This week's devotional is from Pastor Jeff.
ENCOUNTER: Read Psalm 32
"6 Therefore let all the faithful pray to you
while you may be found;
surely the rising of the mighty waters
will not reach them.
7 You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance."
If you missed the sermon out of Psalm 32 this week, you can watch or listen online. But here is the simple outline: }Prayer starts with humility and confession – v. 1-5. }Prayer centers on connecting with a present God – v. 6a. }Prayer results in help and deliverance – v. 6b,7... as well as instruction and leading – v. 8,9.
The way I read this Psalm leads me to see it as progressive in a way: We get "right" with God by confession in humility, then we cry out to him knowing he hears us and delights in our connecting with him. Then... (and this is a big deal)... we see powerful supernatural results from a life of connection and prayer. Go to the full text in your bible and just look at the words that describe what God promises!
Included in his promises is that he will surround us with "songs of deliverance." At least part of what this means is that we will have scads of "songs" of praise and joy coming out of us! These arise out of seeing all that ways that God has come through and rescued us. Oh, this is such good news! So as David, the author of this Psalm says, "Therefore, let all the faithful pray to you."
Our staff team was reflecting on this and I asked them, "Are there worship songs that have become for you the songs of deliverance that are in your heart?" We shared some of them with each other and with their permission, I've listed them here with links to YouTube videos as a resource for your own worship experience. Maybe some of them will lead to sweet times of praise as you celebrate God's work of deliverance in your life. And maybe some of them will help give words to your longing for God to come through in the places where you have not yet seen his rescue come about.
● Amanda Milholland - Good Good Father, Chris Tomlin - https://youtu.be/OfJrxvVnmkE
● Michael Hill - In Christ Alone - https://youtu.be/JWiFYJMGas0
Jeff Mazzariello - What A Beautiful Name, Hillsong - https://youtu.be/r5L6QlAH3L4
● Linda Mazzariello - Lord, I Need You, Matt Maher - https://youtu.be/LuvfMDhTyMA
● Daryl Bardo - Dear Shame, Newsboys - https://youtu.be/14UdtaSPUzw
● Shelly Zuehlsdorff - Prince of Peace, Hillsong United from the Of Dirt and Grace (Live from the Land) album- https://youtu.be/rIqUTMHl9Cs
● Bob Hess - Your Love Reaches Me, Burn Service/Vineyard - https://youtu.be/Q7eUiH-
● Ben Kerns - Blessed Be Your Name, Matt Redmond - https://youtu.be/PnWKehsOXu8
● Ben Zuehlsdorff - Take a Moment, United Pursuit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJT-UQsgs60
● Beth Bardo - Reckless Love, Cory Asbury - https://youtu.be/Sc6SSHuZvQE
Katie Kerns - I Stand in Awe of You, Hillsong - https://youtu.be/d0Qx1e330ok
BE A BLESSING:
If we are waiting for the rescue of God and living in a "not yet" season of prayer, one of the ways we can stay encouraged is to give ourselves away in sacrificial love to others. This keeps us from being immobilized by our needs and puts us in the place of surrender and service which are exactly the places where God most often shows up! Is there someone in your circle of influence who is also waiting in a hard place and could use a touch of love today? Reach out, and let them know that they are seen and remembered even though they are going through a rough time right now. Your physical presence, or even your voice on a phone call can be a powerful reminder to them that there is hope ahead, and that hope is found in Jesus.
One of the ways that other brothers and sisters stay encouraged is when we hear the stories of God coming through in someone else's life. With whom can you connect this week to share your stories and find mutual encouragement? Reach out to someone today and set up a coffee!
Enjoy a week of worship and celebration in the deliverance of God (or that which is soon to come.) Keep the faith. It's always going to be worth it.