“I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house;” Psalms 101:2
It’s easy to praise God once we begin to interact with him. This may sound trite, but really, as we as believers begin to read about Jesus in the gospels and his mighty works, or study the story of the Exodus or just in general see the transformation from sinners into saints in or own lives it is easy for us to look at all the evidence and deem God worthy of our praise. Verbally acknowledging that God is a great God is really a no brainer as we truly see what he has revealed to us through his word, the common grace evident in his creation, and the sanctifying power of his Spirit in our souls. And this is what we should do. God is a God who is worthy of receiving our verbal affirmation of His glory and wonder. However, what will often times happen in my life, and I think it is indicative of a deeper problem of culture, is that I will pour myself out with words before God, telling him how great and wonderful he is…and then stop. My praise both begins and ends with words. Whether they are through songs, or prayers, or through conversations with others, I find it easy to praise God with my lips, but then stop. This seems to be a problem with those who interact with God for a long time. Over and over again in the Scriptures, there is evidence of Israel praising God with their sacrifices and laws, or covenants made to God, or all these different things, but then the actions they take apart from their words are completely separated and run counter-intuitive to what we say to God. I do this so often in my own life, and every time I do it, my words become pointless. The proper response to God’s presence is first and foremost living righteously with integrity. If we were to say nothing, but act differently, God would be praised more truly. Whenever we as believing people praise God with what we say but insult God by what we do, our praise becomes insulting to God.
Lord Jesus, please help us to walk not only with words but with integrity. You are worthy of our righteous living and it is your grace that carries us!