God is! He will be praised even if you don’t praise Him. He can command the rocks to cry out His glory. No way is a rock going to take my job of praising God for ever and ever.

“I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.” “I will tell…” This is stating that all the stories of all that God has done from generation to generation will be spoken from the praiser’s lips. If they are not remembered, a generation might easily depart from the Lord. We have to tell. We have to declare the good works of the Lord.

Having trouble getting your praise on? Remind yourself who God is and what He has done in your life. Remind yourself of His promises in His Word! Let memory heap fuel on the altar of praise. Once you get the fire lit, it is easy to keep it going by thanking God of all the marvelous things he has done in your life.

“I will be filled with joy because of You…” King James version states; “I will be glad and rejoice in thee..” Gladness and rejoicing is joy manifested!

Glad is translated: “brighten up, gleesome, chirp, joy, make merriment. The word rejoice means: “ to jump for joy, that is, exult: – be joyful, rejoice, triumph.”

Whoot Whoot! We are to be filled with God’s joy because of all the marvelous things God has done for us. We are to allow Joy to be manifested in us to the point of jumping up and down and rejoicing in praise to His mighty works!!!

“I will sing praises to Your name, O Most High.” The psalmist often connects joy with praises, as one leads to the other!

The word praises is translated differently here then it was in the previous verse. Praises in the Hebrew is:

“H2167

זמר

zâmar

zaw-mar’

A primitive root (perhaps identical with H2168 through the idea of striking with the fingers); properly to touch the strings or parts of a musical instrument, that is, play upon it; to make music, accompanied by the voice; hence to celebrate in song and music: – give praise, sing forth praises, psalms.

It shows it is more then a thought or a suggestion. It is stating I will sing, I will play my instrument, I will use my voice in praise to declare God’s name and lift Him to the highest of heights, to the glory of his name, his being, and perfections, as displayed in his marvelous works, and in the revelation of his word, and especially in His Son; and under the character of the “most high” God, the supreme Being over all creatures, angels and men.

Psa 7:17 NLT

I will thank the LORD because He is just; I will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.

I love “I will” statements from the Bible. It shows stability. Again, it is a declaration stating I will do this no matter what comes my way! Saying or singing these statement out loud does something in your spirit. It becomes a solid foundation that you can rely on when trouble comes.

No matter what… I will sing praise to the name of the LORD!!!

Are you holding back any part of your heart from God? God wants to pour His Spirit into ALL of your heart, not a portion.

I pray you enter into God’s presence as you praise Him daily.

 

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com

www.KrisBelfils.WordPress.com

www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com 

 

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Responsibility of the Worshiper

Responsibility of the Worshiper2Most Christians attend church not with an attitude of contributing but with the purpose of getting as much out of the service as they possibly can. In keeping with that mindset, pastors and worship leaders are expected to see that all the components of the service flow together cohesively and meaningfully. “That’s the pastor’s job!” If something goes wrong, the pastor or worship leader gets the blame, and both are likely to hear about it. The weight of the responsibility for the service is thus seen to fall on the shoulders of those on the platform, and the individual in the congregation is relatively free from feeling any responsibility for the service. But if we truly believe that all Christians are active members of the New Testament priesthood – that all of us are ministers before and unto the Lord – then we must begin to accept the proper responsibility for our role as ministers in the congregation.

Responsibility of the Individual Worshiper

1. Minister unto the Lord.

The first and foremost responsibility of every worshipper is to minister unto the Lord.

Psalm 150:1 (KJV)

“Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.”

“Praise ye the LORD…” the responsibility to praise and worship does not rest on the pastor or the worship leader; it is your responsibility, it is my responsibility (as an individual), the responsibility of each person to offer up an individual “sacrifice of praise” to the Lord. Far too often we come to church and see what we can get. It is time we come to church to see what we can give. We should be eager and excited to minister back to the Lord in worship. This is our action; to love on the Lord. Tell Him how good He is. Thank Him for who He is and what He has done in your life. Tell Him of His greatness.

2. Prepare ourselves for worship.

Staying up late Saturday night and watching a “horror flick” is not a good way to prepare for Sunday worship. Try to get to bed at a decent hour if possible on Saturday night’s.  On Sunday mornings spend some time thinking about God and possibly in prayer before you come to church on Sunday mornings (even if it is in the shower). We want to come with hearts already in tune to the Spirit of God.

Sometimes I feel like I am your cheerleader encouraging you to enter into praise and worship. It shouldn’t take the second or third song during worship before you enter in. You should be ready to enter in to worship even before you come to church, so when it is time to corporately enter in to praise and worship you are hungry for it.

One excellent way to prepare for worship is to deal with any known sin in your life before you get to service. If, at the outset of the service we are trying to come into right relationship with God, we can lose precious moments that could have been spent in vibrant praise and worship. Or if we try to sweep that sin under the carpet, and not deal with it, we will not find a full release in worship.

Do you wonder why you struggle in praise and worship? Do you feel like God is far away?  Maybe you need to check your heart and see if there is any thing like attitudes, or issues that prevent you from entering into God’s presence. Again… this is YOUR responsibility as a worshiper.

3. Invest ourselves in prayer for the service ahead of time.

Dr. Judson Cornwall has said that prayer is to the believer as communication is to a marriage – absolutely vital. He defines prayer as communication with God and suggests that the prayerless saint will never be a worshiper.

Jesus gave us a principle that applies here:

Matthew 6:21

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

If we invest ourselves diligently in prayer for the worship service, we will be amazed at our level of concern for and participation in the service. If we spend quality time praying for the service, we will be eager to see a return on that investment and will be ready to become involved to help make it a glorious time.

4. Frequent the place of worship.

Hebrews 10:25 (CEV)

“Some people have gotten out of the habit of meeting for worship, but we must not do that. We should keep on encouraging each other, especially since you know that the day of the Lord’s coming is getting closer.”

We live in a self-confident society. People make excuses for not coming to church and think they are okay. I have even heard people say, “I am not backsliding” when it comes to not coming. Listen, develop a love for God’s house and His people. I can’t wait to get to church and be a part of the service. I enjoy seeing you all and fellowshipping with you. I come excited to see what God is going to do in all of our lives.

People can get out of the habit of coming to church. We need to get in the habit of coming. Great things happen in the house of God.

We all need the strength and encouragement we receive by fellowshipping with other in the body of Christ. Individually we are only small members in the body; by ourselves, cut off from that body, we will die spiritually.

An arm can’t decide, “Well, I don’t need to go be a part of the body today, I think I will go and do something else. No, that would never happen, yet that is exactly what happens with us. We decide we were at church last week and don’t need to come two weeks in a row so we stay home and watch T.V. or something else. Soon, we miss another Sunday, and then another Sunday until we are not going to church all together. Don’t let this be you. Guard against this. This is exactly what the devil wants to happen with you. Be aware of this and set your mind ahead of time to go to church. I can’t imagine missing a service. In fact, it pains me when I am gone. Let’s develop a love for God’s house, which is God’s people, that won’t be shaken.

We must come into God’s presence by offering up a sacrifice of praise, and we should be prepared to reach out in ministry to other brothers and sisters as the Holy Spirit would divinely direct us.

5. Be self-motivated in our praise and worship.

A worshiper worships at every given opportunity and does not demand some horizontal stimulus from the pastor or worship leader before entering into praise. (Smile) Be ready to worship. Have a hunger for God. Show you love the Lord by volunteering to enter in to worship. Your level of worship and how you enter in reflects your walk with God did you know that. If your walk is shallow and indifferent, so will your worship be.

Psalm 145:1 – 3 Amp

“I will extol You, my God, O King and I will bless Your name forever and ever [with grateful, affectionate praise]. Every day [with its new reasons] will I bless You [affectionately and gratefully praise You]. yes, I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord and highly to be praised; and His greatness is [so vast and deep as to be] unsearchable.”

David wrote this and he was a worshipper. He knew how to encourage himself in the Lord and we can do the same thing. Allow worship to become a part of your everyday life.

6. Enter readily and wholeheartedly into the praises of God.

Far too many of us are “slow starters” on Sunday morning.

We are like a cold engine on a wintry morning, and I feel like the driver of an old classic car trying to get the thing started by cranking up the engine. Crank it up – a few sputters – then nothing. Crank it again – sputter, cough, sputter, – it dies. Crank it one more time – and finally something seems to “take” and the engine starts.

New sports cars are sometimes rated according to how quickly they accelerate: “zero to fifty in 8.6 seconds.” I wonder how our services might be rated on a similar scale: “zero to fifty in twenty-five to thirty minutes.”

We are to do more than just sing songs. The Psalms exhort us to “sing praise unto God.” Just because we are singing songs, doesn’t mean we are singing praise or truly worshiping. It is possible for us to sing without having our hearts in it at all. Our responsibility is to get our hearts engaged. When you really want to see someone you will make every effort to make it happen. How hungry for God are you? How passionate for Your Savior, the Lover of your soul are you? Don’t allow praise and worship to just be lip service.

When we first come before the Lord, that is not the time to spew out all our problems and cares upon Him. What a terrible way for God to have to start the service! When we first come in, we are to put aside those concerns, block out all the emotional upheavals of the week, put on a garment of praise, put a smile on our faces, and lift up our hearts in thanksgiving and praise to God!

7. Worshiping despite distractions.

How easy it is to blame others for our lack of praise!

-“The worship leader just isn’t flowing with the Spirit of God today!”

-“What’s the pastor doing – she doesn’t look like she’s enjoying the worship service at all.”

-“My, that was a sour note on the piano!”

-“The drums are too loud!”

-“The drums are too quiet!”

-“Why do we always sing the chorus over and over again?”

-“The guitar is too loud!”

-“They never sing the songs I like!”

-“They don’t sing hymns.”

-“I am not a “music person” so I don’t worship.”

-“The people around me are not worshipping so why should I?”

-“This worship leader obviously doesn’t know what she is doing!”

There are “a thousand and one” reasons why we do not praise God. But the responsibility to praise must inevitably return upon us. God never told us to praise “if you like the style of the worship leader” or “when a song you really like comes along.” What does Scripture say?

Psalms 34:1

“I will bless the LORD at all times!” 

Even when the worship leader is off key, the pianist does not know the song, and the drummer is too harsh. This comes as an injunction to all of us as worshipers: we must not allow ourselves the luxury of becoming distracted by the sincere but faltering efforts of the musicians or leader. We may be very accurate in our analysis of their deficiencies, but we will rob ourselves of the privilege of blessing the Lord.

Other distraction might be, “Oh, I have to go to the bathroom” and it has been your seventh trip already since you came to church. May be you are allowing your mind to wonder and don’t focus it back on God. Maybe you go and get a cup of coffee? Or, even worse, you are on your smartphone on Facebook or playing a game on your phone instead of putting it away and focusing on God?

8. Be worshipers all week long.

A true worshiper does not enjoy worshiping only on Sunday in the congregation; their life is a continual praise and worship unto God 24/7. Once we have learned that life of worship throughout the week, it is easy to come together in the congregation and praise Him.

When worshipers assemble, the praise ascends immediately. If the level of praise in our congregation is poor, we can be sure the problem is that the people have not learned to live a life of praise throughout the week. We have been called to more than “just visiting” the house of the Lord.

It is easy to confuse worshiping with being a worshiper. Just because someone worships, it does not necessarily follow that he or she is a worshiper. Virtually anyone can worship as the occasion might demand, but relatively few seem to manifest the life-style of a worshiper. When God asks us to be worshipers every day, He is not asking us to do nothing but sing songs all week. He knows we must do other things besides vocalize our worship. But God does ask us to live a life consistent with that of a worshiper seven days a week. Once we adopt that life-style, we will find a song of praise frequently welling up from within. We will begin to realize that everything we do truly constitutes an act of worship unto the Lord, for our daily activities are but an expression of our dedication to God.

Someone has said, “Don’t ‘lip’ it unless you live it.” We all fall short of God’s ideal from time to time. We do not wait to praise God until we are living a perfect Christian life, or else none of us would ever praise. But as we confess the Lord with our mouth, our life slowly comes into line with that confession.

“Your walk talks, and your talk walks, 

but your walk talks further than your talk walks.”

Worship God through your love for Him. Worship God because He sent His Son to set your free to worship! He rescued you. You are a new creation. You are brand new. Your old life has passed away and behold all things are new. Fresh and new. You still have the price tag on you! Make God your everything and you will find you can’t help but worship Him.

May intimacy of our worship break chains in our life! May it open the heavens and we experience God’s kingdom on earth. May we break forth into joy the sets others free. May we see beyond ourselves and minister back to our Creator. We are filled with God’s presence when we worship. We are free!

From one worshiper to another,

 

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com

www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com

www.KrisBelfils.WordPress.com

Some of the material provided in this article is from: Exploring Worship: A Practical Guide to Praise & Worship, By Bob Sorge

5 Stages of Intimacy in Worship

Christianity is a relationship with God. It is not religion or tradition. It is all about a growing, loving, intimate relationship with our Creator.

I want to give you tools to worship the Lord in a loving relationship that is so intimate and rewarding it will change your life.

Why is it that some Worship services, when we sing the songs during worship, it seems dry and meaningless, while other times the level of God’s presence is so high you never want to leave?

There are, I’m sure, many factors why that happens, but the bottom line is, I believe, the depth of our worship only goes as far as the depth of our love for God.

Why do we worship God? What has God done that makes you want to worship Him? Who is God that we should worship Him?

What happens when we are alone with the Lord determines how intimate and deep the worship will be when we come together as the body of Christ.

Worship blesses God; it is not just a preparation for the sermon. Worship is the act of freely giving our love to God. Worship is action! What if God approached you the way you approached Him in worship? Would you like it?

Some people sit down the entire time of worship when the Worship Leader has asked them to stand. They think they are too tired or it doesn’t matter if they sit or stand. It is true it doesn’t matter if you sit or stand to be able to worship God, but what does matter is our engagement in worship. Sitting often disconnects you from worship and allows you to zone out. I am not referring to those who may have a disability or an illness that prevents them to stand too long for a given amount of time. What I am talking about are those who decide to just sit and “check out” of the service until the sermon is preached. Singing or music might not be your “thing,” BUT, worshipping your Creator SHOULD be “your thing.”Our body language tells a lot about our relationship with Christ. If we decide to not participate in worship it screams that we are not interested in God. Remember the worship part of a service is our action, our part to give back to God. It is the way we should approach a Holy God, who has given us so much? How would you feel if God approached you and your needs the same way. What if He decided to “sit down” on the job of being God and was disinterested in communing with you? What if He decided to ignore listening to you and your prayer needs? Yet, this is what we do to Almighty God if we constantly zone out of worshipping Him during the worship part of any service.

How about being distracted constantly during the worship part of the service? Looking at your phone, or rummaging through your purse or pockets while people are focusing on God and singing His praises is a slap in God’s face. Again, what if God approached you that way? You see it is not about the songs, the Worship Leader or team, the volume, or even our desires, it is about God and giving Him what He deserves. He deserves our undivided attention. He deserves our entire focus and praise. Far too often people treat worship as a hassle or an obligation. This is not true, and so far from what it really is. Worship is our engagement, our heart and mind focused on the King of kings. We have lost the fear of the Lord if we treat worship with disrespect. It would be like the priests in the Bible to come with “profane” or “strange fire.” Fire that was not birthed from the Holy Fire, fire that was not commanded by God to give.

When I took on the role of “Worship Leader” many years ago, I read some verses in Leviticus that impacted me and changed my life forever.

Leviticus 10:1 – 3 (NKJV)

“Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. [] So fire went out from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD spoke, saying: ‘By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; and before all the people I must be glorified.”

This shook me to my very core and sobered me to see the importance of offering my praise and worship with a pure heart and to always remember corporate worship is a holy event and to never treat it in any other way.

Worshipping God really shows you are hungering and thirsting after Him. True worshippers hunger for God. When a corporate worship service is open to them, they run at the opportunity to get their hunger satisfied. No need to “wind them up” to worship God, they enter in immediately. This shows good spiritual health.

Concerning worship C.S. Lewis states: “Inner health made audible.” 

You need to know that…

When you are feeling week…. You worship

When you are feeling vulnerable… You worship

When your time of solitude, or your creativity hits a dark moment… You worship

When you’re feeling tempted… start to worship

When you’re feeling angry… start to worship

When you’re feeling disappointed… start to worship

When you want to express your love to God… you automatically worship

There are some key stages to obtain intimacy in our worship. These are just a few I have realized.

5 stages of Intimacy in worship

  1. Remembering what God has done (He is faithful).

What has God done that makes you want to worship Him? Let’s take a look:

a. Because  God has redeemed us! Redemption/Freedom!

Psalm 111:9

“He has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever: Holy and awesome is His name.”

Nehemiah 1:9 & 10

“But you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name. Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand.”

In this verse in Nehemiah the word “redeemed” is translated:

Redeemed, padah: “To release, preserve, rescue, deliver, liberate, cut loose, sever; to free; to ransom. This verb describes God’s desire to free us!

Another meaning for the word “redeemed” is:

Redeemed, ga’al: “Ransom, redeem, repurchase; to set free by avenging or repaying. Ga’al refers to the custom of buying back something a person has lost through helplessness, poverty, or violence.

You can find the Hebrew meaning of ga’al in these verses:

Isaiah 52:9

“Break forth into joy, sing together, You waste places of Jerusalem! For the LORD has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem.”

Jesus saved us from what we deserve… Hell! He has rescued us from sin and from ourselves.

Psalm 72:14

“He will redeem their life from oppression and violence; and precious shall be their blood in His sight.”

Jesus saved us from what we deserve… HELL. He has rescued us from sin and from ourselves.

I self-destruct without pursuing God in my life. When I choose my own way, I often make bad choices in the flesh. When I lean on, and trust in the Lord, I will never be disappointed because God is faithful to help me through anything.

Redemption alone is a wonderful reason to worship God. I am free from Hell. He has set me free from sin and death!

b. Because God has loving kindness and mercy that endures forever.

1Ch 16:34

“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever.”

Psa 106:1

“Hallelujah! Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever.”

How long is FOREVER? Forever: Without ever ending, an endless period of time, for everlasting time, without interruption

Psa 117:2

“For great is His faithful love to us; the LORD’s faithfulness endures forever. Hallelujah!”

Psa 118:1

“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever.”

Psa 118:2

“Let Israel say, “His faithful love endures forever.”

Psa 118:3

“Let the house of Aaron say, “His faithful love endures forever.”

Psa 118:4

“Let those who fear the LORD say, “His faithful love endures forever.”

I think you get the point. There are many more scriptures that talk about God’s love, or righteousness, or mercy enduring forever.

God shows His loving kindness to us when He forgives us of what we have done. He allows us to go through hardships to make us stronger. This is His loving-kindness. He spares us from death and hell. This is His loving-kindness. He makes us to lye down in green pastures. This is His loving-kindness.

Psalm 23:2

“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.”

This gives us reason to worship Him for always showing us His loving-kindness and mercy.

c. Because God is always with me!

Heb 13:5

“Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you.”

God promises to never, ever leave us. He is always there wherever we go. He is your Best Friend. You can talk to Him anytime. There is never a moment that God is not with you.

Joshua 1:5

“No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.”

Forsake: To quite or leave entirely, abandon, desert, to give up or renounce, to give up (formally held dear), to leave someone who counts on you, to leave in a lurch.

Joshua 1:9

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

We never have to worry if God is with us. He is always there. That is a promise. That is a reason to worship Him passionately!

d. Because God longs to have communion with me.

He longs — not just desires or wants, but longs — to be intimate with us. God desires to be personally known by us, just as a young man desires to know and be known by the woman he loves.

“. . .As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.” — Isaiah 62:5

The word marriage implies intimacy, and intimacy implies vulnerability. If a marriage does not involve these two profoundly personal and often frightening sentiments, it is only an indifferent contract between two people who know each other’s name and can recognize the other’s face — nothing more. It produces nothing of worth; it is just barely beyond the acquaintance level.

A true marriage is a union of one spirit with another. It is a deeply intimate binding of two souls, where more than just thoughts and secrets are shared. God wants to have relationship with His creation. He yearns to have a true marriage with us. God invites us beyond anything we could hope for or imagine: He invites us to truly know Him.

e. Because God hears, listens, and answers my cry.

Psalm 72:12 – 13

“For He will deliver the needy when he cries, The poor also, and him who has no helper. He will spare the poor and needy, and will save the souls of the needy.”

2.  Draw close and place your trust in Him.

As we draw close to Him, He never rejects us!

When a couple is strongly married, they can draw close to each other knowing the other will not pull away or reject them. This brings security.

The closer we get to Jesus, the more we realize we can trust Him. Intimacy brings security. We are safe and secure from all harm.

We can trust God that He has the best intentions for us.

We can trust Him because His word never lies.

3.  Reveal your heart’s cry and desire.

When I am up close next to Jesus, I can share the most precious things in my heart. He wants to hear our desires (He already knows). He wants to share in our joys and our sorrows. He comes to our cry.

It is hard to share an intimate moment with someone when they keep their distance. ~ Pastor Kris

2Sa 22:7

“I called to the LORD in my distress; I called to my God. From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry for help reached His ears.”

Psa 3:4

“I cry aloud to the LORD, and He answers me from His holy mountain. Selah”

Psa 18:6

“I called to the LORD in my distress, and I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry to Him reached His ears.”

Psa 34:15

“The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry for help.”

       4.  Listen to His heart’s desire, which is always towards you.

It would be very selfish if we just cried out to the Lord our needs and never took the time to listen to His heart. When we are up close and personal with God, we can’t help but hear His heartbeat. It becomes our desire to hear His heartbeat the more we spend time with Him. He will share intimate things about our life. He will bring healing and restoration.

      5.  Express your love to Him.

Those  have been forgiven much, loves much!

Luke 7:47

“Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”

Do you realize you have been forgiven MUCH? You have not been forgiven little. We all have sinned a lot and fall short of the glory of God. For one to be forgiven much, we have to show our worship to Him in a passionate way. One cannot help but extravagantly worship God because of what He has forgiven in our lives.

Spend time alone with God. Realize how much He loves you. Express your love to Him.

Remember He is Your Portion! He is everything you need and more. It is easy to come to a loving God Who knows our ever need, thought, and desire. But it makes it even clearer to come to God knowing who He is and what He has already done for us.

Take some time and look up in the Bible some verses about praise or worship and apply them to your life.

Your Sister In Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com

www.hopefellowshipspokane.com

Awaken: “Do You Know God Or Just Know About God?”

There is a high possibility most people in the world have heard about God. They are filled with facts of Who He is or what He has done. Some believe God is an angry God who will “zap” them if they do something wrong. Some believe if they do terrible things to themselves they will get the attention of God. They feel they get closer to Him by their works. Some believe if they go about doing good, they will be closer to God. But, it is not by works, or some terrible crazy passionate act on our part that will get us closer to God; it is an awakening to Who God is and worshipping and loving Him with our full hearts that will bring us closer to Him. It will bring intimacy and a deeper awareness of His character. When we fall in love with God, we abandon our insecurities and relinquish control over to Him.

Awaken: rouse from sleep; cause to stop sleeping.

• stop sleeping.

• rouse.

• make someone aware of (something) for the first time. (Dictionary.com)

Synonyms:  “activate, animate, arouse, awake, call, enliven, excite, fan, incite, kindle, provoke, rally, revive, rise and shine, roll out, rouse, stimulate, stir up and wake.” (Dictionary.com)

We need to be aroused and stop sleeping when it comes to our relationship with God. Enlivened to Who He is. Activated to His presence. Animated to His tenderness. Revived to His character and faithfulness. When we are, our TRUST FACTOR towards God increases and our stress level decreases.

I can understand working hard for something and receiving a reward for my efforts. This is human nature. We work hard at our job and receive a pay check. But this is not what we have to do to get closer to God.

God just wants a relationship with you. He wants you to awaken to who you are in Him and to awaken to the beauty of being His. Worship is the key, the highway to God. It is a vulnerable place. It is an intimate place. This is where we fall in love with our Creator. There is none like God. Worshipping God gets our focus off of ourselves and onto the living, breathing deity Who longs to be with you. Once you encounter the love of God and being in His presence, you will never be the same. Your relationship with Him is never the same.

Sometimes you are just one step away from walking into a supernatural encounter with the living God. Just one glance at His beauty, just one look in your direction you become transformed in His presence. Your identity lies in the fact that you belong to Him.

Knowing God is a process. I am sure you have many questions. But in seeking God, you have to get to the place you love and seek Him even if your questions are not answered. You seek Him more then the answers. You need Him more then the answers. You ache in your heart when you are not with Him.

Are you hungry for God? Do you pursue His presence? Are you a worshipper? You have to get to a place in your heart that you want to know God more then knowing yourself. Let His love consume you. Cry out to God and experience a right now moment of His presence.

To know God is a constant daily encounter you need to nurture. Worship is essential for any believer who wants more then a head knowledge about God. Worship brings you into a heart relationship with God. Worship takes us beyond ourselves to a secret place with just you and Him. It is a precious place. A place so intimate you will never want to leave.

You see, in this world there is turmoil constantly. Not only do we struggle in the natural, with our day to day experiences, we fight against principalities and powers that will try and get us distracted and pulled away from our relationship with God.

Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

This is why we have to guard our relationship with Christ and let nothing interfere with it. Treat your relationship with God as the most precious thing in your life, because it is! When we put a high priority on God and being with and worshipping Him, our lives are so much better. In other words; protect and nurture the Vertical relationship and our horizontal life will flow and line up better. This is so true because I have seen it in my own life. When I am busy and distracted my relationship with God suffers and my life seems stressed and in turmoil. When I spend time with God and worship Him on a regular basis, I am not in turmoil. The stress subsides because my hope, my trust is in God and not in the things of this world.

You too can experience the intimate love of God. All it takes is for you to enter into worship. Set your mind on God. Think about His goodness. Put some good worship music on and soak in God’s goodness. Remind yourself of who God is and tell yourself He is all that and more to you. To know God intimate takes action on your part. He wants you to seek Him more then anything else in your life. When we come to God He will come to us.

James 4:8a (NKJV)

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you….”

This is a promise that God will always draw close to us when we make an effort to get close to Him. That verse goes on to say; “…Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” Allow God to wash and cleanse you from anything that is not pleasing to Him. Be broken before Him knowing He is God and we are not. He will come to us and lift us up as we worship Him unabandoned.

Psalm 73:28 (NKJV)

“But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all Your works.”

See, it is good to draw near to God. It will build our trust in Him and we can’t help but tell others of His goodness, tenderness, and love. Even as I type this message I am listening to Kimberly and Alberto Rivera live Soaking Session, Volume III. I have to stop often and just worship Him. Such a sweet presence filling my room right now. His presence makes me weep. Not tears of sadness, but of joy and peace.

God’s presence reassures us that He is in control and sees us right where we are. We don’t have to be someone else to come to God. We just come as our selves. He never rejects us. We can’t help but express our love to Him in these intimate times. We actually become love-sick for Him.

Allow His deep places call to your deep places and get fully engulfed with Who He is. He is so amazing, faithful, and true. Nothing compares to Him. He is overflowing with goodness. He is the air we breathe.

Stay ever-soaking in His presence and you will get to know a living, breathing, loving God who cherishes you forever.

Jeremiah 17:7 – 8

“Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water.”


Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com

http://www.hopefellowshipspokane.com