Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain?
The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others; who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the Lord; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken.
Although I have done and continue to do good in my life, lend money without interest or demand of repayment, never accepted a bribe, have kept most of my oaths, and try to always speak the truth from my heart—I have done my share of sinning and gossiping. And I’m sure in some of that gossip was slander and slurring, since I don’t always take the time to confirm a story to be 100% factual before I repeat it to a family member or friend. I just repeat what I heard or read. That’s irresponsible on my part. I’m more mindful of this responsibility while using social media and in my professional life. So why do I become so relaxed with my standards in my casual conversations? I shouldn’t.
Yes indeed, I’m definitely a work in progress. I definitely have a long way to go before I can say I’m guiltless of wrongdoing of any kind. But here’s the thing, each day I work on improving myself and ridding my life of the negativity that had grown comfortable in my space. Each day I pray for strength, courage, discernment, clarity, grace, and guidance through all things and circumstances, and with all people.
Throughout our days we should be praying to and praising God. We should not limit our praise and worship to Sunday and mid-week services, at meals, at bed time, and when we wake up each day. There’s a lot of time between those events. That’s a lot of space and time for the enemy to step in and manipulate things. If you get blindsided, it’s because you weren’t aware of your surroundings.
And that’s just speaking to those of who follow that pattern of prayer and worship behavior/schedule.
Some of you may forget to say thank you when your eyes open each day, and only pray at night that you might wake the next day; and for some, mid-week services may be a nonexistent occurrence in your life, and Sunday service is reserved for holidays, special occasions, and those moments of overwhelming guilt. Some of you may be praying over your meals with a one-sided hope that the food will cause you no harm, rather than giving thanks for having the opportunity to partake in that meal.
So I call on all of you to pray and praise throughout your day. There’s not a minute that God isn’t thinking about and speaking to you. The same is true of the enemy. That booger never rests. The enemy is always meddling and working diligently to sway you from God. Don’t get “caught slippin'” as the saying goes.
Be grateful for all blessings, small and large. Ask God for guidance through all tasks no matter how great or insignificant. Thank Him for helping you get through a tough time, or a moment when you were about to curse and instead chose a more intelligent word to express your feelings. Thank Him for helping you to get to work, an appointment, your home, or a gathering on time and safely. Thank Him for each person you meet each day, and each person who smiled at you. Thank Him for the grace that keeps you from reacting negatively when someone is rude or mean to you. Thank Him for the courage not to give up when life beats down on you. Thank Him for the strength as you rise back up.
It doesn’t have to be a long, drawn out prayer or praise session. It can be as simple as saying the words, “Thank You Father!” because He knows what you are thinking about and referring to in that instance. Just smile and give thanks. Can you do that?
Try it, starting today and let me know how it feels, felt, and how your day turns out. Remember that our days should begin, end, and be filled with thoughts and practices reflecting God.
Father I have a long way to go before I’m blameless and can stand upright in righteousness. I have a long way to go before I can say that I never do wrong. I’m not at that point where I can keep an oath even when it hurts—and never change my mind. But You know my heart and You know that each day I’m trying to do my best and be my best. Each day I try to purge out those impurities within me so that I can be open and filled with only Your goodness. I don’t want to be shaken Father. I don’t want to be rocked and thrown off course. Let Your light continue to guide me where I need to be always. I will tighten my hand around Yours for stability, reassurance, and protection. In Your name I praise and I pray. Amen.
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