Exalt & Bow


“Exalt the Lord our God! Bow low before His feet, for He is holy.” Palm 99:5

What is the best way to begin a New Year? Psalm 99:5 has excellent advice for us. It says, “Exalt the LORD our God! Bow low before His feet, for He is holy.”  This passage contains two noteworthy verbs. Two actions, that if implemented, can powerfully change the trajectory of the year ahead.


Exalt means to elevate or raise up, to make bigger, to magnify or to glorify. Bow means to bend or arch towards the ground, to submit, surrender or yield to. Opposite words with completely different movements. One is lifting high and the other is drooping low.

Is it possible to be upwards and downwards simultaneously?

The answer is absolutely yes! In God’s economy believers can carry out both actions at the same time. Christians can exalt and bow because exalting God is bowing and bowing before God is exalting Him . The act of lifting God up and lowering oneself goes hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. Think of it like this, praising God magnifies His greatness while reducing oneself, or submitting to God is yielding oneself while lifting Him up. It doesn’t matter which action we take first, because like a good partnership, exalting and bowing are a pair of words that work together.

Some start the new year dashing to accomplish big goals and to fulfill wild dreams. Others don’t make any plans at all thinking, “I am going to fail so why try?” Whichever side you find yourself on, at the beginning of this year try something different. Spend the time exalting and bowing…lifting God up and bending down before Him. It can be as simple spending 5-10 minutes a day praising God for His attributes while surrendering your heart’s desires to Him in prayer. Then, wait to see how God directs your path in the new year.


Some of God’s attributes include all-powerful, ever-present, all-knowing, sovereign and gracious. What attribute are you most thankful for today? Stop and tell Him how much you appreciate Him for this attribute. And when you do, you are living out Psalm 99:5.