Prior to Matt Redman’s hit “10,000 Reasons,” I was well acquainted with the line “Bless the LORD, O my soul” from Psalm 103. This psalm was so often read during service, preached about, and quoted from, that I felt, it was more of a Christian saying (aka Christianese) than an actual Scripture verse.
But God proved to be so kind – yet again – when He showed me that for all my hearing of Ps. 103:1 I never truly understood the significance of what David was doing there. He wasn’t lamenting, or narrating an event in his life, but talking to himself. David was literally exhorting and encouraging himself. The blessings from this small realization were manifold, but here are a couple that stood out:
- Another Reason to be Humble: Isn’t it astonishing how easily we take the amazing for granted? The first time you see the sunrise, you’re flabbergasted; the twelfth time, bored. And yet, the sunrise is still amazing. It’s a shame that familiarity breeds such indifference with us. Unfortunately, we’ll have to fight this effect of The Fall until we see God’s face and are forever enamored with His beauty.
- Additional Ammo in Spiritual Warfare: In the fight against sin without and sin within, it’s a blessing to find yet another way to prove more than conquerors: talk to yourself. We should preach to ourselves, instead of doing all the listening when our hearts and minds tell us lies. Let’s get on the offensive and speak truth right back. In that sense, we are all preachers!
It may not be Ps. 103:1 for you, but whatever is feeling too familiar in the Word, rejoice that there is probably an additional blessing there. For me, it was being reminded to preach truth to myself. I would be happy to hear what it is for you.
P.S. A great book on the topic of preaching to yourself is Hidden in the Gospel: Truths You Forget to Tell Yourself Every Day by William P. Farley. To use Steve Hoogerhyde’s language, “it’s a slim read”.
David Noel, Jr. is GRC’s Director of Youth Ministry.