Don’t get it twisted…
On of my sons came up to visit last weekend and he was constantly making trips into the kitchen. He would hum a little while grabbing a snack or three. At one point he asked, “Why does everything in here taste so good? I can’t stop eating when I come up here!” A couple days later, my daughter and her littles came up for a swim and hang out with Grammy day. She was in the kitchen grabbing a bite of something and said, “You have so many yummy things to snack on. Why?” I said, “That’s what mamas do for their grown babies so they keep coming back home!” We chuckled, but both of my children warmed my heart with their comments. High praise, indeed.
Praise is an extolling of virtues. It is a virtual accounting of the good one has done. We praise one another on a fairly consistent basis. When my Baby Grands pick up all their toys without complaint, I lavish the praise upon them. When they are kind to one another, I praise them. I praise my adult children when they gain a new degree in education, or when they are promoted on their job. We celebrate those milestones in their lives by going out to dinner. It is just another form of praise. We are showing appreciation to one another with our praise. It feels good to receive praise. It is important to receive and to give praise.
When we do for one another, great or small things, we deserve to be praised for our efforts. What we do for one another pales in comparison to what God does for us on a daily basis. Just the fact that you are reading this is a testament to what the Lord has done for you today. Not that you are reading this, per se, but that HE woke you up and started you on your way.
The Lord is very clear about praise. HIS Word shows us the angels praise HIM (Isaiah 6:3), all nations are to praise HIM (Psalms 117:11). Praise is so important, scripture tells us if we do not praise HIM, the very stones will cry out in praise (Luke 19:40). Sometimes, praise does not come from us easily. Sometimes it is a sacrifice. There are many ways we can praise HIM and sometimes every single one of them takes effort. Praise is an action. It is a verb.
The Bible tells us to praise HIM with singing (Psalms 9:11), with shouting (Psalms 98:4), in the dance and with instruments (Psalms 150:3-5). This is just a very small sampling of the scriptures on praising our Heavenly Father. HE desires our praise. HE deserves our praise. In the good times and the bad. During days of sunshine and cool breezes and in the midst of a dark stormy night. HE is always with you, no matter what. HE sustains you, moment to moment. Praise comes from a place of Thanksgiving and it energizes you. It is a celebration of all HE has done!
Worship is a completely different matter. Worship is about your state of heart. It is about your intimate connection with God. It comes from your spiritual being. It speaks to the truth of your relationship. Praise is for anyone, but worship is for God alone! Worship humbles you. Worship breaks you. Worship sheds everything that is you and magnifies everything that is HIM. There is no place for you or anyone else in your time of worship. It is all about HIM!
“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” John 4:23
Worship is a place of communion. As we reach for HIS Holiness, HE surrounds us and speaks to us. “O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.” Psalms 96:9. The Bible speaks of bowing down before HIM in worship. True humbling will literally take the starch right outta your knees. Tears will flow during worship. Words will fail us during worship. Everything around us ceases to exist during worship. But it is during those moments when we are strengthened. It is during that purest of embrace, that we are renewed. Worship is an acknowledgement of all that HE is and who HE is. HE is once again the purpose we live for every moment. HE lovingly corrects us and comforts us during worship.
Worship & Praise are important aspects of our relationship with God. Maybe you are physically unable to be demonstrative, but trust me, God always sees to the heart of every matter. We have all been created to be unique in the Kingdom. Our Worship & Praise is uniquely different as well. You can use your words to praise HIM. You can put pen to paper to praise HIM. You can lift your voice even when you cannot lift your arms. Maybe you don’t play an instrument, but can praise HIM with a “Clap Offering”. Maybe it takes you three hours to get ready to go to the House of the Lord. God sees that effort when no one else does. Maybe you cannot stand for periods of time or maybe not at all. God sees your heart. Worship calls on your heart not your body. Although, many times, our body will react without our consciously acting upon the moment, God sees and feels your praise and worship, however you are able to express yourself. HE will show you the way.
I am at a place in my life where every moment counts. I am desperate for HIM to know how I feel about HIM. Worship & Praise. No one deserves them more than our Lord and Savior. No one appreciates them more. No one knows as clearly as HE does how you feel because HE sees your heart. HE loves you and HE’s waiting patiently for you. Won’t you take time out of your day to spend with Him?