In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty expanse. Praise Him for His mighty deeds; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.
After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him.
In Part 2 of this devotion series, I mentioned my years of daytime depression and nighttime terrors. Yes, God delivered me. But consider an earlier delivery: When Satan retreated from Jesus in the desert 'Until an opportune time' (Luke 4:13), God leads us to understand the enemy will return. Why? So we can be ready.
Even now, if I begin to feel anxious at night, I do not count sheep. I count blessings... out loud, I thank God for every thing I can remember--down to my toes. I praise God by every Name I can recall--up to His Heaven. Soon, these words of thanksgiving and praise bring me into worship: a wholehearted sense of His Presence. Without fail, the enemy retreats. Where God is, Satan is not.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: 'The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and truth' (John 4:23-24). It's not about going to church. It's about being the church.
Consider four steps in this essential transformation:
1) Thanksgiving: Thanking God for nice meals and good deals is easy. Thanking Him for no meals and bad deals isn't. But do it anyway, 'Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ' (Ephesians 5:20).
2) Praise: Let the final Psalm be your final statement, and make it big. If the hosts of Heaven praise God with 'A great thunderous voice' (Ezekiel 3:12), so should we. Deny shy. Be bold. 'Praise Him with clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!' (Psalm 150:5-6).**
3) Worship: Worship is an intensely personal communion. If we 'Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness' (Psalm 29:2), if holiness means 'consecrated to God's service,' if consecrate means 'setting apart for God,' then go to your prayer closet, get on your knees (or face), and enter His Presence.***
4) Depression and fear: Where did they go? 'Into smoke they shall vanish away' (Psalm 37:20).
To Be Continued...
* Excellent short article on the difference between praise and worship: http://www.gotquestions.org/difference-praise-worship.html
** The final Psalm, #150, is all about praise: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=ps+150&version=NKJV
*** Easton's Bible Dictionary: http://www.biblelearn.com
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Depression series.