Written by Craig Denison
"O my soul, bless God.
From head to toe, I'll bless his holy name!
O my soul, bless God,
don't forget a single blessing!
He forgives your sins—every one.
He heals your diseases—every one.
He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.
He renews your youth—you're always young in his presence." Psalm 103:1-5 (MSG)
Recently the idea of blessing God has really been stirring my heart in worship. And honestly, that's a new thing for me. I've never really understood the idea of telling your soul to bless God. I mean, I know it's Scripture. But just because it's in the Bible doesn't mean I really get it.
But a few days ago I was reading in the Psalms, and Psalm 103 really did something for my heart. The message translation begins, "O my soul, bless God. From head to toe, I'll bless his holy name!" From head to toe. That really stood out to me. For a while now I've been thinking about how thoughts lead to emotions which lead to actions. And this thought, the idea of choosing to bless God from head to toe started to shift my emotional priorities and the things I choose.
I realized that I'm typically doing one of two things in life. I'm either asking God to bless me or I'm looking to bless him. When I'm prioritizing the former, asking God to bless me, nothing ever seems to be enough. Food for today doesn't mean I'll have food for tomorrow. A good idea today doesn't guarantee that my mind won't be a barren wasteland tomorrow. Feeling loved and happy today doesn't mean the world won't crash down on my heart tomorrow.
But when I'm looking instead to bless God, when satisfying his heart is my number one priority, the things of this world don't seem to affect me as much. Praising God for his provision today reminds me of his character and aligns me with the reality of his goodness producing faith and joy within me. Thanking the Holy Spirit for filling me with the ideas I need to experience and advance his kingdom produces assurance in my heart that I am not the catalyst for ideas, impact or good works, but rather I am co-laboring with a God who in his grace chooses to work through me to do what only he can do. And communing with the unceasing love and joy of my heavenly Father lays a foundation on which I can experience love and joy regardless of what the world throws at me.
The God who, "forgives your sins…heals your diseases…redeems you from hell…crowns you with love and mercy…wraps you in goodness…and renews your youth" deserves every blessing we can give him. And if we will begin a lifestyle of blessing God by simply coming to him as we are, hearts open and vulnerable, we'll find that what satisfies his heart most is simply being with us. The God who has everything apart from the hearts of his people is looking for nothing more than that. And from the place of giving him our hearts–our thoughts, emotions and actions follow.
Choose today to bless God rather than look for him to bless you. And you'll find an abundance of blessing hidden in packages big and small, tangible and intangible far better than you could imagine–the best of all being touching the heart of God. May living a lifestyle of blessing God produce freedom, faith and abundant life in you today.