Text: Colossians 3:16 (NKJV)
One of the greatest challenges of Christians is the inability to practise the word of God. We do not know how to practise and put His Word to test. He says “prove me now…” (Malachi 3:10) (Isaiah 45:11 NKJV). Be doers of the work … (James 2:22). Practice is the actual application of an idea, knowledge, method, theory, instruction, principle, revelation. It brings about perfection. It’s habitual, rehearsing over and over again.
Human system deteriorates under the stress and strain of life. Our frame can’t handle mental and emotional stress well. Nothing strengthens our emotions and mental state like the spiritual force of God’s joy. The Bible says, “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Can you try to practise ‘the Joy of the Lord is my strength’? It’s a logical action. In Psalm 103, David spoke to himself – he was literally talking to his soul (INTELLECT, EMOTION and WILL).
- WILL is faculty by which a person decides and initiates action.
- INTELLECT is faculty or place of reasoning and understanding objectively, especially with regard to abstract matters.
- EMOTION is a natural instinctive state of the mind derived from mood, circumstances and happenings.
Analytical intellect is different from creative intellect. Analytical is not a major requirement for success in life. It’s creative that determines who rules the world. REASON is cause, explanation or justification for an action or event. You can be truly grateful without a reason. Yes, our lives are guided by both reason and emotion, hence we need a balance of both in gratitude and thanksgiving. That’s what EI is all about.
In Psalm 103, David issued a command to be followed by his soul “… and all that is in me”. Imagine your heart, kidney, intestine, liver etc. all singing and dancing to the Lord. GRATITUDE is the feeling and attitude of thankfulness and appreciation. When we’re truly grateful, we’re naturally melodious. In fact, we compose songs from the core of our being and we show emotion but ordinary emotions.
Music is key to inspiration and inspiration is critical to revelation. When your mood is down, you’d likely lose the network of heaven (mood is emotion at work). You lose connection with the spiritual which is the source of inspiration. The kind of revelation you get is determined by the kind of inspiration you receive. If you’re too emotional about things that aren’t working, you won’t see what’s working, especially the little ones that give meaning to your life.
The devil’s smart and knows he can’t steal your blessings without stealing your joy, he made Eve focus on one tree in the Garden of Eden. Psalms 147:1-3 was written when David was in the cave of Adulam fleeing from King Saul (1 Samuel 21). He’d lost all, including his wife. He was now a fugitive in Gath. He lost his dignity and self-respect because he feigned insanity to save his life (1 Samuel 21). Though he had been anointed King and promised the kingdom.
A cave and depression are synonymous and reflection of his emotional state. In Vs 7, his mood changed completely. One can be discouraged for many reasons; health, friends, job, spouse, partner, relationship, finance etc. “It’s not because things are bad that you’re sad, you’re sad that’s why things are bad” – Rev Sam Adeyemi. Sometimes we forget that even success whether spiritual or material can be followed by a period of depression. (1 Kings 8) Within 2-4 days of the supernatural fire, Elijah found himself running for his life. He was terrified, lonely, depressed and suicidal.
What about David who just won Goliath and people were singing his praise? What about pastors who go depressed on Sunday night…? This is what happens when we allow emotions overwhelm us. Johnson Oatman (1897) wrote the song “Count your blessings, name them one by one”. Counting one’s blessings is not an emotional event, naming them has gone beyond the realm of feeling or instinct. They’re logical reasoning activities.
Jesus at some point in his human frailty became emotional about this whole salvation thing and He asked God to cancel the plan. We can reverse our bad mood by logical reasoning. Someone says ‘If it’s not a sacrifice of praise, praise that has nothing attached to it, it’s not acceptable’. Praise emanates from the knowledge of a thing or person. Worship…
You don’t sell what you’ve not experienced or tested. (Psalms 34:8) Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. It’s called “Thanksgiving” not “Thanks-investing”. Give God thanks. He is God, not just because we want goodies.