Declare His Glory
The psalmists have a lot to say about our privilege and responsibility to declare God’s glory. While we primarily think of this declaration as a witness to the “nations” or the “heathen,” as this anthem says, it begins a little closer to home. In fact, it begins with declaring His glory to ourselves. Until we become convinced in our own hearts and minds concerning the glory of God, we will not be likely to declare it to those around us.
Martin Lloyd Jones has said that we need to talk to ourselves, preach to ourselves. It is important that we are intentional about bringing truth, particularly about God and His relationship with us, into our hearts and minds. In Psalm 91:2 it says, “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge, my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” This sounds very much like healthy self-talk. Yes, it could be a witness to someone else, but it sounds more like something we’d say to our own souls to encourage ourselves with truth.
This kind of declaration is especially important when we are facing difficulties. It is also remarkably helpful to express these truths out loud to ourselves. There is something powerful about forming the thoughts about who God has revealed Himself to be, expressing it audibly, having it go into our ears and then back into our minds and hearts. It makes the truths more personal and strengthens us.
Psalm 91 is full of wonderful and powerful declarations of the character and actions of our mighty and good God and His personal touch on our lives—qualities and truth we would be wise to declare to ourselves until we are rock solid in holding onto them. Then the following psalm reinforces these truths with others: “It is good to praise the Lord…to proclaim Your love in the morning and Your faithfulness at night.” Declaring God’s glory to ourselves is vital from our waking in the morning to our laying our head on the pillow at night. Imagine how life changing it could be if we would awaken each morning and our first thoughts were placed intentionally on God’s love, and we would declare the truth of that glorious love to ourselves! Another psalm says, “Satisfy me in the morning with Your unfailing love…” There seems to be something powerful in beginning our day with such thoughts.
Then, as we lay our heads on our pillows at night, we can recall all the ways the Lord has helped us through the day, and declare to our hearts His faithfulness. Such declarations would give us the peace we need to go to sleep, knowing that whatever troubles we’ve faced that day, which may even carry over into the next day, are all in the keeping of our faithful God and loving Father. No matter what we are facing, He is gloriously faithful. What a truth to declare to ourselves!
As we grow in our confidence in God’s glories, and as our declarations take deeper root in our own hearts, they begin to overflow to others. But even then, we don’t have to go too far from home. In Psalm 78:2-8 Asaph tells us that it is important to “tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power, and the wonders He has done.” For those of us with kids still at home it is
important crucial that we actively engage with them, not only about the facts of the Bible or truths about God, but we must let them look behind the curtain at our relationship with God and what that means to us. God’s glories are anything but impersonal, and that’s a powerful truth to declare to them.
Whether our kids are at home or grown with kids of their own, or our contact with children is through ministry, declaring the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power, and the wonders He has done is essential in guiding the next generation to an understanding of who God is and why He is so worthy of our worship, obedience, and love.
One great way to do this for our families is to compose an Ebenezer book or list. Ebenezer was a standing stone—a memorial—meant to convey the message: We have come this far by God’s help. Each and every one of us has come to the place we are only by God’s help. Very often the behind the scenes incidents of answered prayer, unfathomable interventions, help that came just in the nick of time, and other direct fingerprints of God’s activity in our lives and that of our families are not apparent to our offspring. Either they were too young or otherwise unaware of the wonders God has wrought in our lives. Were they to learn if them, that next generation might be amazed, their faith strengthened, and their own hope in God enhanced by these declarations of God’s glory that hit so close to home. It is important for us to declare His glory to them through these personal experiences.
Being able to think through and reread these incidents ourselves is a great way to re-declare God’s glory to our own hearts, as well. We will remember the ways He has displayed His glories in our lives through His love, provision, faithfulness, conviction, enabling, granting wisdom and insight, His unfailing goodness, comfort, encouragement, discipline, direct intervention… The more of His glories we can recognize in our own lives the more we will declare them—to ourselves, our family, and the nations.