I will thank Yahweh with all my heart;
I will rejoice and boast about You;
What will you commit to doing this week? How about this month? What are your absolutely vital commitments and what could you allow to slide? Are they things like going to work, picking up the kids, taking medication at the right times, a dentist appointment... finding a job!?
This morning in my devotions I read Psalm 9 and the first two verses really struck a chord with me. When looking at our diaries, our work schedules, our calendars it is easy to be swamped by an endless list of things we must do. But our number one priority must be to commit our lives to the Lord our God. Our greatest concern must be to have the peace of God which passes all understanding. Above all else we must daily and weekly drink of the living water which cures all our ills and washes away all our spiritual cancer.
The Psalmist makes four crystal clear commitments at the very start of his psalm - these are the foundations upon which the rest of his commitments can be built. What would our day look like if we made the same commitment right now? How would this change our week, our month, our year?
Firstly, we commit to thanking God each day, consciously and purposely. Not reeling off a list of half-baked thanks but thinking of something specific each day and truly taking the time to thank Him with all of our heart.
Secondly, we commit to declaring His mighty and wonderful work. What would it mean for you to tell one person each and every day something about what God has done for you and those you know? Each day tell a testimony to a loved one or even a stranger and then trust God to use it to His own glory.
Thirdly, we commit to adoration: to rejoicing and boasting in the love of the Lord. In some ways this flows from the first two. Our thankfulness leads to rejoicing and our testimony leads to (righteous) boasting. That said, how often do we make time to specifically rejoice and praise the Lord? How often do we make a place in our lives for boasting at the amazing salvation we are given or the wonders of answered prayer? Thanksgiving and adoration are subtly different - commit to making time for both.
Finally, we commit to singing. As many of your know I love Disney films, I love how people just burst out into song. One reason I love it is because we see this in the Bible too - people burst out into song all the time: from Miriam to Mary, from Hannah to Habakkuk. Whether it is a psalm, a hymn, or a spiritual song - in the shower, in the car, or in the street what would it mean to sing to the Saviour each day? Just remember that Jesus has the best auto-tune so don't worry about your voice!
I think the reason all of this struck a chord with me is because my life was changed forever by the people I met in Uganda. In Uganda I saw true revival, I saw true joy, true hope, true peace. Looking back I see that their lives were marked by a number of amazing distinctives which set them apart from everyone else I've ever met. They thanked the Lord each day for every single thing. Testimony was everywhere - they would ask each other when they met "what has Jesus done for you today" (even if it was five in the morning and you had only just woken up!). They would share testimony together at every Christian meeting, and they would tell all the people they met in their daily travels something about Jesus. They were filled with a passionate adoration, a remarkable joy, and a bold boastfulness in the Lord. Finally, they loved to sing. They sang in the morning. They sang at the table. They sang in the car. They sang in the evening. They sang in the night. They sang to the Lord constantly.
I don't know if this was a conscious teaching of the East African Revival (I have not heard mention of Psalm 9.1-2 in my research) or just the natural and wonderful result of true faith. I do know it is something I desperately long for and you should too. So what are we waiting for - let's get our priorities straight, prepare our hearts, and practice our singing!