Time for a little whimsy and fun!
I’d like to introduce you to my dog, Sophie. She’s a sweet 2-year-old pit mix.
She’s a good-natured, high-energy dog.
She’s not really a worship dog in the sense that she goes around singing Matt Redman or Paul Baloche songs. She can’t even play piano! She doesn’t howl on pitch or growl “I love you.”
Besides being a great guard dog and outdoor companion, she’s actually a great teacher. I’ve learned many a lesson from just watching her.
In fact, just this morning I looked over at her and she was just snoozing away. Relaxed and all stretched out. One thing I’ve noticed about her is that even as high-energy as she is, she still enjoys a good snooze. It reminded me that I need to get good, quality rest EVERY night to operate at my highest capacity!
Another lesson I learned about 2 years ago was about Pursuing God’s smile. I blogged about it here. How often, in this fast paced world of busy-ness and electronic distraction, do we pause to just pursue the approval of our Master?
This week, I’ve been thinking about Sophie’s NEVER FAILING excitement each and every time we come home. It’s like she’s seeing us for the first time, every time we come through the door.
Even when I go outside to check the mail or take the garbage can to the street! She jumps around and you can just see it in her eyes that she is beside herself with joy to see me.
There’s a neat “word picture” of worship in the New Testament that basically uses the imagery of a dog licking it’s Master’s hand. I’ve been meditating on that picture this week as Sophie expresses her joy each time we come in the door. What amazes me though, is her simplistic expression of joy. She never gets tired of expressing her joy at our presence.
The Bible says that the presence of the Lord is filled with joy. Some translations say, “In the presence of the Lord there is fullness of joy.” I can see a glimpse of that “fullness” in Sophie. She breathes harder in excitement, and literally leaps around, with a furiously wagging tail, until we acknowledge her with greetings and doggy pats.
What’s the lesson here? Mostly just that I see a positive picture of an expression of full joy. But it doesn’t get old for her. It’s the same routine every time. I think for me it’s a reminder that there can be beauty in routine. But maybe even more so, it’s the beauty of the expression of joy that inspires me today.
Don’t be afraid to share your joy in the presence of the Lord!
1) Share your joy WITH GOD! Praise him aloud! Expressing our worship to God when we’re alone is a wonderful thing! As a worship leader sometimes I have to convince myself that I don’t need a microphone or a guitar to praise God. Just let the praises ring out!
Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. (1 Chronicles 16:9-10)
2) Share your joy WITH OTHERS! The joy about being in love with God isn’t something we should keep buried away in our hearts. It longs to be shared! When we come together encourage one another with songs, hymns, and spiritual songs.
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:19-20)
3) Remember that God is WITH US! His presence is with us! As a Believer and as His child we can walk daily in the fullness of His joy!
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Psalm 16:11)
I hope you’re inspired to be free in your expression of joy, whether it’s through a song, through a dance, or even just through a smile!
And don’t be afraid to learn lessons about worship from the “little” things in life that you encounter each day. I’ll be sure to pay attention to Sophie, she is a great teacher!