Tune Your Heart to Praise

by Andy Wood on May 3, 2013

in Esteem, Five LV Laws, Life Currency, LV Cycle, Principle of Eternity, Waiting

Violin 2Hey.  Come on in.  Shut the door behind you.

Ha!  No, you aren’t in trouble.  I just wanted to show you something important, without a lot of distractions.  You doing OK?

So, just curious… how’s your praise life?

Yeah, that’s probably what I would have said, too.

Yes, actually, that is what I wanted to talk about.

I wanted to share an experience that actually happened several years ago, but it totally changed how I approach my relationship with God – particularly praise and worship.

Well, yeah, praise and worship at church with the music and all that.  But more importantly, praising God in my prayer time.  You know that old hymn that says, “Tune my heart to sing Thy praise?”  Yeah, well, the Lord showed me how to do that, and it was pretty life-changing.

For years I’d heard and said that we praise God for who He is and we thank Him for what He has done.  One day I was reading in Psalm 91 and I was reminded of how elusive real praise is.  We still tend to think of God in terms of how He functions or what He does.  Nothing wrong with that – it leads to gratitude.  But there’s something more He invites us to experience.

On that day I sensed an invitation from the Holy Spirit to look beyond the works of God and gaze on the heart of the one who does those things.

He is more than a Redeemer.  He has the heart of a Redeemer.  It’s a part of his nature and heart.

He’s more than a provider of refuge.  He is a refuge.

Keep Digging

I knew all those things in my head.  But what followed was something of a conversation between me and the Lord that reached the heart.

“Andy,” He said, “Who is your redeemer?”

“You are,” I said.

“And is anyone else?”

“No one.  You, and only You are my redeemer.”

And without realizing it, He was tuning my heart to praise.  But that’s not all.

When am I your redeemer?”

“Whenever I need you to be, Lord.”

“Is there ever a time I am not your redeemer?”

“Never.  You are always my redeemer.  It’s in your nature.  You are the same, yesterday, today, and forever.  There is never a time you are not my redeemer.”

And again, he was tuning my heart to praise.  He kept going…

Where am I your redeemer?”

“Everywhere.  In every circumstance.”

“At home?  Work?  In the hard places?  In the valley of the shadow of death?  In your places of celebration?

“Everywhere.  Wherever I go, and whatever is going on around me, you are my redeemer.”

And again, my heart was tuning up.  Now mind you, this was slow, thoughtful, and deliberate.  Before my heart rediscovered praise, He was tuning it, like a master musician would tune the strings of a violin before he made music with it.  But there was one more “string” to tune…

Why am I your redeemer?”

That took a minute.  Why does God do what He does?  As best I understand what He does, it comes down to two main motives:  so that He can be glorified and so I can experience His love.

“So is that why I am your redeemer?”

“Yes, Lord,” I said.  “I can glorify you that you are redeeming me, and I receive your redeeming love.”

This Changed Everything

In some ways it all sounds so simple now.  But I think the key was to simplify and slow down.  And to this day, when I am deliberate about this, it does something significant in my heart.

Picture your heart as a priceless violin – an instrument created to make the sweetest music in the universe.  It has four strings:  Who, When, Where, and Why.

And the song you play?  That’s the What.  And the What  is one clear, simple way the Lord is revealing Himself to you.  Here are some examples, right out of my prayer notebook:

  • You are a God who reveals Yourself.
  • You are the Son of God, seated at the right hand of the throne on high, not limited to any earthly kingdom.
  • You are a God who notices the details of my life.  You are so aware of my motives, my secret thoughts.
  • You are a Living God.
  • You are a life-changing God who transforms the lives of those who believe You.

A Sample Session

Last night I was meditating on a very simple principle from Psalm 135:3 – “Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good.”  And I began to tune my heart.  Here’s what it looked like:

Who

You, and only You, are good.  There is no goodness apart from You.  Jesus said there is none good but God.  I certainly have no goodness apart from You.  You are the wellspring – the source of all goodness.

When

You are always good.  There is never a time when You are not acting in the goodness of your nature.  When I believe You and when I don’t, You are good.  When I feel Your goodness and when I don’t, You are good.  When I choose to act on your goodness and when I choose not to, You are still good.  In life and death, sickness and health, You are good.  When friends love me and when enemies despise me, You are good.  When money’s in the bank or money’s in the tank, You are good.  There is no circumstance and no time when you cease being good.

Where

You are good in every place I go.  You are good in my home and in my workplace.  You are good in Lubbock, Marble Falls, or McKinney (this sets me up to pray for my children).  You are good in my public places and in my private places as well.  Wherever I go today, I will go to a place where Your goodness has already been.

Why

You are good for the glory of Your name.  All the earth will bow down to You because of Your goodness.  Even your enemies will one day declare that You are good.  And, You are good to show me Your love. I receive from You today the love You have for me as You express it in Your goodness.

Your Turn

Okay, your turn.  Let’s discover a What.  What has the Lord been revealing to you lately about Himself?  Not sure?  What have you read in scripture, heard someone else say, or thought about that reveals something about the character of God?  I know, there are a thousand different things you could do.  Just pick one.

Now… breathe.  Think.  And remember – to praise is to gaze.

Tune your heart… to the Who… the When… the Where… and the Why.

There’s one more thing I want to show you that’ll knock your socks off.  More on that later.

Right now, you have a finely-tuned instrument.  Why don’t you make some spiritual music with it?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Martha Orlando May 3, 2013 at 2:16 pm

What can I say? This is the perfect post with the perfect message. I’ll be sure to let Him tune my heart.
Blessings, Andy!
Martha Orlando´s last blog post ..I Love You!

randy February 1, 2014 at 11:20 am

Woke up with the line from this hymn on my heart and mind. Pondring it and investigating its meaning led to this site. God has opened many discoveries already. This site is one of todays treasure. Thanks.

Andy Wood February 1, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Hi Randy,
Thanks so much for stopping by and for your sweet encouragement. I pray the Lord not only reveals Himself to you, but uses you as His instrument to tune other hearts to praise as well.

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