Yesterday I read a story my Nana wrote about an experience she had on the mission field in Colombia years ago. As a woman who served on the overseas mission field for nearly 40 years, and who still teaches Bible/discipleship courses, she ought to have it pretty well put together in the serving God department. She is very wise, and knows a lot, but she is also human. I loved how real the story was (“I’ll Go But I Won’t Be Happy,” pg 73 of By An Unfamiliar Path). Basically, she and my Papa were going to a remote part of Colombia, so they’d have a more effective ministry with the Paez people. She obeyed God’s call physically, but her heart was rebellious. It lead her into a dark time, and only by offering a sacrifice of praise was she able to come out of that. She learned to obey in spirit as well as body, her heart changed as she praised God.
This past weekend, Pastor Dave spoke on Psalm 105 (there is your cue to go read it!) , it was a song of remembering all the great things the Lord did for the people of Israel. It was a sacrifice of praise.
Sacrifice of praise…. Let me put it this way-if you’re frustrated or bitter towards someone, feeling distant in your relationship with someone, thinking about all the good times you’ve had together, and the things they’ve done for you can be a great way to dissolve your anger and restore your relationship.
We can feel distant from God. We can feel like He’s not showing up where we need Him, not hearing our prayers, not giving us guidance… We can start to have resentful thoughts and when those dwell in our hearts, they push us away from God.
For me, offering a sacrifice of praise is probably the most effective way to change my heart, and draw me back to Him. It might be hard at first, the words just not there, but the Psalms and many of the prophets are full of praises we can offer. “Give thanks to the Lord, and proclaim His greatness!” (Psalm 105:1)