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ALONE YET NOT ALONE
YOUR EYES FOR ONE SECOND
WANT TO SEE YOU
YOUR NAME IS HOLY
HOW GREAT THOU ART
CLOSER THAN THE AIR
BY OUR LOVE
SAY THE WORD
JUST BE HELD
FROM THE DAY
EVERYTHING COMES ALIVE
BECAUSE OF YOU
BACK TO GOD
HOLY OF HOLIES
I was asked, “How do I encounter God?” Only by remembering and appreciating the sacrifice our Heavenly Father made for us by giving us His Son Yeshua. Praising Abba is a powerful encounter!
PRAISING ABBA PRODUCES RESULTS
Throughout scripture there are many cases where victory came after they praised God. Don’t we do the same to someone in the world who gives us a gift? Before we even know what the gift is or even before we have used it; we are grateful and thank them for it. And when someone really praises us for the things we do for them don’t we want to do even more for them?
“Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; Sing praises on the harp to our God …He sends out His command to the earth; His word runs very swiftly” (Ps. 147:7, 15). Based on the praise they are giving Him, His word runs very swiftly for them.
“Let them shout for joy and be glad, who favor my righteous cause; and let them say continually, “Let the LORD be magnified, who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness And of Your praise all the day long” (Ps. 35:27-28). “Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:4; John 15:7). “Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; and to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God” (Ps. 50:23).
Therefore “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).
God enjoys a grateful and happy environment not an environment of bitterness and ungratefulness. Scripture is full of this. This is the reason why many never experience His presence. Do you want to be around someone who is continually bitter and ungrateful? I didn’t even like myself when I was like that.
PRAISE LOOKS LIKE…
“My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; the humble shall hear of it and be glad” (Ps. 34:2). We will tell others about the victories God has given me and brag about Him (Ps. 107:15; 26:6-7). “Come and see the works of God; He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men. He turned the sea into dry land; they went through the river on foot” (Ps. 66:5-6). It is easy to praise God in front of Christians but we need to praise God in front of the heathen too.
“I will give thanks to You, O YHWH, among the Gentiles, and sing praises to Your name” (Ps. 18:49).
Our praise must be spontaneous and we mustn’t be embarrassed because of who is around us nor feel embarrassed. We must praise like a child who says what they feel regardless of who is around them. Jesus said, “Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants you have perfected praise” (Matt. 21:16). “I will give You thanks in the great assembly; I will praise You among many people” (Ps. 35:18).
I will live in a grateful attitude, like the Psalmist who consciously made time to praise God seven times a day (Ps. 119:164). Therefore the level at which I offer praise to God should be higher than anything I offer to people, sports teams or institutions.
GRATEFULNESS PRODUCES PRAISE
It is quite simple: By consciously making a point to speak to yourself and others in psalms of David, and hymns of praise, and spiritual songs of tongues, while continually singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving Him thanks always for all things and caring for other Christians in the fear of God (Eph. 5:18-21). In addition, make a point to look for the good and thank God for that good. Look at the beauty that no one else sees.
Yes there will be many negative events and situations that exist throughout the day, so instead of dwelling on the negative, point out the positive. So sacrifice thanksgiving unto God (Ps. 116:17).
The word sacrifice means, “It is a voluntary action against the natural norm.” “Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; …Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation” (Hab. 3:17, 18). God never said, “When everything goes well praise Me.”
He says, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:18). Note, IN every situation give thanks. Not thank God for the situation, but IN the situation.
ANY LIMITATIONS TO PRAISE?
There are no limitations to praise. Well, should I give thanks for sickness? No, but give thanks for who HE is in the midst of sickness, He is the Healer (Ex. 15:26). Give thanks in the midst of poverty for He is the Provider (Gen. 22:14). Give thanks in the midst of persecution because He is glorified (Acts 5:41).
We have all heard of James 1:2-3 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience”. This was in reference to being persecuted for Christ, and this tests our faith. What carries us through is taking on Joy. Joy in what? Joy in Him.
If we were beaten, locked up in a jail cell, and fastened to a stock, would we praise God (Acts 16:16-24)? Paul and Silas did (Acts 16:25). And guess what happened? “Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed” (Acts 16:26).
And remember Jonah? Jonah was only released from the fish’s belly after he repented and praised God (Jonah 2:9). If I was in a belly of a big fish would I have sacrificed praise to God or panic before Him? I would only hope I could trust in the Holy Spirit to enable me to praise. Therefore “by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name” (Heb. 13:15).