Okay, so when you encounter a command in a passage of Scripture, it’s probably a pretty good idea to seek to obey it. But when you find that command repeated within a few verses, put your ears on! Get your head in the game! And, as much as lies within you, respond to what the Holy Spirit’s trying to tell you. Check out this double command in Psalm 50:
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”
(Psalm 50:14-15 ESV)
The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies Me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!”
(Psalm 50:23 ESV)
A couple of things to note. Both passages speak of thanksgiving as a sacrifice to be offered. And both speak of how we should do life. Oh yeah, one more thing, at the center of both these commands is the opportunity to glorify God.
A double command? Glorify God? Perhaps I should listen up!
If I’m picking up what is being laid down, God desires a heart primed to thank and praise Him. Sure, we can offer Him a disciplined devotion time, or offer Him our attendance at church every Sunday, or ten percent out of our wallet, or any number of things, but, it seems to me, at the end of the day, if at the heart of it all there isn’t a sacrifice of praise or an offering of thanksgiving, then those other “offerings” have very little meaning or impact before our God.
In this double command the Father says, “Offer Me praise. Place thanksgiving on the altar. Even when circumstances aren’t so good, acknowledge that I am good. Even when others fail you, declare that I will never leave you nor forsake you. Even when you don’t know the way, praise Me because I have set in motion your path and have promised to direct you.”
I don’t know exactly why God so values our thanksgiving, but I do know He is worthy of it. I know He deserves it. That He would delight to receive it from such as I, well, that’s kind of amazing.
So why wouldn’t I delight in offering such a sacrifice? The sacrifice of thanksgiving glorifies God, and I want to be a God glorifier.
Something else glorifies God. In addition to the offering of thanksgiving from our hearts and lips, God is glorified when we determine to do life in a manner consistent with His calling to live for Him and to depend on Him. I am to “perform my vows.” I am to “order my way rightly.” And I am to “call upon Him in the day of trouble.”
What mom always said really is true–it is so much about making wise choices. Choosing to direct my energies in pursuit of the kingdom. Choosing to do all things as unto the Lord. Choosing to cry out to him when the going gets tough rather than trying to do it on my own.
And the promise is that, when I make those choices, He will show me the way and deliver me from the trial. It may not be my way. It might not be deliverance according to my desired outcome or timing. But, at the end of the day, I’ll know it was my God who delivered me in the day of trouble. That it was Him who faithfully directed my path. And I will thank Him. And in so doing, I will glorify Him.
Oh, that I might bring before Him the sacrifice of thanksgiving more continually. That my heart might overflow with an offering of praise more consistently. That He would be glorified.
Oh, that I might, out of a heart of praise, seek to order my steps after His. That I might respond to His call to be holy for He is holy. That I would have a holy determination to live for Him and yield to the Spirit’s sanctifying work in me. That I might live in dependence upon Him and know His deliverance. That He would be glorified.
By His grace . . . that He would be glorified.