If you don’t praise God the blessing in your life will be limited.
One of the strongest expressions of faith in God is a life of praise. Praise in this case means saying or singing something good about the character of God – for example, saying or singing, “The LORD is good, and his mercy endures forever.” “God alone is wise”, “All his ways are just”.
It is the work of Satan to attack the character of God in our minds. Satan will point to the terrible results of the fall of man for proof that God is not good. But it is not God who is responsible for the fall of man or the subsequent sins and their consequences.
God is goodness without compromise. Therefore He doesn’t let sin pollute and destroy with impunity. He brings judgment also. But God’s preference is always that men would learn the fear of the Lord and enjoy His favour.
There are thinking men and women today who despise our God for various reasons. They would have preferred that God not create a world in which evil was a possibility. They would prefer a God who tolerates evil and brings no final judgment against it, but simply allows it to endlessly reincarnate and come back in another form. They would prefer a God who is a genie rather than the Lord of mankind. But this will never be, nor can it be.
God is pure goodness and that can be a terrifying thought for workers of evil. As pure goodness, God is going to ultimately wipe out this evil and corruption and confine it to a place of irrelevance and powerlessness against those who have chosen God’s way. In the meantime, God has commanded that all men praise Him.
Who is God going to work with in these last days? I tell you, He will be working with and through the people who will praise Him. Praise strengthens your faith and enables you to serve God. A praiseless Christians is a weak Christian, who is ready to sin in other ways. Praise brings the presence of God, it brings the power of God. You can get a measure of the power of God by praying in tongues and fasting while your mind is in a somewhat negative frame of mind – that is true, and I’ve been there many a time. However, in your unknown tongue you were probably praising God while in your mind you were discouraged. How much better to get your mind renewed and praise God with your whole being.
Praise is a neglected spiritual weapon. I am not just talking of singing along according to the words on a video or overhead projector. Praise should come from the heart, and from the understanding as much as possible.
I had been worrying about why God was not releasing money for the salvation of souls. Did He care? God had released the money but selfish and insecure Christians were refusing to give it as God instructed. It was getting me down, watching souls slip into eternity while Christians hoarded their wealth with no concept of the responsibility they have to rescue the perishing, to give money intelligently for kingdom purposes, to give testimony for Christ and to give even their lives for Christ. Some pay their tithes to local churches but go no further in giving their lives for God’s purposes. Yes, most Christians are blind, they are living for this world, but God can open eyes and hearts IF we praise God. God is not stingy like so many of His people. He gave the best He had for our salvation.
Why God allows us to have such a crucial role in the effectual salvation of people is still something of a mystery to me. I believe its because He really gave authority over the affairs of the earth to mankind to us – and unless He is invited He won’t step in and save. God will work out His highest purposes to the extent that people will do what He says. I am aware that there are Christians who will vehemently deny this also. They believe that man has no determining role in his own salvation or in the effective evangelisation of the world. But if this is the case then all the blame for the failures of the church must lie with God. It means that people are going to hell because God wanted the church to hide the light of God from them. And its hard to praise a God like that.
This may not convince people who believe their salvation depends on holding onto certain perverted doctrines of the “sovereignty of God”. But honestly folks, if God saves people against their will who desire nothing but evil then why doesn’t He save everyone? Does He take pleasure in the death of sinners? The Scripture explicitly states that He does not. And if God sanctifies people in spite of themselves, and makes them holy when all they want is to be sinful, then why doesn’t He go all the way and make us totally perfect NOW irrespective of our wills? No, all this is false. God does His part, and we do ours. We can do nothing without God, without the cross, without the Holy Spirit, but God WILL do nothing without us. God has done His part, and He enables people through the gospel to repent and believe. He requires us to strive against sin, restrain our feet and our mouths from evil and to keep our eyes on Him. That is our part. Wicked lazy servants are thrown into hellfire according to Jesus.
Can we praise this God of uncompromising goodness? God commands us to praise Him! Can we expect that God is going to work with us if we disobey Him on this issue? Think it over. God is good and does good. He often shows incredible mercy to people who hate Him. His credentials in creation are unparallelled. What power God has! What knowledge! What wisdom! He has honored us with the weighty choice of life or death, blessing or curse, good or evil. Deuteronomy 30 says it clearly.
If we want God to work perfectly and bring salvation and mercy, we need to praise Him.
King David was a man of war who had quite a number of wives and concubines. He liked women and even took one that belonged to another man, whom he had murdered. Even before this he took his former wife Michal from her new husband as a condition of taking on the kingdom. David was about to fight with the Philistines against Israel. Yet David is recorded as a man after God’s own heart. Despite his imperfections, David was a psalmist and a praiser of God. He knew God was good, and just. And he had a big passion for the glory and honor of God. He wanted to build God’s house as a temple of praise. In choosing David, God told the prophet Samuel that he was looking on the heart. All this should give us an idea just how important it is to God that we have a praising heart which is passionate for God’s glory. God will establish such a man.
God will bless and work through a man or woman who praises Him even in the midst of all the evil that this fallen world can bring. He will come down and rescue such a one, even as He did with Paul and Silas who praised Him from the jail in Philippi, where God responded by bringing on an earthquake which freed the prisoners. God can set you and me free from our restrictions if instead of complaining and being frustrated in our problems, we praise God right in the middle of our “prison” situation. Amen.