Entering His Gates

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness.  Come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.  It is he who made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever.
His faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100

I have been reading some of my long awaited books that are next to the nursing chair Satisfy My Thirsty Soul: For I am Desperate For Your Presence by Linda Dillow is the first one that I am working my way through.   I don’t know why, but I was surprised to discover that the way to be closer to God is through worshipping Him.  That is the very thing I love to do – I love to sing His praises!  Could it be that simple?  Dillow states, “Worship can satisfy our thirsty souls.”  It “is the path to experiencing the presence of God.”  We can give our Lord honor, thanksgiving, and praise.  She details several practical ways for anyone, including busy moms, to worship God such as …

  • the ABC’s of worship in which you think through each letter of the alphabet Aa-Zz and think of as many words that begin with that letter that describes God (for example, for Aa  ‘My God is awesome, amazing, my Abba Father, etc….’)
  • finding stillness by creating time for either a retreat (a longer time of worship alone with God) or what she calls ‘little solitudes’ in each day (For example, while nursing I could pray, while folding the laundry I could praise God through the ABC’s of worship, while in the car with my children running errands we can sing along to worship music, while kids are napping, etc.)
    I loved how Dillow said that “the outward clamor of my busy life and the continual inward chatter caused by restlessness has kept me from the blessing of stillness and the felt presence of God.”  Oh, how I can relate!  In addition to a retreat and/or ‘little solitudes’, she suggested always having a pen and piece of paper on hand during your times of prayer and worship.  That way, when inevitable distractions pop up (like thinking of things that need to get done today), just jot them down quickly and continue worshipping.
  • searching out a special place to worship (She gave examples of moms who would pray in the closet or worship with headphones on in their walk in pantry for a few minutes of solitude.  A couch, a special chair, a place outside… anywhere!)
  • and finding music that lifts your spirit and leads you to worship

We can worship with songs and praises, but Dillow continues to expand upon what worship is.  She explains how I can worship God with all of my life.  I can bow my life, everything, before Him as an act of worship.  Dillow states, “True worship will lead to holy obedience.”   As a true act of worship I can and should bow my words, my attitude, my work, my times of waiting, my pain, and my will.  Now, I have not read all of these chapters yet, but the first two on bowing my words and attitude have already convicted me.  I hope to write my reflections on some of these chapters in upcoming entries.

Psalm 63:1-8
O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you.
My soul thirsts for you.  My body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods.
With singing lips my mouth will praise you.
On my bed I remember you.
I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.
My soul clings to you.  Your right hand upholds me.

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