Today on the Afternoon Drive, we started a new series for Praise Thursday! It’s called “Hallelujah Here Below” and it is written by the members of Elevation Worship.

The devotional is named after Elevation Worship’s latest album of the same name. Elevation Worship is based out of Elevation Church and led by Pastor Steven Furtick. This will be a five week series here on The Drive, and over these next five weeks, we’ll journey through five songs from the album – and how God doesn’t ask for perfect praise –– He wants praise that only we can give Him: broken and imperfect.

Each of the devotionals is based on a song from Elevation Worship’s new album. This first week’s devotional is based on the song “Won’t Stop Now“.
The takeaway line from this song is…
Your presence is an open door, so come now, Lord, like never before.” 
We encourage you to listen to the song as you read through this week’s blog.

Here’s this week’s devotional content… 

Why don’t we always feel God’s presence? If God’s presence is really an open door, why does the door sometimes feel like it’s been shut?
There are a lot of reasons God could feel far away, but none of those reasons is because God has pulled away from us.

God’s love for us is unchanging, unending, and unconditional. No matter what we do, He will always love us. Romans 5:8 reminds us that while we still sinners, Christ died for us. We see His unchanging and powerful love in the scriptures, but still, we can’t expect God to come into our lives uninvited. He’s not going to overwhelm us with His presence if we haven’t asked for it.

The Bible says to, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).
God wants participation, not passivity. He isn’t going to knock on the door and drag us through it. His presence is an open door, but it’s up to us to step through it.

Here are a few more Bible verses on this topic, reminding us that we need to walk through the door of God’s presence.
Mark 11:24 – “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Matthew 21:22 – “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
John 16:24 – “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”

We look back at our key verse as we wrap up this week’s devotional: Matthew 7:7.
We’ve touched on 7:7, but as we finish, let’s look a little further into the verses in Matthew… This is Matthew 7:7-11.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

Here’s a prayer for this week…
“Lord, I thank You that You invite me into Your presence. I thank You that Your love for me is unchanging, unending, and unconditional. No matter what I do, You will always love me. I pray that this week, Lord, I will participate in Your unconditional love, and not be passive. Your presence is an open door, Lord, but it’s up to me to step through it. Give me the courage and the strength to step through those doors. I thank You for the good gifts that You give to those who ask. Give me the strength to ask, to seek, and to knock through prayer, and in Your name.

Thanks for listening!
– Hannah and Lilly