There is a sound I love to hear
It’s the sound of the Saviour’s robe
As He walks into the room where people pray
Where we hear praises He hears faith
Awake my soul and sing“Awake My Soul,” Hillsong Worship
Sing His praise aloud
Our souls do not naturally drift toward things of God. I’m guessing you feel it too. When we are weary or hopeless, our souls seem to automatically drift toward apathy and fear and hiddenness. A soul on autopilot is a soul moving away from God. Friends, it’s exactly then that we must command our souls.
My soul–you will awake. You will be alive.
My soul–you will sing His praise. Out loud.
Command your soul.
I’ve found that words spoken out loud can be a help and a comfort. Often, speaking out loud to God brings deeper honesty and renewed connection. When we pray out loud, we are able to stay more focused and, at least for me, more of the angst inside comes out, leaving room for more of His peace to flood in.
Our understanding and practice changes as we begin to talk aloud to the God who is here. He’s not silent or inactive. He listens. He cares. He acts. We begin to deal with Him person to person. . . . you start to sound like you know what you need, and know Who you’re talking to, and mean what you say. . . . out-loud prayer becomes living evidence of an increasingly honest and significant relationship. As you become vocal, your faith grows up. God wants to catch your ear in order to awaken your voice.David Powlison, “Stop Having Quiet Times”
In these days of Thanksgiving, I am endeavoring to command my soul toward gratitude. Covid-19 has brought many hardships and adjustments, and often thankfulness feels impossible. Friends, it’s exactly then that we must command our souls toward gratitude. The believer’s gratitude finds its foundation in a firm belief that our God is good, therefore there is always something good to be grateful for. To me, gratitude is a bit deeper than surface thankfulness; I think it includes rejoicing in God. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). Gratitude lifts our soul-eyes. “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness” (Colossians 2:6-7).
On the days when I am struggling to be grateful and I need words to say out loud to command my soul, I turn to Psalm 42.
Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise Him,
my Savior and my God.
My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you.
Yes, Jesus, we remember You. When our souls are disturbed, we will remember. And we will command our souls. Soul-within-me, PUT your hope in God. Just do it. Despite how we feel, we will praise You, our God who saves. We will be grateful. When our soul is downcast, we choose to remember.
Awake my soul and praise out loud.
Today, I choose gratefulness.
I choose to command my soul.