Psalm 30: 10-12 (KJV) Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper. Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.
Psalm 30: 10-12 (AMP) Hear, O Lord, have mercy and be gracious to me! O Lord, be my helper! You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; You have put off my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, To the end that my tongue and my heart and everything glorious within me may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
The meaning here is, that whatever there was in him that was honorable, dignified, or glorious - all the faculties of his soul, as well as his heart - had occasion to rejoice in God. His whole nature - his undying soul - his exalted powers as he was made by God - all - all, found cause of exultation in the favor and friendship of God. The heart - the understanding - the imagination - the whole immortal soul, found occasion for joy in God. - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible
Psalm 16: 8-9 (KJV) I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
Psalm 16: 8-9 (AMP) I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory [my inner self] rejoices; my body too shall rest and confidently dwell in safety,
Psalm 108:1 (KJV) O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.
Psalm 108:1-3 (MKJV) A Song, A Psalm of David.
O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and I will give praise, even with my glory.
Awake, harp and lyre; I will awake early.
I will praise You, O Jehovah, among the peoples; and I will sing praises to You among the nations.
Psalm 108:1 (AMP) A song. A Psalm of David.
O GOD, my heart is fixed (steadfast, in the confidence of faith); I will sing, yes, I will sing praises, even with my glory [all the faculties and powers of one created in Your image]!
Psalm 108:1 (NCV)
God, my heart is steady. I will sing and praise you with all my being.
Psalm 108:1 (HCSB)
My heart is confident, God; I will sing; I will sing praises with the whole of my being.
In reading these verses and their different translations, you begin to see more and more what the Psalmist, King David, was saying. We should praise God with our whole body, mind, soul and spirit!
I Corinthians 6:20 For ye are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
How do we praise God with everything within us? Let's think about it, break it down and see how these verses apply to our everyday lives.
First, how do you think we can praise God with our bodies? What constitutes our body? Our eyes, ears, mouth (tongue, voice), our action members such as our arms/hands, feet/legs, etc.
We are more used to using our tongues to praise God. For instance when we go to church and sing a hymn. But it goes even further than that. We can use our tongues for the good things of God. We can refrain from swearing/cursing/foul language/profanity. We can refrain, or restrain, our tongues from gossip, slander, filthy jokes, angry words, angry shouting/screaming, hateful/mean-spirited/malicious words, putdowns, lying/deception, etc. When I was young, profanity was something that was rarely used and when it was done in public, the person would often excuse their language. There were some words that were used only in their foulest sense such as "bitch", "bastard", "skank", "whore", etc. Today, a majority of people use foul language as normally as they would "a", "the" and "it". Their vocabulary is so lazy that they don't know any other adjective other than the "F" word. Something as simple as, "It's a beautiful day for a nice ride in the wide open spaces", becomes "It's a F'ing day for an F'ing ride in the F'ing country." And now all women are referred to as "whores", "'hos", "bitches", etc. This is so offensive and degrading to women and yet it's considered normal now. Equating women with dogs and prostitutes is shameful and yet women let their males talk to them this way. May this not be in Christian homes! Let us teach our family to respect others, male and female, and to speak respectfully of them and honor them with their mouths. We need to discipline our mouths and it's very hard to do. But we can pray and ask God to use the Holy Spirit within us to strengthen us and begin to work on our tongues. We can use our tongues to bring glory to God. We can sing praises, we can pray, we can encourage others, we can teach good things to others, we can speak positive and good words, we can praise others, we can be the voice of moderation, balance and speak peacefully.
Our ears can be used to listen to others and our mouths can be used to offer godly advice and point those who are hurting to Jesus. We can use our eyes to see those in trouble and use our hands and feet to offer help. We can hear a heart's cry and use our tongue to witness of Jesus' saving grace. We can stop our ears from listening to gossip, filthy conversation, crude jokes and hateful diatribes and use our tongue to try and turn the conversation around to better things, take up for someone else, bring reason and peace into an argument, point out the better ways.
We can use our action members (arms/hands, legs/feet) to do good. If you aren't paralyzed or missing a limb, then you have action members that can do service for God. Can you make a meal for a grieving family, run a marathon for charity, help clean someone's home while their child is sick, visit someone in the hospital, buy groceries for an elderly person? With your hands you can clap in celebration and delight during worship. With your hands you can play a musical instrument to bring glory to God with praise and worship songs. With your arms you can hug someone who needs it. With hands uplifted in sweet surrender and longing you can worship God. We restrain our hands from slapping, hitting, punching, abusing vulnerable people in our home. We restrain our hands from slamming phones, hitting the table, punching the wall and doing mean, hateful things to others. We restrain ourselves from doing vengeful, malicious, mean-spirited activities that hurt others. We can restrain ourselves from using our body in unhealthy and sinful ways: smoking, drunkenness, carousing, partying, fornication/adultery, overeating, ridiculous stunts.
With our feet we can run to save a child who fell in the pool. We can walk to our neighbor's house and offer condolences. We can run and dance in joy and excitement when we praise God. We can run from sinful situations so that we don't fall (just like Joseph did when he ran from Potiphar's seducing wife). We can use our bodies to give an honest and dependable day's work to our employer. We can work in a soup kitchen, run a route for Meals on Wheels, work on a house for Habitat for Humanity, take our clean discarded clothes to a charity, coach a child's softball team, etc.
As you can see, from just the few things I've mentioned there are many ways to use our whole bodies to glorify, praise and worship God. God went into intricate detail in the Old Testament on how to fashion the Tabernacle and Temple of God. It was to have the best of everything and was very holy and sacred because it represented where the Spirit of God dwelt on Earth. But with the New Covenant, Jesus Christ forgave us and saved us from our sins and when we accept Jesus as our Savior, the Holy Spirit now moves into US! We become the Tabernacle and Temple of the Holy Spirit. We were made in the image of God and our bodies are the Temple of God therefore we should treat ourselves and others with the respect of the sacred.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God shall destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which you are.
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits fornication sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit in you, whom you have of God? And you are not your own, for you are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement does a temple of God have with idols? For you are the temple of the living God, as God has said, "I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people."
We've seen how we can glorify God with our bodies, what about our minds? Our mind represents our intelligence, our thinking capabilities, our education, our life experiences, our talents. How can we use this part of ourself to praise and worship God?
We can use our minds to create and invent things that are good for others. For instance, if you are an engineer you might use your skills to work on roads and buildings, dams and sewer systems, pollution controls and new energy sources because these are helpful to mankind. Rather than waste your skills on building casinos, pollution making industries, war machines, and other harmful things. If you are a chemist you might use your skills to develop medicines that save lives rather than for developing biological warfare, better cigarettes, or newer addictive drugs. If you are a musician you could use your skills to make music as unto the Lord (hymns, melodies, spiritual songs, worship music, uplifting and beautiful sonatas) versus using your musical talent to make yourself famous and rich as the latest rock star. If you are good at organizing then you could use your skill to help someone organize their home, set up a church office, organize a charitable event. Too many people use their God-given brains to come up with ways to "beat the system" and steal, kill and destroy. Who knows how many times God has given someone a brilliant mind that could be used to find the cure for cancer, AIDS, or Alzheimmer's Disease only to see that person use it to fashion a software program that sends viruses out to destroy millions of people's computers? Or to fashion a shiv to murder someone in prison? Or to figure out a new way to bilk the elderly out of their life savings? If we used all the skill, intelligence, energy and talent in good ways like God intends who knows what we could do to help others and what kind of world this would be? But we waste it on evil. The ingenuity it takes to set up a drug cartel, a meth lab, and drug distribution while, at the same time, evading police is staggering. What if that could be used to the good of mankind instead of the destruction of mankind and pandering to greed. We don't have to think evil thoughts, dwell on godless and empty crap. We don't have to let satan whisper in our ears and tell us lies. We can re-train and re-new our minds and develop new and better thoughts.
Yes! We can use our minds to write poems of love to God, songs of beauty and praise! We can use our minds to write stories of grace and testimonies of salvation! We can paint pictures that bring gasps of awe and thanksgiving to God or act in plays and shows that are thought provoking and deep. We can study God's Word and meditate on it and learn from it. Education is good but how much more should we educate ourselves in the Word of God? So use the best of your mind to glorify God!
We've seen how we can praise God with our bodies and minds, now what about the soul? Our soul is part of our mind. It represents our personality, our quirks, the environment we grew up in that shaped and formed us, the "who" of "who we are". How can we praise God with our souls?
I'm more of an introvert, shy and quiet around a bunch of people. My interests seem to lie in quiet and singular activities like reading, genealogy, scrapbooking. My husband is more extroverted and he likes meeting people, he remembers them and their stories and his interests seem to be more active and outgoing such as group activities, although he is also a writer and artist too. He likes going to church and visiting with others, golf, walking with a friend, etc. He likes to call someone to see if they want to go walking with him while I avoid others in order to walk by myself. There is nothing wrong with either personality. But we should use our personalities to glorify God. I shouldn't deliberately avoid someone to the point of rudeness just to be by myself. I should try to be more sensitive to other people and try to listen to them instead of zoning out. On the other hand, those quiet times produce these Bible Studies.
How can you use your personality to glorify God? If you are extrovert and love to socialize then use that talent and trait in a Sunday School class as the glad-hander who makes others feel welcome and included. Or be an usher, a Women's Group Leader, a Teen Chaperone. Maybe you use that in your job like being a salesman or customer service rep. Then do it honestly and with real caring. No one likes or respects a salesman who misrepresents his company, making promises that his company can't or won't keep and who talks about his customers as though they were fools to be taken advantage of. One time I was sitting in a car salesman's cubicle waiting on information about buying a car when I heard several other salesmen snickering about a customer and how they could take advantage of them. They didn't know I was around! It was disgusting for several reasons: 1) Talking about someone behind their back, slandering and making fun of them; 2) They were boasting of how they could hurt someone else by taking advantage of them in a car deal; 3) They were exhibiting their low morals with their deceptive practises, greed, theft (a sale should include a profit but when the profits are indecent it becomes theft), slander and thinking they were so much better than someone else. In making jokes, as though the customer was a fool, they were the fools. So use your personality, talents and skills in ways that help others. You can be a good salesman without hurting others. Be honest, really care about the people you deal with, try to reasonably stand behind your product and let your product be helpful and not harmful. Don't bribe them with women and drugs to make a sale but show them kindness and generosity. Don't be a salesman to sale drugs or alcohol but rather to sale good things.
You can jump up and down in exuberance in praise and worship if that is your personal way of being joyful in the Lord. Or you can bow your knees in silence and reverence if that is your personal way of showing your love. You can use your personality to love God!
We've seen how we can use our bodies, minds and souls for glorifying God. How about our spirit? Our spirit it what is born when we become saved. We have a new spirit. It's why we call ourselves "born-again". Our new spirit is from God and it is birthed in us and will live forever. Our spirit will not die. When our bodies die, our spirit lives on with God in Heaven until He returns to resurrect our bodies and transforms the Earth. Our spirits and our new immortal bodies will live eternally in the new Earth with God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit also comes to live within us when we are saved in order to begin training and strengthening and maturing our new spirit.
If we let our spirit grow in the things of God, we will become better Christians. If we stifle our spirit and the Holy Spirit within us, then we won't grow into better people. We can live by our fleshly attributes (body, mind and soul) or we can live by our spirit and let the Holy Spirit teach us how and enable us. If you see a Christian at a party and he is drunk and using profanity then you have to realize that they may be saved and are just not listening to the Holy Spirit at this time. Or they may be immature Christians (and this has nothing to do with physical age but spiritual age). Or they may only say they are Christian when they really haven't had a true conversion. Many people are "cultural Christians" meaning they grew up in an environment of believing there is a God and going to church occasionally but that is not a true conversion. We, Christians, are human beings and we are all at different growth stages spiritually so you will see hypocritical Christians in all of us. We have not arrived and we won't be sinless until we get to Heaven! I sin all the time and I'm not happy about it but I am saved. My sinfulness is why I need a Savior. And that drunk Christian may be at church tomorrow feeling terrible about how he behaved and asking God's forgiveness. You will never know what is in his/her heart. If they are a true Christian, then the Holy Spirit will grab them by the tail at some point and they'll get a "whoopin' from the Lord" and you better believe they will repent. But you might not see it or know it. So try to reserve judgement, because we all suffer from sin-itis.
But we should try to let the Holy Spirit guide us into doing things that are pleasing to God because this helps ourself as well as others. Your spirit will grow, you will get stronger, you will become more able to do right things and leave wrong things alone.
When I think about communion, I am reminded of my relationship with my dogs. My dogs can't speak English so we can't "talk". And yet I can look at them and feel their love for me and they seem to be able to feel my love for them. I hold them, kiss the tops of their heads, pet them, murmur sounds to them and the love just flows back and forth. they snuggle into me, lick my hand, look adoringly at me. At this very moment I have a tiny dog tucked beside me and another one sitting on my shoulder. I'm not having to make a big speech or write a check to let them know that I love them. They are feeling it in our comfortable peace. There is no tension or anxiety or anger between us and we all feel it. You know what I'm talking about because husbands and wives, parents and children feel this way too. This is how we can commune with God too. We can allow our spirit to just sit with God and love Him. We let the love of our hearts flow towards Him and recieve the love He has for us. We can tell him our troubles, cry, repent. And we can feel joy and excitement with Him. Or we can sit still and just love. Just giving Him our time. He wants it all and we can give it all to Him.
Notice, in this post, I haven't talked about giving God physical things such as money. We can worship God with those things too and we should! But we must first give Him ourselves - all that is within us!
Psalm 103:1 Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Psalm 150 Praise Jehovah. Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in the expanse of His power. Praise Him for His mighty acts; praise Him according to His excellent greatness. Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; praise Him with the harp and lyre. Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; praise Him with stringed instruments and pipes. Praise Him on the sounding cymbals; praise Him with the resounding cymbals. Let everything that breathes praise Jehovah. Praise Jehovah!