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It's Not About Control by Pastor Steve

It should be no surprise that I do devotions every day. My prayer is, of course, that YOU do devotions every day, as well.

The devotional I use is called “Divine Hours” and every day of every year you are lead to time with God at 6a, then at 11a, then at 5p, and finally what is called compline as you are preparing for your night rest.

These devotions are full of scripture. There is no cute little story attached. There is no phrase of comfort or teaching written. No heartfelt words by the author. These devotions are several scriptures followed by a time of prayer. There is only journaling words of reflection if I do that journaling. And that journaling is done only when the voice of God is heard through the scriptures I read for the morning.

This morning, October 20, the opening scripture was simply Psalm 51:15.

Psalm 51:15

15 Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise.

I was stopped in my tracks. It begins with a call from me to Father to open my lips. I seem to be able to do that quite a bit on my own. “Open my lips, LORD . . .” In that quick moment, Father said, “Your lips should only open when I want them to be open.”

The rest of verse 15 states the only thing my mouth should do when my lips are open, “. . . my mouth will declare your praise.” Oops. I forgot the “and.” That “and” is very important because it connects the first action and the section action . . . ALWAYS. My lips should never open unless my mouth is declaring God’s praise. Not my actions. Not my thoughts. Not my stories. Not a word of anger. Not a word of senselessness.

There is intentionality in that verse. So often, I open my lips to greet someone with “what nice weather” or other meaningless words. In my head and heart are the praises to God for that nice weather.

“Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise.” If that is my devotional today that touches my heart, that convicts me to draw closer to God, then that phrase of greeting should either be silent, or become “God has given us wonderful weather, today!”

The devotional for today, this morning, was verse 15, only. So I picked up the Bible and read the complete psalm. Verses 16 and 17 completed my conviction from verse 15.

Psalm 51:16-17 16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 17 My sacrifice, O God, is[b] a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.

Father does not want a sacrifice from me. His Son, my Savior was that sacrifice. I am to be that living sacrifice of praise, holy and pleasing to God. (Romans 12:1 NIV) Father no longer takes pleasure in those temporary acts of burnt offering. So, what now?

Verse 17 comes quickly to answer that question. God wants you to come broken, with an open heart, a heart ready to hear His voice. To do whatever it is He is asking. And, especially, to no open your lips unless it leads to a mouth full of praises to God, the LORD God Almighty.

Say it with me, now. But I warn you, say it only if you mean it and only if you can come with a broken spirit, an open and contrite heart.

“Open my lips, O LORD, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.”

Go into the mission field with that in your heart, in your mind, and in your soul. Then tell me what kind of day you have had.

Pastor Steve

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