2: Acknowledge God
My lesson for you today is entitled Acknowledge God. And this is my thesis for you: Acknowledging God will positively change your life. We’re going to keep it real simple today! Acknowledging God will positively change your life. And my scripture for you comes from Proverbs 3:6: In all your ways, acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths. I’ll say that again: In all your ways, acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths.
Alright, Builders, we are back for another installment in our Lenten series, “Build a Better Life: Your Consciousness Under Construction.” Now, last week we talked about listening for God and using the tool of scripture to help ourselves discern the voice of God in us above all of the voices.
We said that the practice of reading, studying and researching scriptures is going to help us develop a sensitivity for the voice of God in us. And then once we discern the voice of God in us, here we are at step two! Today, we are going to orient ourselves toward God. It’s kind of like you’re out there, you’re playing with your friends and you hear your momma’s voice, and then you turn and orient yourself toward it. Right?
There’s something you’ve got to do. You have to respond to the call because, you see, just because I heard the voice of God doesn’t mean that I am oriented toward God. I can pick out God’s voice, but there’s another layer. Once I hear it, I must acknowledge it. And what’s happening…when I acknowledge God is that I begin to repair the holes and the gaps in my consciousness.
Oh, this is going to be good today!
See, just because I heard it doesn’t mean I’m oriented towards it, right? It’s not enough to just hear it. Now I want to position myself. And in order to position myself, there’s some cleanup that has to happen.
WHAT KIND OF HOUSE ARE YOU LIVING IN?
All of us are living in some kind of house. And now, I’m not referring to our physical house, but I’m referring to the lives that we are living. See, if you thought about your life — the way it is right now — what kind of house would it be? The way your money is, the way your health is, the way your friendships are, the way your romantic life is… what kind of house would it be? Would you say that you are living in the lap of luxury with plenty everywhere and even more on the way? Or are you living in cramp quarters, scraping by and wishing for some relief from your present conditions?
Again, I’m not talking about the physical house you live in, but rather the life you’re leading right now.
Scripture says: In my house — in my Father’s house — are many mansions. Which room are you in? Which mansion are you in? What does your life look like? Our very best thinking built the houses we’re living in right now!
The lives that we are leading right now, our very best thinking built that! And so no matter how luxurious a life we may have, or how challenging a life we may have… better is available! And that’s what this series is all about.
So, those of you that said you’re already living in the lap of luxury, is it fair to say that there may be some rooms in your house — and they’re nice — but they might be ready for some redecoration? Maybe there’s some wear and tear on the walls in the form of health challenges, or relationship challenges, or money challenges.
You see, our very best thinking built this present house. Therefore, the way to move into a better house means that I have to elevate my thinking from this present level… and that begins with acknowledging God. Acknowledging God is how I begin to change the way the house that I’m living in looks. Acknowledging God orients me toward God.
Remember, I’m out here playing. I hear the voice, right? But I don’t just hear it — this is how you get in trouble, this how you get the punishment. Get the Game Boy, the Nintendo! (No, we didn’t have that. We had the Atari, the Commodore 64.) That’s how you get those games taken away, right? It’s like you heard the voice, but you ain’t doing nothing about the voice. Anybody ever had that experience? Give me a heart, a high five, a thumbs up if you know what I’m talking about!
I heard the voice. Now I have to orient myself towards the voice, right? And acknowledging God orients us toward God. You see, every place in our lives that we find in disrepair is a place where we have not yet acknowledged the power and the presence of God.
I’m going to say that again, because somebody might need to hear that: Every place in our lives where we find our life in disrepair — and you decide what disrepair is for you — is a place where we have not yet acknowledged the power and the presence of God. That’s what those early New Thought pioneers would say: There is nothing to be healed, only God to be revealed. Every place in my life that’s not living up to the Divine Standard is a place where God needs to be acknowledged so that the healing can begin.
Every place that the spirit is, there is life. There is joy. There is love. There is peace. There is increase.
When you think about your health, what words would you use to describe it? When you think about your money, what words would you use to describe it? And listen, I’m not talking about affirmations. I’m not talking about looking at $5 and saying, “I have more than enough.” I’m talking about looking at it as it actually is. I want to tell you that what you cannot look at honestly without telling a story about it, you cannot do anything about it.
Half of what keeps us anchored to where we are is that we won’t look at things as they are. And so every time we look at it, we’re either making it worse than it is or we’re making it better than it is, but we never just look at it as it is.
And so I’m talking about the words that actually describe where you are without the story, without the judgment, without the self-beat down, but an actual, honest, non-judgmental, unbiased assessment.
This is your assessment. You have to tell me, and you don’t have to put it in the comments below. Just simply think about the words that describe your present reality. And now I want you to ask yourself: Can I use those same words to describe God?
If the answer is no, then you know that you’ve got some places in your life where you need to acknowledge the presence and the power of God.
…And that’s why this tool that we’re going to be working on today is so important! Because unless the words that you are using can also be ascribed to God —and you can honestly and authentically and not be just using an affirmation, but really mean it about your life — that’s the gap that you have to span. And the tool that we’re going to give you today is how you span that gap. You see, life is infinite. There’s no there to get to.
But if I were pressed to name a there, it would be that when I think about my life, the words that I use to describe my life are synonymous with the words I use to describe God. And they’re not just affirmation, but they’re actually my lived reality. If there’s a there to reach for — that when I say that God is effervescent, is unending, is lavish, unfailing abundance — that I can also use those same words about my experience… and it is actually true. That’s what we’re reaching for.
Let me tell you some good news… the good news is that we’ve got some tools in our prayer box that are going to help us accomplish this very thing!
GET OUT YOUR PUTTY KNIFE
This is not a pie in the sky reality. This is a real, living experience that you can have. So, the next tool in the toolbox that we’re going to talk about is the putty knife.
Now, let me tell you about the putty knife… putty knives are used to apply putty (or surfacing compound) into cracks and nail holes, to patch divots with wood filler and to spread drywall joints and seams. Every place in your life that is not living up to the Divine Standard is a place where you need to apply the putty.
If you have ever gotten a hole in the wall that needed patching, your repair person is going to come with some putty and a putty knife to repair that wall. And so my points to you today are real simple: Point number 1: mix it. Point number 2: apply it. Point number 3: smooth it. Mix it, apply it, smooth it. Let’s say it together: Mix it, apply it, smooth it.
MIX YOUR PUTTY
Alright, point number 1: Before the putty can be applied, it must be mixed.
So, chances are, if you went and bought putty from Home Depot or Lowe’s, there’s just a box or a tub called putty. But somebody had to make it! They had to actually get some calcium hydroxide (or “builder’s lime” as they call it) and some water and mix it. What you do, is you get one of those 5-gallon tubs and you fill it with half water. And then you pour the lime. And then, you mix it up until it’s smooth like icing on a cake. And then that’s your putty! (There’s probably a couple of other things that you do, but that’s essentially it… that’s what the YouTube video said!)
The author equates Thanksgiving with mixing the putty. Thanksgiving is mixing the putty. The verse is 1 Thessalonians 5:18: In all things give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Now, whether you say it aloud or you simply speak it within yourself, Thanksgiving has a lifting aspect to it.
If right now you would begin to just give thanks for the things in your life that bring you joy, or the things that you’ve overcome, your mood would shift. If right now you just decided, you know what, I’m going to make a list of the things that I’m really joyful and happy about. What would happen is that literally your energy would begin to change!
So many holes in our lives that we desperately want to fill remain unfilled because we won’t mix the putty amidst the things that are going on in our life. Mix in Thanksgiving to acknowledge God for what God has done for you.
Sometimes we become blind or immune to the challenges in our lives — the hole in the wall that’s been there so long that we don’t even see it anymore. In fact, we don’t even notice it until somebody (whose opinion we care about) comes to visit our house.
We forget that the hole is there because we simply walk by it so many times. Kind of like how the dishwasher hasn’t worked in who knows how long, or the button on the microwave has been messed up since the kids were little. We become blind or immune to it.
And what Thanksgiving does, is it’s a way that you start mixing the putty that’s going to be used to prepare your life. It’s kind of like if you were doing double Dutch, and you’re waiting to get inside and you’re trying to time it with the rhythm of the rope, right? Thanksgiving is like that. It’s getting you ready for the repair work that’s going to come from acknowledging God. Right? It’s getting you ready for it to happen.
APPLY YOUR PUTTY
Which brings me to point number two: you have to apply it. Once the putty has been mixed, you are ready to apply! Once you’ve got that smooth, almost icing-looking putty, it’s time to take it, and apply it! That repair person is going to scoop some up with a putty knife and begin to slather it over the hole that must be filled. And praise is applying the putty to the holes in your life.
Praise is applying the putty to the holes and the divots and the cracks and the crevices of your life. The 150th Psalm verse 6 says: Let everything that has breath praise God.
This goes beyond being appreciative for the good in your life. Praise acknowledges God as the source from which all your blessings — your apparent good, and the good that’s yet to be discovered — flow. Praise applies to your life the idea is that God is the source, and everything and everyone else is a resource through which God flows.
I had a hole in my second bathroom that needed patching. Now, I don’t want to tell you how long it was there because I had worked up in my mind how much it was going to cost to be repaired. And finally the day came when it was like, “I can’t take it, just fix that hole! I don’t care what it costs.” (And it ended up not costing anything, but that’s a different lesson!) Oh, the stuff we put off because of the horror stories we tell ourselves about what it’s going to take to get through it!
Anyway, I had this hole in the bathroom and I happened to walk in when the repair person was working on it. And I want to tell you, this hole was so unsightly! The drywall was all busted up, and it looked so terrible that I imagined it was just going to take a whole lot to fix. But, I walked in after he had slathered on the putty, and it was filled! He wasn’t finished, but it was filled. He hadn’t smoothed it out, but the hole itself was no longer visible. It no longer looked like the busted up drywall that I was so embarrassed about.
There may be places in your life right now that look like that busted up drywall. But if you would begin to praise God, that busted place would flat out disappear! See, I walked in that bathroom and he was still in the process of finishing it, but the hole itself was gone.
I’m telling you, praise will make the hole disappear! All those places where you feel out of sorts — where it looks like things are so wrong that it’s going to take a lot to get them right — the simple act of praising will begin to erase those seemingly intractable conditions from your life.
No hole is so deep that enough praise cannot fill it. Let me say that again: No hole is so deep that enough praise cannot fill it.
So, you want to begin to praise everything in your atmosphere — whatever it is, and no matter what it looks like. Praise will literally lift the vibration around you. It will shift the atmosphere. And here’s the thing that’s so powerful that I think is just amazing: Praise will take what you have and make it better. Or it will gently move it out of your life so that space can be made for what comes.
Everything in your life matches your current vibration. Everything that’s in your life looks like the level of praise that you’re doing right now. I don’t mean in this moment; but I mean in your life right now, in this season of your life.
Don’t you know that if you begin to praise, that the stuff that’s unlike the praise that you are giving, will get up and get out of your life? I have had people, who I did not know how to let go of in my life — and I began to praise — no longer stuck around me because my vibration had changed. I shifted.
And when I shifted, we were no longer a vibrational match. And so they had to get up and go with no hard feelings. I didn’t have to have that hard conversation. When the level of praise in my life changed, the things in my life shifted. The things that stayed got better, and the things that left, made room for better.
Somebody’s going to get this, and change their life!
SMOOTH OUT YOUR PUTTY
Point number three: Smooth it. Once you the putty has been applied to the hole that it’s filling, then it’s time to smooth it. And now this is where the magic comes in!
I see that unsightly hole in my bathroom that I thought I would have to spend a ton of money to repair, and that same hole was gone inside a matter of minutes (under the hands of a skillful repair person, of course!).
It’s been bumpy, it’s been uneven, and it’s been patchy. And you know what I’m talking about! Go look up some photos of bumpy drywall, and it’s like Whoa! And we all know it because we’ve all seen those bad drywall jobs. It’s uneven! Like, who did this? Did you have a putty knife or did you have a rake? Like, how did you do this? It’s patchy!
I love it when Rev. Doral Pulley writes, “Worship is smoothing the putty in the cracks and the crevices of your life and sealing your Divine Identity deep into your consciousness.”
See, worship is how you make it so that the hole that was so unsightly isn’t even detectable to you anymore. When I go in that bathroom today, you can’t even tell that there was a hole there. And I don’t know about you, but I want my life to be so good that I forget about the times when it wasn’t like I wanted it to be. I want it to be so outrageously wonderful, so enormously grand, that the times when it didn’t approximate to the Divine Standard, the times when it didn’t look like the divine plan for my life, I can barely remember.
Get this: Sometimes you run into somebody that you used to know, and the only reason that you know you used to know them is because they remember you so vividly. They’re sitting there trying to make you remember them, and you are literally racking your brain to remember them, but you remember the circumstances that they’re talking about… That’s how good I desire my life to be!
In fact, when I look back on the years that weren’t the way that I wanted them to be — that life is so good now — that I have to rack my brain to remember what life used to be like.
Worship is how you get there. Worship is how you smooth that part out and make the former things disappear. Worship demonstrates your knowledge of your connection to God — the truth that your connection to God is eternal, and that nothing could ever separate you from God. Did you hear that? Life can be so good — that your connection with God can get so tight — that you don’t have any recollections of life before that time. Now, that’s good!
REPAIRING THE HOLES
Alright, let’s review. We’re going to recognize that acknowledging God is going to positively change you. Acknowledging God is going to positively change you when you mix it, apply it, and smooth it.
Say it with me: mix it, apply it, smooth it! Mix it, apply it, smooth it!
Thanksgiving mixes the putty; it gets your life ready for the loosening. It gets your life ready for the loosening of everything that’s unlike your Father, Mother God. See, you’ve got some stuff stuck to you that’s not really a part of who you are. You’ve got some stuff stuck to you that’s beneath your spiritual privilege. You’ve got some stuff stuck to you that is not part of your destiny. And Thanksgiving is how you start loosening all that stuff up!
Simply start to give thanks. And the more you give thanks, the more it’s like barnacles coming off the ship. It just starts to fall off. And then praise applies the putty — it fills in the gaps! All of a sudden those things that used to look like holes, no longer look like holes.
Worship then smooths the putty; it takes everything over the top! We’re talking about spiritual overdrive moving from glory to glory to glory, walking in your purpose, calling it good… and it’s not just an affirmation! That’s what’s available for you! That’s what’s available for you and I dare you to use the tools of Thanksgiving and praise and worship to make it so.
God bless you.