There was a song that we sang when I was a child, and that at times I would obnoxiously sing to my children when I woke them for school.
“Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory,
Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory,
Rise and shine and give God the Glory, glory
Children of the Lord.”
Randomly this song comes to mind, a joyful memory of a more carefree time. As I sat ruminating on the song, rise kept sticking out to me. We are called to rise as Christians, to be a light in the dark world. I thought about the individual letters in the word, and how we rise to this call.
Repent – Our walk with Christ begins with repentance and it is something that we continue to do throughout our life. Repentance means we change and turn away from the behavior that we are doing that causes us to repent. As new believers, we repent because we recognize we have sinned. We need a Savior and want to change our lives. As we go deeper in our walk with the Lord, we go deeper in the things we realize grieve God’s heart. We begin to recognize negative thought patterns and beliefs are just as in need of repentance as the negative behaviors.
“The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”” Acts 17:30-31
Introspection – In a society that is quick to pick out the faults of others, Christians should be taking time to look inward. We need to look at the condition of our own soul not in comparison to others, but to what the Word says.
“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” Matthew 7:3
We need to look at our thoughts and emotions in light of what God thinks and feels towards us. He is within us, and we should rely on faith despite what our emotions and thoughts are telling us about circumstances.
“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” 2 Corinthians 13:5
When we align our thoughts with His, we can see lives through His eyes. We can feel conviction without condemnation and make the changes needed to align our lives with His plans.
Seek – There are so many passages about seeking, found in the Bible. Where we put our attention, is the direction we will go. When we are looking for more in the Lord, He will oblige.
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!” 1 Chronicles 16:11
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
“Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, who do his just commands; seek righteousness; seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the Lord.” Zephaniah 2:3
“Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14
There are just a few of the passages of things that we can seek from the Lord. We must seek Him with our whole heart. We can seek His strength and presence. We can seek His kingdom and His righteousness. We can seek humility and peace. We will always find what we seek in the Lord.
The closer we grow to God, the more we will exalt Him. We can not know of God’s character, of His goodness, of all He has done, and not want to glorify Him. We want to share of all He has done and about who He is with others.
“Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!” Psalm 34:3
“Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy mountain; for the Lord our God is holy!”
“O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.”
Our walk with God never has to end. For some, saying the prayer of salvation, acknowledging the need for a Savior seems to be enough. Yet when we allow Him to rise in our life, we will grow more in Him and rise to the calling that He has for each of us. Not everyone is meant to preach from a pulpit, but our lives reach many that a pulpit never will, but only if we rise after repenting to introspectively look at our own life, begin to seek the Lord for ourselves, and then exalt Him with our words and actions!
Prayer – Lord, I do not want to sit by one the sidelines, I want to actively walk with You. I want to go deeper than mere repentance because I know that Yo want the very best for me. I don’t have to settle for less, but that decision is up to me. Lord, create in me a clean heart, show me the areas that I need to change. Show me the things I need to set down, those I need to set aside, and those I need to pick up. I don’t want to miss any opportunity that You place before me. Help me to seek more and more of You. Show me where I have time that I could better use seeking You. Lord, I exalt Your Holy name, I want every word that I speak and every action I take exalt Your name! In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.