When the Psalmist wrote “Bless the Lord, O my soul,” he was really speaking to the part of himself that needed to understand and submit to the Lord the most- his soul. Your human soul is distinct and separate from the spirit of God that dwells in you. No one really understands how the soul, the spirit and the mind work together, except for the One who fashioned them. However, the writers who penned the Psalms understood at least this much: You are in command and in control of your soul. You can speak to your soul and sometimes you need to! There are always ways to for God to bless us, but even though we have nothing to give Him in return for His goodness, mercy and love, there are ways to bless the Lord that show your heart is grateful.
“Bless the Lord, o my soul” is not a poetic statement written in a moment of adulation. It is a command from the spirit to the soul to fall in line and worship. In fact, you already have experienced this: You don’t always feel like worshipping. Sometimes finding ways to bless the Lord feels difficult, but in reality, it is as simple as praising Him. In trying times, putting yourself out there, lifting up your hands, singing, clapping or even dancing are sometimes the last things you want to do. But that’s what makes worship the most beautiful, and the greatest sacrifice! Why? Because praise and worship aren’t about you – they’re about the Lord!
Find Ways to Bless the Lord at “All Times”
In Exodus 28, when the Lord was creating the priesthood of worship through Aaron, He spoke over and over about the foundation of worship saying, “…minister unto Me…” Under the New Covenant, Revelation 1:6 reveals that all of us who are in Christ have been made “kings and priests” unto God. We are all called to minister to the Lord in worship. Saying to yourself, “Bless the Lord, o my soul” is you, commanding yourself, taking authority and forcing yourself to remove attention from you and put it onto the Lord in worship, ministering blessing to Him through your gratitude. With “all that is within me” – no excuses. The Psalmist knew himself just like you know yourself- your weaknesses, your struggles, your secrets, your habits, your humanity.
“Bless the Lord, o my soul” is you, commanding yourself, taking authority and forcing yourself to obey and submit to the Lord in worship.
There are realistically going to be times when you do. not. want. to. But it isn’t an acceptable excuse. There are ways to bless the Lord at “all times”, that is the essence of sacrifice. “Bless His holy name!!” That word “bless” is the Hebrew word barak. It means to kneel down before a king, to acknowledge the king’s authority and to humble yourself within it. “Barak the Lord, o my soul, and all that is within me, barak His holy name!” The end of Psalm 103 reiterates the words at the beginning, “Bless the Lord, all His works, in all places of His dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!” There is literally no where on the earth that anyone is exempt from the command to the soul to barak-praise the Lord! Feelings-schmeelings – blessing the Lord isn’t about you, it’s about Him.
Thought for today: The Soul and the Spirit Work Together
David wrote, “I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise will continually be in my mouth.” (P. 34:1) Do you know who the very first person was to barak the Lord? It was Job. On the day his family was wiped out, the Bible says in Job 1 that he fell down and blessed the Lord. In fact, while there he said, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, barak be the name of the Lord.” Talk about a time in your life when you least feel like worshipping…! No excuses. Job gave himself no excuses. God was still God, and Job knew that. God was still holy, worthy and good. God did not cause Job’s troubles- Satan did! Job’s terrible circumstances didn’t change God’s goodness. In fact, it was the goodness of God that brought Job through to the other side into victory and restoration. The writer of Psalm 103 didn’t give himself any excuses either. He boldly declared to himself, “You will bless the Lord, SOUL! All that I posses in me will bless His holy name!” No caveats. No rain checks. Worship is ministry to the Lord. He will always be faithful to minister to you, but that is not the “why” of worship – we worship the Lord not for a result, but for this one reason: HE IS GOOD!
Learn more about blessing God with your worship:
- “Even at Night, Bless the Lord”
- “With My Mouth Will I Make Known Your Faithfulness”
- “Worship Makes a Way”