Confession: the battle to not focus on me seems never ending. I hate it. By me, I mean that constant pull to focus on my feelings, my inadequacies, my insecurities, my needs – who I am, who I’m not, what I have, and have not. That spiritual battle rages supreme.
Worship is that place for me where I can reset my sights. It’s that place where God fills my space and helps me to cast off the sin, lies, and distortions and remember who He is in the midst of them.
These “But God…” moments are my favorite. They’re healing . . . restoring . . . refreshing . . . energizing . . . and confirming. When I bow my heart and mind to the God who is revealing Himself to me.
There are so many great “But God” moments in the Bible. Take Ephesians 2 for example:
“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, . . . [followed by more about those sins] . . . But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)…(v.1, 4)
I was a sinner. → But God loved me, saved me, and gave me life!
“Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, ‘God will not deliver him.’ But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain” (Psalm 3:1-4).
“Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God; ruthless people are trying to kill me—they have no regard for you. But You, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” (Psalm 86:14-15).
I thank God that I don’t have the foes that David had! But the strength and peace he found in his “But God” moments teach us a lot about the power of switching our focus from me to Thee.
Look at my foes! → But God, You are my shield – and compassionate, loving, and faithful.
Others from Psalms and Jeremiah struggling with the fools and wicked:
It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night, . . . senseless people do not know, fools do not understand, , , , But You, Lord, are forever exalted” (Psalm 92:1-2, 6, 8)
“Righteous are You, O LORD, that I would plead my case with You; Indeed I would discuss matters of justice with You: Why has the way of the wicked prospered? Why are all those who deal in treachery at ease? You have planted them, they have also taken root; They grow, they have even produced fruit. You are near to their lips But far from their mind. But You know me, O LORD; You see me; And You examine my heart’s attitude toward You” (Jeremiah 12:1-3).
Fools don’t understand You, yet they prosper! → But You, God, are exalted forever – You know my heart.
And Jonah even had a “But God” moment while in the belly of the fish:
“I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’ The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But You, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit. “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple” (Jonah 2:4-7).
Ok, I blew it and look where it got me. → But You, my God can bring me out of this pit.
And one of my favorites:
“My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26).
My heart is failing. → But God, You are the strength of my heart.
There is so much power in “But God” moments. And in “But God” worship. Satan can’t fight the truth of who God is! So when we struggle to bow our hearts and minds in worship because all we see is what’s around me, start the next sentence with “But God.”
I am weak. → But God, You are strong. (Psalm 62:7)
I am tired. → But God, You never grow weary or tired. (Isaiah 40:28)
I am burdened. → But God, You carry my load and give me rest. (Matthew 11:28)
I am inadequate. → But God, through You I can do all things. (Philippians 4:13)
I am lonely. → But God, You are always with me. (Psalm 73:23)
I am afraid. → But God, You are my refuge. (Psalm 94:22)
I am sick. → But God, You are my healer. (Exodus 15:26)
I am a sinner (self-centered, unloving, judgmental, lazy, etc.) → But God, You are my forgiver and my redeemer. (1 John 1:9)
I could go on and on and on. Right?
Bow your focus and your heart to worship that God. Bow to the One who is far greater that anything you can throw His way. The One who has overcome the world! What a perspective changer! Give Him the glory! Know His word so you can claim its truth about your God – and about who you are in Him!
Make “But God” part of your worship when you need to get the focus off of yourself and onto the One who deserves it completely. And then enjoy the peace, victory, and awe that comes from submitting and responding in worship to your mighty God!
What do you need the power of “But God” for today?