In our last post, we learned about a first way of blessing the Lord, with our words. The second way to bless the Lord is to obey or carry out His word. To bless the Lord is a thing defined by Him. Notice what David said in verses 20-22:
“Bless the LORD, you His angels, mighty in strength, who perform His word, obeying the voice of His word! 21 Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, you who serve Him, doing His will. 22 Bless the LORD, all you works of His, in all places of His dominion; Bless the LORD, O my soul!” – Psalms 103:20-22
Blessing the Lord
The angels, of verse 20, are to bless Him in doing His word and obeying ‘its’ voice. I do love that ‘the word’ here has its own voice. This shouldn’t surprise us since we know that the Word of God is King Jesus (John 1:1).
Verse 21 says, “All His hosts” and “ministers” (which include you and me) are to bless Him by “doing His will.” According to Psalm 104:4 the winds and flaming fires are also God’s ministers.
But here’s where we have to stay focused, with each command to “bless the Lord,” in these verses David follows it with a characterization of that particular blessing: Verse 20 to Bless the Lord equals doing His will. Verse 21 to Bless the Lord is to carry out His word. You see, to bless the Lord is not left up to interpretation.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10
Finally, to bless the Lord is to bear His image in it’s true sense. In verse 22 David says, “all of God’s works” (that is every created thing) is to bless Him “in all places of His dominion.” In a sense each one of us has a station and what the Scriptures teach and what David is saying here is that all creation has a God-given purpose and that fulfilling that goal is to “bless the Lord.”
Blessing According to our Place
We’ve all heard that creation “declares the glory of God,” right? Or that it “proclaims His work.” But how does it do this? The short answer is that it functions according to its design.
“…so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.” – Isaiah 61:11b
How? God ordained praise because He ordained the function of all things. These seeds will produce fruit. Or like Jesus said to the Pharisees, the rocks will cry out.
This is why operating in a function other than what God designed is so problematic. Paul titles this missing the mark as “falling short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Let’s get specific here for the sake of example, how does a tree bless God? The answer is that it bears fruit according to its kind. How do the heavens bless God? The answer is by serving in their functional capacity—marking signs and seasons. But how do we as image bearers bless God? The answer is as simple as this: we function according to design. We rule and reign, church. We give ourselves to God’s plan to be fruitful and multiply. We subdue this world. We function according to God’s purposes.
This does consist of living out a specific design for our lives. But please hear me: The Biblical idea of purpose has been utterly co-opted by the hyper individualized culture of today. Many Christians have so over complicated the question of purpose that in some ways they’ve ruined any chance of rightly blessing the Lord.
Like most things, we turned purpose around to be all about us. What is MY purpose? As if we were created to be independent of God—to have our own goal. As if we were created to reach our own aims. This is not what the Bible teaches at all! As a matter of fact our plans are to be submitted to God, and “Lord willing, we will do this or that.”The Biblical idea of purpose has been utterly co-opted by the hyper individualized culture of today. Click To Tweet
We’ve also made purpose far too specific. We’re basically asking a modified version of that grade school question, what do you want to be when you grow up? Spiritualizing it we ask instead, what does God want me to be when I grow up? I guess we’re expecting Him to answer with something like I want you to be a firefighter or an astronaut. Church, this is rarely how God works.
Are there people throughout human history for which God has called them to a specific task? Of course. Does He still do this today? Absolutely! Is this the case for everyone? Emphatically, no!
There are things, however, that are for every image bearer to function in. Often overlooked or ignored, they just don’t seem exciting enough. But again they’ve always been God’s design.
We’re clear on ruling and reigning but here are just a few from Psalm 103: Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, don’t forget God’s benefits, do His will, and do it wherever you are. This is what it means to bless the Lord. This is unbelievably freeing.
I pray that this year is marked by God’s people doing life His way. By us reevaluating and asking, am I blessing the Lord? By looking at our lives and asking are we pursuing our own aims or are we pursuing God’s?
Next week we will continue looking at Psalm 103 to understand the “why” behind this. Maybe a better way of describing next week’s message is that we are going to look at what motivates us to bless the Lord with all that is with in us. Spoiler alert it has everything to do with Him and not us. I really hope you’ll be here because we are going to talk about legacy and a multigenerational blessing.