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Lift Off: Seeking What Is Above Through The Psalms Of Ascent www.bible.com // Publisher: We would like Velocity Church for providing the plan.
Among the Psalms there is a grouping of fifteen called the “Songs of Ascent.” Lift Off is a 21-day journey through these psalms designed to bring you closer to God as you remember His faithfulness. Each day in this plan contains a psalm, a devotional, and a prayer. Two days are built into each week for prayer and reflection.
Monday, January 7th - Prepare For Take Off
Read Psalms 120
If you want to reach new heights you have to prepare. At first it may seem strange that a psalm about going up is filled with dark memories and vengeful emotions, but really this shows us where we need to start. God wants to lift off of us those things that weigh us down and keep us anchored in the past. When they come up, don’t keep them bottled in. Call out to Him from where you’re hurting. He not only hears, He responds. God knows both the motives and the intentions of our heart, and He will meet you where you are and lift you up. What are the things weighing you down today that you need lifted off?
You are under God's power. Do not be proud, so that at the right time he may put you into a higher place.
Turn all your troubles over to him, because he cares for you and is watching over you.
— 1 Peter 5:6-7 WE
Prayer: God, thank You for fresh starts and new beginnings. I’m thankful that I can come to You when I’m discouraged, when I’m depressed and when I feel weighed down from the pressures of life. Help me cast all of my cares upon You and receive the grace I need to move past my hurts. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Tuesday, January 8th - Keep Your Head Up
Read Psalms 121
When you climb higher your view will begin to change. Often when we set out to reach new heights we can only see the negative things that surround us. We see the reasons why we can’t change, the things that are holding us back and all the reasons why we’ll fail. Sometimes the mountains in front of us are so big they can seem insurmountable. But you can’t continue to ascend by merely watching your step. You have to lift up your eyes to where God is taking you. Something powerful happens when we stop looking at our current situation and start looking up to where we’re going - We discover that God is helping us with each step we take. Are you focused on the negative things in front of you or where God is taking you?
Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
— Philippians 3:13-14 MSG
Prayer: Lord, help me to see my situation through Your eyes today. Give me a new perspective as I set out toward where You’re calling me. Help me to see the places where You’ve kept me in the past and give me faith to believe that You will sustain me for what’s ahead. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Wednesday, January 9th - Set Up For Success
Read Psalms 122
Praise and prayer are a foundational part of faith. David wrote this psalm for the people to sing when they were going up to the holy feasts at Jerusalem. It was sung as they entered the gates to remind them of God’s faithfulness. In the same way, when we cultivate our awareness of God’s work in our lives it directly influences our ability to praise Him. When we praise God, it establishes His presence in us and empowers our prayers. Who can you pray for today?
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing praises to God, while the other prisoners listened. Suddenly a strong earthquake shook the jail to its foundations. The doors opened, and the chains fell from all the prisoners.
— Acts 16:25-26 CEV
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for how You’ve delivered me and where You’ve brought me. I know that You’ve placed me here to make a difference and I praise You because I know You are establishing my steps. Use me today to help others see Your life in me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Thursday, January 10th - Raise Your Gaze
Read Psalms 123
It’s important to remember that God is over our situation. The things that seem too big for us are actually a small thing for God to perform. That’s why we are continually instructed to look up. It’s not a onetime event. It’s a daily consecration. The small act of looking up to God redirects our attention. It reminds us that we are dependent on Him for our needs. What are the things you need to daily look up to God for help?
Look at the sky and see. Who created these things? Who brings out the stars one by one? He calls them all by name. Because of the greatness of his might and the strength of his power, not one of them is missing.
— Isaiah 40:26 GW
Prayer: God, thank You for this reminder to come to You every day with my needs. I know that from Heaven even my biggest problems are small in Your sight. Help me to see the things in my life from Your perspective. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Friday, January 11th - Remember To Rejoice
Read Psalms 124
It’s easy to praise God when things are going our way. Sometimes it’s more difficult to rejoice when life hits us hard. That’s why we need to remember what He has done for us. It’s our choice to rejoice. No matter what we have gone through in life, when we choose to praise God for all the ways He has delivered us, His grace and mercy become the story of our lives. What are some of the ways God has rescued you?
But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness!
— Lamentations 3:21-23 MSG
Prayer: Lord, thank You for always being with me and helping me even during the times I didn’t realize it. Thank You for sustaining me even during the times I felt shaken. I’m choosing to remember today all the things You’ve brought me through and all the ways You’ve brought me out. I want my life to be a testimony of Your faithfulness God so I’m choosing to rejoice today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Saturday, January 12th - Use this day to pray, journal, and reflect.
Read Ephesians 2:6
Sunday, January 13th - Use this day to pray, journal, and reflect.
Read Colossians 3:1-2
Monday, January 14th - Up To The Challenge
Read Psalms 125
We all have days where we feel we are ill equipped to handle the challenges that are in front of us. But when we’ve placed our faith in Christ we don’t have to trust in what we can do on our own – we have access to God’s supernatural ability. The challenges we face will always be changing as we are working to take new ground. But in Christ we understand that It’s actually in our weakness that His greatest strength can be displayed. What weaknesses in your life have shown you God’s strength?
But the Lord said, “My grace is all you need. Only when you are weak can everything be done completely by my power.” So I will gladly boast about my weaknesses. Then Christ’s power can stay in me.
— 2 Corinthians 12:9 ERV
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for showing me that I can trust You in every circumstance. I’m grateful that I can rely on You for protection and direction as I set out to do Your will. I thank You that I don't have to be shaken when things become too difficult for me and that I can continue to move forward even when things feel uncertain. I’m not looking to my own ability, but I am looking to You for wisdom. Give me Your wisdom for the things I face today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Tuesday, January 15th - Describe Your Deliverance
Read Psalms 126
Is there something you’re facing that is overtaking your thoughts with worry and dread? Your thoughts have the ability to hold you back, keep you down and cause you to feel depressed. But your thoughts can also lift you up! The truth is, there isn’t anything you’re facing that your Heavenly Father doesn’t already know. He’s concerned about the big needs in your life and even the things that you think are too small for prayer. The key is learning to turn your heart to remember the faithfulness and power of the Lord by speaking out the truth of His Word. What can you declare today to combat the negative thoughts in your mind?
Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.”
— Matthew 12:37 MSG
Prayer: Lord, thank You for caring about all the details of my life and making a way for me to have hope in the times when I feel helpless. I’m deciding today to declare Your promises over my life. When the thoughts of negativity come in I’m going to choose to describe Your ability to help me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Wednesday, January 16th - Progress With Purpose
Read Psalms 127
When you’re experiencing progress, it’s both exciting and demanding. It requires your skill, your strength, your focus, and your time. It’s also the time when we are most likely to fall into the trap of self-reliance. Progress detached from purpose leads to success without satisfaction. If we don’t want our progress to be wasted we need to acknowledge our dependence on God; looking to Him for wisdom, guidance, strength, and help. Where are you relying on your own efforts to succeed instead of trusting in God?
He saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our own accomplishments, but according to his own purpose and the grace that was given to us in Jesus.
— 2 Timothy 1:9 ISV
Prayer: Lord, there are many things that fight for my attention and cause me to lose sight of what You want to build in my life. Help me to tune my heart to Your presence and the things that You want me to see. Forgive me for where I’ve lost my focus and help me to remember that my reward comes from You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Thursday, January 17th - Reach For The Sky
Read Psalms 128
When we surrender to following Jesus He never leaves us as He finds us. And that’s great news! He wants to impact every area of our lives: our families, our relationships, our work, our finances, our thoughts – everything. But it all starts out of humility for God’s authority. When we try to live life out of our own playbook we inevitably hit a ceiling. But when we set out to live according to the standards God sets forth He promises us His best – blessings. What would God’s best look like in your life?
Then Jesus said to his followers, “If any of you want to be my follower, you must stop thinking about yourself and what you want. You must be willing to carry the cross that is given to you for following me. Any of you who try to save the life you have will lose it. But you who give up your life for me will find true life.
— Matthew 16:24-25 ERV
Prayer: God, help me to surrender to Your will and Your way of doing things. I know that when I trust Your plan you promise it will go well with me. I don’t want to rely on my own knowledge or ability, because I know it’s limited. God give me vision for how You want to use me and how You want to bless me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Friday, January 18th - Cut Loose
Read Psalms 129
Honoring God’s authority isn’t just for when it goes well with you. When you find yourself in the middle of adversity and when your faith is tested, it’s still important to recognize God at work. Recall how you’ve trusted God in past trials and let the confidence you have in Christ give birth to new courage. The good news is that you can be honest with God about how you feel. You don’t have to use spiritual clichés or talk in religious language. Just say what’s on your heart. Even if your situation doesn't seem promising at present, God’s purpose for you doesn’t have an expiration date. How can you be honest with God in your prayers?
With Jesus as our high priest, we can feel free to come before God’s throne where there is grace. There we receive mercy and kindness to help us when we need it.
— Hebrews 4:16 ERV
Prayer: Father, thank You that I can come to you in every situation no matter what I’m feeling and ask for help. I’m thankful that I can come to you with my pains, my griefs, my hurts and my wounds and find comfort when I need it. It gives me confidence to know that I don’t have to mask my emotions when I’m talking to You, but that You meet me where I am and lift me up. Help my attitude to honor You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Saturday, January 19th - Use this day to pray, journal, and reflect.
Read Isaiah 40:31
Sunday, January 20th - Use this day to pray, journal, and reflect.
Read Philippians 2:5-9
Monday, January 21st – Get Your Hopes Up
Read Psalms 130
No one loves waiting, but often our patience is tested when what we experience doesn’t line up with what we expect. So how do you keep your hopes up when your situation is going down? How can you stay encouraged when what you see contradicts what God has said? It’s easy to complain about our conditions and feel sorry for ourselves, but God’s Word offers us a better solution – ask for help. In fact, Jesus promised us the help of the Holy Spirit for every situation we would encounter. When your progress doesn’t match God’s promise, don’t let your discouragement separate you from God. You have a helper. How does the Holy Spirit help you?
I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper to be with you forever.
— John 14:16 ERV
Prayer: Father, thank You for giving me the gift of the Holy Spirit to help me in my life. You know the areas that cause me to become impatient and discouraged. I’m asking that the Holy Spirit would strengthen my heart as I wait on You. Thank You for guiding me in my decisions, comforting me in my distress, strengthening me in my weakness, and leading me in Your truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Tuesday, January 22nd - View From The Top
Read Psalms 131
Whenever you are bringing your best effort, there’s the potential for you to have great accomplishments. However, when our motives are focused solely on achieving something great for our own benefit we’re only setting ourselves up for failure. It almost seems impossible to live with humility in a world that urges us to elevate ourselves, climb the ladder, and go to the next level. So in the midst of a culture that pushes “exalt me,” how can we remain humble? Simple, by getting a proper perspective. Humility is having an accurate view of God, which then gives us an accurate view of ourselves. Are there some areas in your life where you need to adjust your perspective? Are your motives for achieving coming from a place that honors God?
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.
— James 4:10 NLT
Prayer: Father, help me to keep things in perspective as I’m striving towards Your calling. Search my heart and show me where my motives are not honoring You. I want my life to make a difference and serve Your purpose and not just my own. Help me not to elevate myself but make sure my actions are pointing to You. Thank You for choosing me and giving me the opportunity to impact those around me for Your glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Wednesday, January 23rd - Go For The Gold
Read Psalms 132
God uses the memories of our experiences to draw us higher. When we remember God’s faithfulness and look to His promises, it opens the eyes of our heart to see beyond our circumstances and encourages us to believe we have a greater purpose in God than what our current vantage point can reveal. It is not enough to hear about the presence of God as something others have explained, we must seek to experience Him for ourselves. When can you recall God guiding you in a decision? How was God faithful with a promise He made you?
I pray that your hearts will be able to understand. I pray that you will know about the hope given by God’s call. I pray that you will see how great the things are that He has promised to those who belong to Him.
— Ephesians 1:18 NLV
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for being faithful in the past and guiding me in the present. I’m thankful for the examples You’ve given me in scripture but I don’t want to settle for only knowing you through the testimonies of others. I want to experience You for myself. I’m asking for fresh experiences as You establish Your promises in my life and that my life would be a testimony of faith for others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Thursday, January 24th - Get It Together
Read Psalms 133
We weren’t created to live this life on our own. That’s why God gave us each other. God often works through the people we have in our lives to meet our deepest needs. So how can He use you to meet the needs of others? By living selflessly. Living a selfless life doesn’t come naturally; it comes supernaturally. It comes when we’ve experienced God’s love for ourselves and we focus on His love for others. When God’s love lives in us it motivates us and moves us to love others in the same way. What can you do in one relationship today that demonstrates God’s love?
This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing, because we need each other! In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning.
— Hebrews 10:25 TPT
Prayer: Lord, give me a heart for people like You. I don’t want to live selfishly. Help me meet the needs of others today and see the opportunities to bless, encourage, and strengthen the people You’ve placed in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Friday, January 25th - Raised To Life
Read Psalms 134
The hope of a Savior isn’t just something God’s people looked forward to long ago. It means that we have something to look forward to today. That’s the good news of the Gospel – that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead and because He lives, we no longer have to be mastered by sin, but can now live through the power of His grace. That means we can face tomorrow with confidence and hope. We can experience a personal revival anytime we decide to lift our hands toward Him in worship. Paul wrote in Colossians that when we placed are trust in Jesus, we were raised to a new life in Christ. How does that reality affect the way you live today?
…With him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.
— Colossians 2:12 NLT
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for coming to save me. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sin and my shame. Thank You for raising me to life with You. Because of Your death, burial, and resurrection, I can live above the shame and condemnation that try to drag me down. Help me to live every day in the reality of salvation. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Saturday, January 26th - Use this day to pray, journal, and reflect.
Read Romans 8:11
Join us tomorrow at church for our breakFAST at 9:00 (bring a dish to share) followed by our Heart for the House service at 10:30.
Sunday, January 27th - Use this day to pray, journal, and reflect.
Read Colossians 2:6
Join us today at church for our breakFAST at 9:00 (bring a dish to share) followed by our Heart for the House service at 10:30.