Expanding our relationship with God can be done in so many ways. I want to take just a moment to reflect on Psalm 100 and 3 simple ways to grow that relationship with God. Through joy, knowing God and thanksgiving. Find a quiet space with a pen and paper and see what God says to you.
Shout for joy to the Lord
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. (Psalm 100. 1-2)
Does joy elude you sometimes, do you find it hard to have, discover, receive? Joy is central to how God has made us. He wants us to shout about Him all round the earth, to worship him with gladness.
Joy enables us to experience what God feels about us, to build our relationship to God and worship with our whole being. It allows an overflow of what we feel inside to be demonstrated on the outside. There is joy in our every day, but we must make the effort to find it.
So how can you shout for Joy to the Lord? Notice when you smile! Simples as the meerkat would say! Our hectic world means that we are often haring about from one thing to another and don’t pause, don’t pick up when you’ve made a smile, giggled or jumped!
A simple change to find that joy to shout out about, is to pause and make note! Whether that is a physical note in a diary, a photo or simply just actually acknowledging that thing that brought you some joy!
We can only come before God with joyful songs if we have made the effort to find our joyful songs and moments in life!
Know you relationship with God
Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. (Psalm 100.3)
In Psalm 139 and Jeremiah 29, we hear how God has made us all individual, that every bit of our plans, he has already written and will come to pass. We are His because He made us. In those moments when it might be hard to find joy, know that God is with you. That he will carry you, he will care for you, and that he will support you.
God loves the analogy of the sheep, he uses them to help us foster our relationship with God. Sheep willingly follow where others go, as God draws us into his pasture, may we lean on him, may we know him, and recognise that we are his people.
And that in spite of everything else is going on around us God is our God and as we seek to bring joy, gladness and worship into our lives, may we just trust God more, may we put our hearts on the line. Seeking the pasture and whatever it brings.
What are the reasons you personally know the Lord is God? Why not make a note stick them somewhere visible.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalm 100.4-5)
The final section in Psalm 100 encourages us to keep going with our praises. A joyful or thankful day shouldn’t be just once! It should be on going, and earnestly sought. God puts laughter, exploration and fun in our soul. He delights in seeing us exploring Him, growing closer to Him and having fun doing so.
God’s faithfulness will always shine through even in those times when praising and thanking is hard, God will still stand beside you.
How often do you thank God in your day? Why don’t you commit to acknowledging 5 things you are thankful for at the end of each day? You could do this as a family, in a journal, as a doodle, a dance and movement, sing it, or any other creative way that you feel suits you as an individual.
I want to leave you with a fun video, that encapsulates a moment of joy on one of the UC Grace weekends away. If you want to see more from our dance weekends head to the gallery here. If you have a desire to go deeper with scripture and dance and movement, then check out our Prayer Dance Bites here.