Kids say the funniest things. Especially when they misunderstand something in Bible class or a church service and repeat it incorrectly.
A little girl was once asked “What is your favorite hymn?”
She quickly brighten up and proudly said, “Gladly, the cross-eyed bear.” Of course, the lyrics are “gladly the cross I bear.
This reminds me of a Sunday worship service when the congregation was singing the chorus of song that goes: “I exalt thee, oh Lord…”
A mother of a 5-year-old girl glanced down and realized that her daughter was fervently singing, “I’m exhausted, oh Lord..”
Unknowingly that little girl might have been singing the truth about the religion of some Christians. Instead of exalting the Lord. They’ve allowed themselves to become spiritually exhausted.
Michael West, an Indiana preacher, writes a pretty stinging rebuke regarding the religious state of some professed Christians. “Our religion has become ineffective in the world. We are being rejected more each day. The world wants us to take our little god and go somewhere else.”
“Our religion has become powerless.” writes West, “because we believe in a powerless god. Our religion is weak because our god is weak. Our faith is weak because we have believed in the words of men, rather than the Word of God. We have stopped seeing God for Who He really is.”
West then issues this challenge, “It’s time for us as Christians to wake up, to rise up, to speak up to believe up, to brush off the world and raise the standard of Jesus Christ above the rest. We need to repent and walk in faith again before it gets any later than it is already.”
In the past several posts we have been presenting a Biblical picture of who our God really is. And how we should honor God. In Psalm 34:1-3, David uses five words that glorify God.
I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
Today, let’s consider the final word of our text, exalt. It means “to raise up, to go up, to elevate, to be high” either literally or figuratively. It is “the state of being on a higher plane; to lift up.”
The word can actually can be used positively or negatively. In the positive sense it means to raise up to a position of honor. Negatively it means to be haughty or proud.
We exalt the Lord because he is worthy to be exalted. The Psalms are filled with expressions of praise for God that impress us with His right to be honored.
Exalt the Lord our God,
And worship at His footstool —
He is holy. (Ps. 99:5)
Be exalted, O Lord, in Your own strength!
We will sing and praise Your power. (Ps 21:13)
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people,
And praise Him in the company of the elders. (Ps 107:31-32)
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens,
And Your glory above all the earth; (Ps 108:5)
If we learn anything from these passages, we are impressed that worship is not about us. It’s not a time to exalt a preacher, song leader, or a church. Worship is all about God. His glory. His strength. His power. His goodness. His greatness.
Maybe some of our worries in this wicked and wayward world would be eased, if we raised up our Lord to the place of exaltation He deserves.
Listen. The Lord is on the throne. He rules. He reigns. He will prevail. He scoffs at the pompous and proud politicians who think they have all the answers (Ps 2:1-4)
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Ps 46:10)
–Ken Weliefver, The Preacherman