I Exalt Thee

Have you ever experienced an odd phenomenon where something specific keeps being brought to your attention over and over again? Like a number or a word? And I’m not just talking about the creepy way that Facebook likes to “coincidentally” advertise things onto your timeline that you have recently googled.

The one time I experienced something constantly being brought to my attention was with a song. For a couple weeks, I noticed the song “I Exalt Thee” was popping up everywhere I went; on the car radio, at church, when my Spotify would shuffle random music, etc. So I became curious. I wanted to understand what it means to exalt God and why it is important that we do so.

When I googled "exalt" this definition came up; "raise to a higher rank or a position of greater power."

The word of God shows us that He is already above all things (Psalm 97:9, Ephesians 1:21). This position that He obtains is not dependent upon the opinion of humans, which He created (Acts 17:24-26).

But, do we see Him as highest in rank compared to the other things which we hold so closely to our hearts? More important than our status, or money, or relationships? Do we actually humble ourselves in surrender and let Him fully have great power over our lives? Do we look to Him to tell us how to live out our lives?

See, it was no coincidence that this song kept popping up for me in that season. God was showing me that in my heart; I needed to exalt Him above all other things in my life, whether they were good or bad.

As humans, there are times when we can let a discouraging circumstance or even our pride to cloud our perspective of who God truly is. Like becoming miserable and getting frustrated with God because life is not going the way you want it to. Or maybe life is going so well that your pride gets in the way and you forget how much you actually need God.

It can be dangerous to allow circumstances or the opinion of man (including our pride) to determine our joy and hope. For these things are temporary, fluctuate, and should not take the place of God in our hearts as they will not fulfill what we were created for. If anything, they will leave us feeling empty, unsatisfied, and hungry for more. Instead of depending on anything but God, we should point ourselves back to His word and see that He is constant, always good, and above all things.

Sometimes it is important to take our eyes off our circumstance and ourselves to realize who our God is. He is the one who rose Christ from the dead and is capable of using any circumstance for His glory. Even if the circumstance you are in doesn’t change, this doesn’t change who our God is or the hope which He secured by the work of His son. For this alone, He deserves to be exalted and praised. How unfortunate it is, if we only exalt God and praise Him depending on how well we feel this temporary life seems to be going for us. For we are promised so much more.

When we look to God and understand that He chose to rescue us from our sin although He did not need to, we should be overwhelmed with thankfulness. We should want to make Him the number one important thing in our lives because of His great display of love for us at the cross. We should want to be consumed by Him instead of being consumed by our pride or the fear that earthly circumstances bring.

When we see who God truly is, we should want to exalt God in our hearts as David did in Psalm 34:1-3:

“I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.  My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.”

To exalt God in our lives we must position Him above our circumstances, above our pride, above all else. When we trust and abide in Him every day by relying on the Holy Spirit and His Word our minds become renewed and transformed. God changes us and gives us the correct perspective of who He truly is. When we see God as the One who loves us, rescued us, and the One who satisfies us, we find a desire to exalt Him with our lives. Because of who He is we should want to exalt Him no matter how good or bad our circumstances may look. As we respond by glorifying and enjoying Him, we find ourselves fulfilling the purpose God created us for. For He alone deserves to be exalted.

Kellie Martin