Bless The Lord At All Times
“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalms 34:1-4 KJV
Whenever I encounter an all-inclusive statement (every, always, unceasingly, at all times, continually, and so on.) in the Scriptures I tend to wonder, how practical is the application of that exhortation or pledge or commandment?
There is nothing in my world that I do perfectly all the time. It’s not that I don’t desire to be that consistent and not that I don’t try. There are many things that I try to do as consistently and as regularly as I can. Fundamentally, I have committed to tithing and giving offerings, to praying almost daily, to encouraging others and doing my best to make people feel at ease, but to actually be consciously blessing the Lord at all times, at that I miserably fail.
So, what is the psalmist’s message to us in this passage? Was David’s every word a blessing to the Lord? Was he continually praising the Lord? Surely as king, he, at least, had some practical, day-to-day affairs of State to consider and family issues to address like everyone. So, what does he mean by “at all times” and “continually?”
I believe that question can be answered at least in part by these passages from 2 Corinthians 10 and Colossians 3.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-6
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24
First we must acknowledge that we’re at war with the devil and our old human natures. But, God has equipped us with the weapons necessary to defeat him at every turn. So we need not fear nor be overwhelmed by his attempts to keep us from our appointed and ordained purpose in the Kingdom of God. As the people of God we CAN do all things through Christ Who strengthens us. And that perfection is being worked out in us by the Holy Spirit as we cooperate with Him by giving attention to His Word.
Secondly, in all things our motivation is to please God, not ourselves, not other men, not even our children or our spouses. Now I do not claim to know firsthand the unique challenges of relating to a spouse or to children as they grow and mature into adulthood, but I do know that all sin and temptation proceeds from the same source and our defense against him is the same for all of us.
We all serve Christ and He is the only One we need to set our hearts to please at all times, no matter how inconvenient or uncomfortable or how hard it may be, especially where loved ones are concerned. But, it’s interesting. I’ve noticed over many years that the only things people tend to lose are the things they compromise their faith, their principles or their moral compass to keep. But when we stand for the truth against the pressures to yield to a popular posture of social acceptance we gain the pleasure of God, and eventually, the hearts of those who opposed us in the past will come to agree with us when the eyes of their understanding are opened to the truth of God’s Word.
Always? Every? Continually? Unceasingly? Yes we can do them all through Christ our Lord, Who strengthens us.