Do the Right Thing (Boot Camp for Creators & Dreamers 20.12)


Previously: Like King David, we creators and dreamers will have to face giants and weather our own Ziklag moments. But we can stay encouraged — during the tough times — by following the example of “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22) and tapping into the power of praise and worship. To do so we must honor and exalt God — during those tough times — in spite of less than favorable circumstances, and in spite of how we feel.

By observing the life of David, the legendary dreamer and creator, we can learn several valuable lessons about praise and worship. Remember, before David was a giant-killer, before he became a warrior and a military leader, before he was the greatest king Israel ever had — long before he was a history-maker — he was a worshipper!

David is known as the great psalmist, a poet and musician who was called a “man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:27) He penned some of the most encouraging and inspiring verses in the Bible; but long before his beautiful psalms were published, to be read and enjoyed by millions of
people throughout the ages, David personally sang them to an audience of One: his loving Heavenly Father, the Good Shepherd of Psalm 23 and John 10:11.

David learned to praise God while he was still an unknown — a “nobody” in the eyes of society — during countless lonely nights spent guarding his sheep. So, when he finally faced his greatest challenge at Ziklag, he knew exactly how to encourage himself in the Lord. Here are the lessons David learned firsthand about praise and worship:

  • Do the right thing! When all hell seems to be breaking loose, when we’re still waiting for God to answer our prayers, when we feel like crying and throwing in the towel, even if we feel God has let us down, we need to do the right thing and praise the Lord anyway. In fact, it’s during these Ziklag moments, when nothing seems to make sense, that we should (in the words of John Gray) “give Him a crazy praise!” That’s faith in action!
  • Take time to worship God when we’re all alone. Corporate praise and worship are important, but private praise parties — when it’s just you and the Lord — help to build your faith, and strengthen your relationship with God. Praise Him in the midst of pain and disappointment; when your heart is broken and eyes filled with tears.
  • Praise and worship God when you feel “stuck”: when your best efforts
    When “life” rains on your parade, do a “Gene Kelly” — and start singing in the rain!

    fail and your plans fall apart; when you still haven’t achieved your goals or fulfilled your dreams — and you just don’t get it!

  • Praise when you’re prayed out. Although we personally continue to pray in faith and expectancy, claiming God’s promises and waiting for our own breakthrough, we’ve had days when we felt “prayed out” and more than a little tired of asking. Perhaps you’ve been there. Like Elijah, in 1 Kings 19, we dreamers and creators can grow tired of “fighting the good fight of faith.” (1 Timothy 6:12) We can grow weary in well doing. (Galatians 6:9)

No matter how optimistic, energetic, faith-filled and steadfast we are, there will be times when we get just plain tuckered out! It’s during times such as these that we can still tap into the power of praise and worship, when we stop asking and just keep on exalting. It’s easy: we simply…

  • Praise God for who He is — NOT for whichever prayers He’s answered lately. Vicki Yohe’s song “Because of Who You Are” captures this truth perfectly. Check it out.

The next time you feel the blues coming on, slide a praise and worship CD into your car or home stereo system, and have a private praise party. Listen to songs of faith that minister to you — and sing along. Get out and participate in a corporate praise and worship service with a local faith congregation. Come back home and watch a DVD featuring praise music.

Or pull out an old hymnal and sing a few of those wonderful latter-day “psalms” such as “Great is Thy Faithfulness” or “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” or “It is Well with My Soul.” And for even more encouragement, Google the backstories of the creators who composed these classics — you’ll be amazed and blessed when you read of their trials and ultimate triumphs!

Fellow creators and dreamers, something supernatural happens when we praise and worship the Lord: God shows up and makes Himself at home! Because He inhabits the praises of His people. (Psalm 22:3)

Praise and worship is a personal celebration with “the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.”

And when God shows up, sadness, discouragement, and depression must leave! To quote a few more lines of Paul Wilbur’s “The Shout of El Shaddai”: In your name powers of darkness tremble; Jericho tumbles to the ground! In your name chains of death are broken; Lord of Hosts, pour your power out!

So praise and worship the Creator of the Universe, who gives us every good thing from above, including our gifts and talents, dreams and creativity — not to mention life itself! (James 1:17) No matter how you feel, no matter how your plans are going, it’s always the right thing to do.

Click here to all the Boot Camp lessons.


Power Up with Praise & Worship (Boot Camp for Creators & Dreamers 20.11)


Want to stay encouraged and motivated? Listen to the anointed* message of praise and worship music. (*Inspired by the Holy Spirit) It has the power to carry you through many of the rough spots in life, because it reminds people of who God is and what He’s capable of: the One who “is able to make all grace [every favor and earthly blessing] come in abundance to you, so that you may always [under all circumstances, regardless of the need] have complete sufficiency in everything [being completely self-sufficient in Him], and have an abundance for every good work and act of charity.” (2 Corinthians 9:8 AMP)

Can you hear it? -- Thunder in the distance,

When we worship, the Lion of Judah roars;

Strongholds crumble ... all around us

In the presence of our Lord!

There'll be vic’try in the camp, At the shout of el Shaddai;

Every enemy will flee from the fire in His eyes;

Every captive will be freed in this year of Jubilee,

When we hear the shout of El Shaddai!

These lyrics are from Paul Wilbur’s The Shout of El Shaddai, exalting God and citing one of His many Hebrew names. El Shaddai means “God Almighty.” (Exodus 6:3; Genesis 28:20-21; Genesis 48:3-4)

If you allow these words to penetrate your mind, heart, and spirit, and take stock of the message, we guarantee you’ll be encouraged — because there’s power in praise and worship!

Participating in praise and worship involves our eyes, ears, and mouths: we read the lyrics, hear the music, and sing along; exalting the Creator of the Universe. (Anything involving the hands and feet are encouraged but totally optional.) Remember that we stated there’s a connection between the eyes, ears, and mouth? (See Boot Camp session 20.9) Well, it’s not enough to see and hear the goodness of God. We need to voice our admiration: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue….” (Proverbs 18:21 ESV)

Lion GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Praise and worship is the act of honoring and glorifying God by expressing our love, gratitude, reverence, and sheer awe of Him. It impacts the mind (thoughts and attitude), the emotions and the spirit. As previously discussed, this and other forms of sacred music ministers to our whole being.

Praising and worshipping the Creator of the Universe enables us to shift our focus from ourselves (our problems, our challenges, our limited knowledge and resources), to God, (His power to solve problems, His sufficiency and, especially, His faithfulness to help us realize our dreams and purpose in life.)

David, the poet, warrior, and king, was also a worshipper — a characteristic he learned while spending countless nights alone in the fields, when he was nothing more than a young shepherd pondering his future. David was isolated, underestimated, and generally ignored by both his family and society at large, which viewed shepherds as “nobody”s. But during this lonely time, David worshipped God with all his heart. In so doing, he learned to encourage himself in the Lord, tapping into the power to “slay” giant obstacles and to ultimately overcome his greatest challenge, at Ziklag. (1 Samuel 30:6; discussed in Boot Camp session 20.)

Like David, we creators and dreamers will have to face giants and weather our own Ziklag moments. And, we can stay encouraged — during the tough times — by following the example of “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22) and tapping into the power of praise and worship. But this means we must honor and exalt God — during the tough times — in spite of less than favorable circumstances, and in spite of how we feel.

“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!” (Psalm 42:5-6 NLT)

Join us next session for part 2: “Do the Right thing!”

Click here to all the Boot Camp lessons.