Psalm 103:1-5 – “Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; 3 Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; 4 Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with loving-kindness and compassion; 5 Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.” NASU
Often when I am around other believers the topic will turn to PRAISE and how important and valuable it is, yet too often we make it an option rather than an essential in our walk. For some, it is a part of the Sunday morning ritual rather than a cornerstone of the daily life. It is relegated to a brief time during the Sunday service rather than a fixture in life. That strips it of much of its power and benefit and robs the individual of an endeavor that God has offered to lift us into His presence in a more pronounced and powerful manner.
Praise is a natural and normal part of life! In fact, it is only considered ‘abnormal’ or in need of ‘restriction’ when it is associated with Religious Gatherings. Manufacturers praise their products. Parents praise their children. Men praise their automobiles. Women praise their hairdressers or wardrobes. Children praise, sportswriters and coaches praise. Politicians praise, preachers praise. If you think about it, life is filled with praise of one kind or another. It is normal and natural. It is ingrained into our nature to ‘spontaneously’ give praise to whatever or whomever we value. Therefore, if God is among the things we value it is normal and natural to release our inner being in praise to Him!
It is not because God needs our praise but because we need to offer Him praise. We need to hear our selves praise Him. There is a ‘release’ in our spirits that is incredibly powerful as we do. Something happens inside of our innermost being in the activity of praise!
Let me give you an example in the natural. The crowd at a football game would virtually go crazy if they were not allowed to express themselves when their team scores a touchdown. The team did not need the praise to score they scored ‘before’ the crowd began praising. It was the spectators who benefited by clapping, yelling, standing, waving their hands, hats, and/or banners. Yet, when it comes to religious gatherings that is often forbidden and frowned upon as being inappropriate! Did you ever question how a touchdown is more deserving of an outward demonstration of appreciation than God?
I’ve noticed that it is the humblest of souls, the most balanced and open-minded that praise the most and the cranky, malcontented praise the least. Praise seems to be ‘inner health’ made ‘audible.’ The very word ‘Hallelujah’ demands an outward demonstration of praise. Hallel – praise. Oou – Our. Jah – God. Praise is an expression of ‘inner health’, but it wasn’t ‘inner health’ that caused the crowd to praise at the ballgame. There was an outward stimulus! The praise was in direct proportion to the stimuli. That is another reason why the more we talk about Jesus, focus on Him, His person and work the easier it is to Praise Him!
Praise, for most people much of the time, does not flow easily. It is something that has to be pressed into because most people begin in the ‘outer court’. The temporal has become so large in our thinking and living that Praise and entering into the ‘inner court’ requires an act of our will. It is when we instruct our flesh to come to attention and determine that we will praise the Lord! We make the choice to rejoice and enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. We have to allow the Holy Spirit to help us bridge the gap between the heavenly and the earthly realms and this is accomplished through Praise!
If we could grasp the truth that Praise brings pleasure to the heart of God it would dramatically affect how we view it. We read in Psalm 149:41 – “For the Lord takes pleasure in His people.” We read in Psalm 104:1 – “Bless the Lord, O my soul.” In Revelation 4:11 – “Thou art worthy, O Lord to receive Glory and Honor, and Power: For thou hast created all things, and for Thy Pleasure they are and were created.” Then in Ephesians 1:12 we read that we are to be the Praise of God’s Glory! So understand that God literally derives pleasure, gratification, and enjoyment out of our praise. Imagine that, we can do something that brings pleasure to God not to mention what it produces within our inner being.
Therefore, I urge everyone to allow Praise to become a normal natural part of your daily relationship with God! Blessings as you go through your day!