Two Things that Define Determined Declarations

How Great Thou Art

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
  How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
  How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

How Great Thou Art
By: Carl Gustaf Boberg (1859-1940)

Listen to this orchestral version as you read.   Please be sure to experience the worship-cultivating podcast below.

We close out our five week look into this classic hymn with some final thoughts about the refrain.  Two things we will consider.  There is a deliberate response to a definite subject.   We must not be careless in our response to God, and He is undeniably the object of our affection.  Let’s think about this.

Deliberate

We must be thoughtful and determined in our response to God.  Throughout the hymn we see the author actively pursuing a deeper awareness of God.   Here are some of the words that reveal this.

  • when I…consider
  • I see…Thy power
  • when I look
  • when I think
  • I shall bow

He is living with eyes wide open, ready to receive any revelation that God gives of His greatness.  On every occasion he then responds to what he has encountered with a determination to sing from His soul to the greatness of God.  His deeper awareness prompts Him to offer praise, but he did not stumble upon that deeper awareness.  He diligently pursued.

Are you willing to pursue God as intently?  Are you determined to be very deliberate in your response when you see the greatness of God revealed?  We could learn some lessons from this hymn about how to look for the greatness of God around us.

We will know we have learned those lessons when we find ourselves…considering, looking for, thinking about…God’s greatness.  We will practice what we have learned when we commit to a deliberate, calculated and intentional response to Him by lifting our souls and our voices in praise.  We will echo the Psalmists words with our lips and our lives.

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being. Psalm 104:33 ESV

Then Sings My Soul

But that reasoned response does not mean it is dispassionate.  Quite the contrary.  That deliberateness informs our passion, and is actually the first step on the journey towards it.

Duty, Discipline, Delight

We know we should long to be a soul that is ready to sing at any and every moment, but sometimes we just do not feel like it.  Still it is our duty.  Even when it is not easy.

As we begin to develop patterns that remove hinderances to worship and cultivate a watchful heart, what once felt like duty slowly transforms into something else.  It has a different rhythm to it.  It becomes our discipline.  And each of us needs to find our own rhythm, which will not be identical to anyone else’s.

As we become more comfortable with our unique rhythm, it becomes easier to maintain.  It seems less and less like work.  There may be seasons when we fall out of rhythm, but we are able to find it again.  That is when the discipline has become something like breathing, and it is just as life-sustaining.  It is delight.

This does not happen overnight, but it can become a way of living if you keep at it.  If you are deliberate, but with grace.  Where are you on the duty-discipline-delight continuum?  Wherever you may be, are you ready to continue your journey, or find your way back as the was may be?

Jesus, I want to be deliberate in my relationship with You.  I want to have eyes and ears and a heart wide open to You.   Help me cultivate this everyday, until I find myself routinely and spontaneously singing of Your greatness.  In Jesus name.  Amen

Definite

The one thing that makes this entire pursuit possible, and at the same time worthwhile, is the very object of this passion.  He calls us to Himself, makes the way for us to come, enables us to move toward Him, and is Himself the satisfaction discover when we get there.  We know the One that our soul loves because He has made Himself know to us.

He is our Savior God.  And there is no one like Him.

For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. Psalm 96:4 ESV 

My Savior God to Thee

We are not seeking to experience some out-of-body experience.  We are not trying to numb or dull your senses to achieve some measure of peace.  We are not expressing our wonder to the universe.

Instead we are seeking a greater awareness of God with heart, soul, mind and strength.  We are attempting to heighten our senses so as to find peace in the greatness of His presence.  We are expressing our wonder to our Great Savior.

He is our Savior God.  And there is no one like Him.

We have identified and are continuing to identify His worth far above all the other gods that would clamor for our affection and attention.  We have examined them in light of Him and found them lacking.  They can not save us.  He already has.

We sing of Him and for Him, but we also sing to Him.  To the glory of His greatness!

He is our Savior God.  And there is no one like Him.

Ask Him for His help as you seek to praise Him from deep in your soul.

Jesus, I want to praise You in every situation for all You have done and all You are.  You are my Savior, my God, and there is no  one like You.  Help me today to be deliberate and definite in declaring Your greatness.  In Jesus’ name.   Amen.

Great-ful Thinking!

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Below is content always available to Subscribers, and sometimes to Free Members.  Want to learn more about accessing all the additional material in the Subscriber Content Library, click here.  Or check out some other samples at our Free Member Content Library.  We have lots of tools and lots of options designed to help you be Resonant!  Check them out today!!

Everyone else enjoy this podcast and the transcript below! It features meditative music and moments to contemplate the Scriptures and reflections shared.

Podcast 10.5 Transcript

Welcome to Thursday Thoughts at Resonant 7, where we reflect on the reality of God and resolve to let it resound in our lives, repeatedly. Let’s think about this.

Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee,

Psalm 104:1 ESV

Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty,

The Psalmist instructs his soul to bless the Lord, and we enter the refrain with our own praise in light of how God has revealed Himself through each stanza of this hymn.  In the wonder of the universe His greatness is on display. Commit to sing of His greatness.

  How great Thou art, How great Thou art.

2 Samuel 7:22 ESV 

…you are great, O Lord God. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.

He is great and our voices must declare there is none like Him.  In the beauty of the created world in which we live, His greatness is on display.  Determine to echo His greatness in your soul.

Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee,

Psalm 104:33 ESV

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.

We sing from our souls our whole life long to the One who gives us breath.  He breathed His last on the cross to enable our praise. In the sacrifice of our Savior, His greatness is on display.  Vow to sing praise to Him.

  How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

Psalm 96:4 ESV 

For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.

And I will be a part of that praise.  Certainly here, but just as well when I finally see Him face-to-face.  In His Second Coming, His greatness will be on display. Plan to give Him praise that day, but get ready by declaring His greatness today, and everyday.

Take a few moments to talk to Jesus about what has come to your mind, or listen to what He is saying to you, then I will read our text once more.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
  How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
  How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

Take the mindfulness of God’s presence cultivated in these last few minutes into the next ones and beyond.  Until next time, be Resonant.

Image Attributions
How Great Thou Art – https://pixabay.com/illustrations/cross-jesus-christ-easter-3254876/
Then Sings My Soul – https://pixabay.com/photos/microphone-boy-studio-screaming-1209816/
My Savior God to Thee – https://pixabay.com/photos/people-woman-microphone-dark-2600800/

Are You Preparing for Your Perpetual Praise?

Then I Shall Bow

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
  And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
  And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!”

How Great Thou Art
By: Carl Gustaf Boberg (1859-1940)

Listen to this trumpet version as you read.  Subscribers and Free Members please be sure to experience the worship-cultivating podcast below.

We close out this final stanza with some thoughtful reflection on our response at Christ’s return.  Philippians 2:10-11 tells us that every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, but what great joy is ours to choose to worship Him now.  Even still, take some time today to ponder what those moments will be like, and how you will respond. Let’s think about this.

I Shall Bow

Having acknowledged Christ’s return, the text now turns to our response.  This is a Biblical pattern, in that God always initiates and gives us the opportunity to respond.  Whether in creation, redemption, or now here in the consummation, God does something to which we react.  I like to define worship as sincere responses to God’s self-revelations.

There are two very distinct responses portrayed.  The physical and spiritual.  We will deal with the physical first, as the text does, though I would contend it tends to be the latter of the two and an outward expression of an inward reality.

The worshipper takes a posture to demonstrate they are aligning themselves under the greatness of God.  Have you ever bowed down in the presence of God?  Maybe it was in a service, or maybe you were alone with Him and you simply decided to take a knee to demonstrate your surrender to His authority.   If you have never done that, why not?  Let’s change that right now.  Kneel down before the One who is coming back one day.

Jesus, I kneel before you as an outward expression of the inward reality that I desire to submit my will and my way to you today, as surely as I will on that coming day.  I want this to be true in every way, every day, so even when I am standing up and walking around my heart sustains a humble adoration.  Help me please.

Humble Adoration

In Humble Adoration

The physical is but a representation of what has transpired in the spiritual.  This posture, one of deep love and respect, begins in the heart, which Scripture teaches is the seat of our intellect, emotions and will.  Scriptures like this one.

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, Hebrews 12:28 ESV

When Christ returns He will establish that unshakable kingdom, and though we are grateful now, our current gratitude indubitably pales in comparison to our future gratitude.  Likewise our current worship pales in comparison to our future worship, when we will be in the very presence of our Lord.

We will not feign humble adoration, but enter into it fully.  Our reverence and awe will consume us, burning away all of our former lessor pursuits and revealing hearts ablaze for His glory.  What a day that will be!  We rehearse for it every time we worship, but our performance of it then will be truly inspired!!

Ask Jesus to help you prepare for those moments of humble adoration by empowering you to humble yourself now.   Ask Him to give you a heart to worship Him, one filled with gratitude for all He has done, and the inheritance that affords.  Adore Him right now.

How Great Thou Art

And Then Proclaim

Then.  The End of Time.  The beginning of eternity.

Revelation paints an incredible picture of what that end of days worship will be like.  Angels and elders, saints and living creatures, fully engaged in declaring with due emphasis the greatness of our God.  We will think more about His greatness next week, so I want to focus here on our part of the proclaiming that will take place.

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness. Psalm 29:2 ESV

Though the Psalmists would have had the structure of the Tabernacle or the glory of the Temple to inspire their praise in their day those were mere shadows of what will inform our praise on that Day.  Still they instruct us as to what we should do, attribute the glory that is due the name of God, and render Him the honor that is due no other.  And render we shall.  We will be overwhelmed by the spender of His holiness.

That was and will be then, but this is now.  I hope you are not waiting until then to fully engage in the proclamation of His greatness.  Sure, you will be more equipped and more inspired to offer it then, but don’t let your current capacity hinder you.  He is just as great today as He will be then.  Determine to proclaim here and now, “How great You are!”

What tools are at your disposal?  Maybe you want to just shout it out, or sing it loud.  Maybe you want to grab a guitar or sit at a piano.  Maybe you want to write a poem or a note.  Maybe you want to sit in silence or call someone.  Use whatever you have right now to rehearse for that final, eternal performance!

Jesus, thank You for the promise of Your return.  I long for that Day and the praise I will offer You then.  As I wait for it, help me to prepare by offering You praise every day in every way and to put Your greatness on display! In Jesus’ name.   Amen.

Worshipful Thinking!

Are these thoughts helping you to develop greater spiritual awareness?  Sign-up in the form to the right above to get updates of new tools to help you be Resonant.

Below is content always available to Subscribers, and sometimes to Free Members.  Want to learn more about accessing all the additional material in the Subscriber Content Library, click here.  Or check out some other samples at our Free Member Content Library.  We have lots of tools and lots of options designed to help you be Resonant!  Check them out today!!

Subscribers and Free Members enjoy this podcast!  Everyone else the transcript below! It features meditative music and moments to contemplate the Scriptures shared.

Podcast 10.4 Transcript

Welcome to Thursday Thoughts at Resonant 7, where we reflect on the reality of God and resolve to let it resound in our lives, repeatedly. Let’s think about this.

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,

1 Thessalonians 4:16 ESV

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

The day is coming when Christ returns.  Can you imagine it? The trumpet resounds and the Lord descends with archangel announcing it all.  Are you longing for it? Ask God to stir your heart to long for it even as you echo the prayer, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus!”

  And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.

1 Thessalonians 4:17 ESV

Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

What a comfort that when this happens we have a place.  Our Lord will call us to join Him in the air. Are you ready to fly?  I can hardly fathom how overwhelming this will be. He returns and then calls us to HImself, where we will spend eternity.  Thank Him for giving us this hope.

Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,

Hebrews 12:28 ESV

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,

Bowing in humble adoration, with reverence and awe, we will express our gratitude to Christ for the inheritance that is ours.  A kingdom that cannot be shaken. Unlike the kingdoms of this world, this one is eternal, and we get to live in it. Worship Him now, and forever!  

  And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!”

Psalm 29:2 ESV

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.

Oh how we will praise Him on that day!  It will be worship in His glorious holy presence.  As we look forward to and long for those moments of praise, determine to praise Him even while you wait.  He is just as worthy now so instruct your soul to sing of His greatness today.

Take a few moments to talk to Jesus about what has surfaced in your heart, or just listen to what He is saying to you, then we will sing once more.

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
  And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
  And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!”

Take the awareness of God’s presence cultivated in these last few minutes into the next ones and beyond.  Until next time, be Resonant.

Image Attributions
Then I Shall Bow – https://www.istockphoto.com/photos/seeking-god?sort=best&mediatype=photography&phrase=seeking%20god
Humble Adoration – https://stream.org/power-seeking-gods-face/
How Great Thou Art – https://mylordmyfriend.com/2013/03/20/the-throne-room-of-god/