What Stirs up the Spirit of God? Part 1

Whenever a fellow hunter begins to talk about his adventures on a big game hunt or a fly fisherman tells his tales of hooking a monster brown trout, my spirit gets stirred up.  When my son, Samuel, was growing up, his spirit was always stirred by hearing classical piano music.  Everyone has something that stirs up one’s spirit. What stirs our spirit speaks of the unique interests and passions of our heart.

Have you ever asked the question, “What stirs up God’s Spirit?”  What gets God’s attention and stirs up the zeal of the Lord?  For the next few blogs, I want to look at some key Biblical passages that speak of the things that stir up the Spirit of God.

Praise Stirs up God’s Spirit

In Isaiah 42:10-13, the prophet writes of the very thing that arouses God’s Spirit.  Let me encourage you to pull out your Bible and read this most insightful prophecy.

First, we note that Isaiah is prophetically challenging us to “Sing to the Lord a new song, and His praise from the ends of the earth” (verse 10).  He continues this theme, “Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voices…Let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory to the Lord, and declare His praise in the coastlands” (verses 11~12).

In our passage, the admonition to praise (verses 10-12) then moves into the result of our praise. “The Lord shall go forth like a mighty man; He shall stir up His zeal like a man of war, He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud; He shall prevail against His enemies” (verse 13).

Stunning imagery of a God Who is zealous, ready to fight, and prevailing over His enemies! Yes, God is like a zealous, fired up, Man of war!  Not the image most of our churches portray of God.  The Biblical God is more like General Washington fighting for freedom against the English than the American God of Mr. Rogers making friends in the neighborhood. No, our God is more like a lion, like Aslan in the classic children’s story, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,

“Aslan is a lion – the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…”Safe?” said Mr. Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” (C.S. Lewis)

So, what is it that stirs up the Lion of Judah? Isaiah tells us. God’s zeal is stirred by praise.  When we praise God, we stir up God’s Spirit.  Praise stirs up God’s zeal for righteousness; praise stirs up the fighting Spirit of God!

Praise God today.  Praise Him in the morning and evening.  Praise Him as you work. Praise Him as you walk.  Let praise fill your heart.  And then, watch what God will do!

Praising God and stirring up His zeal,

Pastor Steve