Declare God's Name by Nicole Williams
Oh hey, short on time? No worries! I'd love to join you on your commute or daily walk/run, or shoot, even while you take care of that to-do list. We can't let these things get in the way of this friendship. It's just starting to get good! Click below to listen to the blogcast.
In my family, we love to celebrate birthdays.
We gathered together for a tea party a couple years ago for one of my nieces. Fancy hats were worn, sweet tea was sipped from floral paper cups (with our pinkies in the air, of course), and the room was adorned with fun, Southern sayings like, "I do declare..."
While I may have enjoyed these three words a little too much in the span of our afternoon together...
I do declare this tea is tasty!
I do declare you look ravishing today!
I do declare this strawberry cake is diviiiiiiine!
You get the idea... These three words fit into nearly every sentence I spoke with my most beloved deep south, spillin-outta-your-mouth-like-molasses accent.
This week as we read Psalm 22, my friend Nicole Williams is teaching us how we can "simply ‘declare’ God’s name in the ordinariness of our everyday lives" and experience His presence.
Nicole is a writer and poet who loves spice shops, travel, throwing great parties, and a strong cup of black coffee with NY cheesecake! Her passion is influencing people to read the Bible for themselves and her mantra is Love + Mercy Matter Most. She’s the author of RISE UP: Believing God When the World is Falling Apart.
If family relationships are tough for you, grab her free guide Start Tiny: 7 Tips for a Healthier Life; it's an essential tool to create biblical and practical habits to heal unforgiveness. And be the first to know when the Forgiveness Course launches by joining her free online community at msnicolewilliams.com. She’s been married for 27 years and is mom to two young adults. Connect with Nicole on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.
There’s an intangible beauty that moves through space when we’re in the midst of God’s presence. We’re in the carpool line when we see our child run after a friend in front of them, handing them a folder that just dropped out of their backpack. We see a tall teenager pass an out-of-reach cereal box down to a stranger. We leave the closer parking spot for someone else on purpose. These little things show people we see them and care about them. And doesn’t it feel amazing when you experience this kind of good from other people, too? You know it does!
You’re in the midst of God’s presence.
I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; I will praise you in the assembly - Psalm 22:22
We might think ‘declaring’ will be done from a stage, or maybe to a large audience. But more often than not, we simply ‘declare’ God’s name in the ordinariness of our everyday lives. It’s in the way we interact with people that our inward heart is heard the loudest.
We find ourselves in the presence of God by reading the word, praying, and spending time with other believers. But we also find Him in places we can’t name. In the space where compassion and kindness are shared between people. In the way time stops for a breath when we smell the summer jasmine in the air. In the melody we hear when the written word seeps into our spirit.
We have the incredible privilege of meeting people in the middle of their lives, just like Jesus meets us. On the commute to work or in line for coffee, our actions declare the inward posture of our heart. Do our actions share the praiseworthy name of our God to people around us? Or do they share tension, impatience, or a critical spirit instead? Because all of us know, actions speak louder than words.
I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t declare God’s goodness with our words, not at all. I love the power of words. We should talk about the good news, but if people don’t see it show up in our day-to-day life, if they don’t actually experience the beauty of God’s love flowing out of our lives, what good is all the blabber? They walk away without tangible evidence of the love of God.
Through our obedience, God's glory is revealed to the whole world. In order for people to believe us, they need to see how God works in our own lives.
Are we actually kind to people?
Do we give preference to other people?
Do we let people in ahead of us on the highway? (yikes, not this one!)
And the most beautiful thing about all this? As we allow the ordinariness of our everyday lives into the space we cannot name, God’s Spirit moves. He ministers. He shines. It’s an amazing gift that God uses each of us in this way. So, let’s have this be our declaration and our hallelujah.
Now, It's Your Turn!
Before opening God's Word, take a moment to pray and ask God to meet you there. Then...
Read Psalm 22 a couple times. Highlight what stands out to you.
Circle verbs or specific wording you notice.
Then, write down a bullet point takeaway based on this. "I-statements" help make this personal. Think of this as a challenge statement.
I will leave it up to Jesus to use these little things to glorify Himself. He’s pretty good at that anyway.
Then, jot down a question or two to think about today. You don't have to have the answer to this question now. And yield to the Holy Spirit - prayerfully ask God to search your heart and lead you to more truth and grow your faith through the Holy Spirit.
Where do I see an opportunity for God to use me in my ordinary, everyday life?
Again, we don't have to be Bible scholars and talk only in the thou's and art's of King James version to read this book ...because when we pray before we read, we are not alone. The Holy Spirit is with us, guiding and teaching us.
Praise God for this!
And praise God for refreshment as we are intentional to spend a summer in the Psalms together, for if we want His truth to ever be on our lips, it must first be planted in our hearts.
Our strength grows as we rely on strength from above. Our joy grows as we see God transforming us from the inside out. Our peace grows as we spend time in God's presence, and we find rest when we intentionally seek the Lord first in our lives, for the Lord is ever our portion.
The good life, well it starts with a good day. Then another. Then another. Let's choose to live #TheGoodDay one day at a time.
I love hearing from you, so go ahead. Leave a comment. Be brave. Maybe your comment will speak life into someone else!
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