Monday, April 07, 2014

Lent: Day Thirty-four ~ Praise and Worship

Isaiah 29:13-14 (NIV) The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish."

What is this talk of praise and worship? Through this Lent series, you’re learning about the great Almighty God and Jesus but what does the bible say about worship and praise? Is praise in reading the word? Is worship in believing?

The word praise is used over 400 times in the bible; the word worship over 200 times, so the words in scripture must carry some meaning; more than just reading and believing.

Praise is defined as: the offering of grateful homage in words or song, as an act of worship: a hymn of praise to God. Worship is defined: reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred; formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage: They attended worship this morning.

1 Chron. 29: 13 Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.

God calls us to praise and worship Him. He not only calls, He commands us to do so. If you have a mother, you understand command. When your mother said be home at eleven, she wasn’t asking you politely to obey her order, she was commanding you to listen to her.

This is the same with God. He doesn’t ask us to read and believe the bible; the choice is yours but He DOES command you, once a believer and follower to praise and worship Him outside your comfort zone.

Your comfort zone is the nice quiet place you reside, read and believe. With all your intelligence that you’ve garnered after reading the bible and dissecting it scripture by scripture; your wisdom that you think you own and have gained will be swallowed up.

Isaiah 29:13-14 (NIV) The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish."

These people that the above scripture verse is speaking of are the ones sitting comfortably in their homes. They call on God with their mouths, they pray with their lips, but their hearts, sitting comfortably at home are far away from Him.

Have you ever heard the one that if a tree falls in the woods and no one was around to hear it, would it still make a sound? I hear over and over again a logically wise response, a resounding NO!

That’s what praise alone is; it is making a sound (if the utterance leaves your mouth) but it is not heard. You are paying lip-service to God and to me (TO ME) that is short changing an all Mighty and Powerful God who says their wisdom will perish and their intelligence will vanish.

Worship is the same way. God does not command us to worship alone.

Ex. 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God

I feel as if your (my) television screen or computer screen is a false God. If your worship of Him is with a television, radio, or computer screen, remember the Jealous God. The screens are no different than that of the golden calf that the people built while Moses was away receiving the Lord’s Commandments. The TV becomes a false god.

We get into a comfort zone and remain there thinking we can pick and choose how we praise and worship. The choice isn’t ours to make. God COMMANDS us to worship Him and Him alone, He COMMANDS us to praise His name and His alone. He calls us to come out of our cocoon of a comfort zone and Praise His Holy name.

Will God hear your praise alone in your cocoon? Of course He will. But like our mother commanded us to be home at a certain time and we chose to come in a little later, we are chastised by her. Do we expect God to be any different? Does He pick and choose the commandments you’re to obey? Does He say come to me in the comfort of your home and sit idle and praise me? No! He commands us to EXALT him, praise Him, glorify His name, worship Him and Him alone.

A Christian understands the commandments. He or she understands praise and worship and the benefits that flow through your veins.  He doesn’t pick and choose how he sees it fit to praise and worship, he is guided by the very hand of God.

Chron. 16:29 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

Matt. 4: 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

Praise is the basis of the Christian spirit. Reading and believing is not praise. Praise is when you feel in the pit of your stomach a glorifying of God lift inside of you and song is poured through your mouth. You are not a tree, alone in the woods falling with no one around to hear. Your voice is lifted up and those surrounding you hear your praise and are there with you glorifying the heavenly high God. The power of Lord rains a spiritual shower on your spirit and the psalms of praise are heard.

Pss. 150:1-6 Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.

In closing, allow me to say, we are not to pick and choose how and when to praise and worship; God makes it very clear the methods in which we are to follow scripture and His Word. Picking and choosing is the way of a vain and selfish man thinking of himself above the Savior and King.

“When God’s people begin to praise and worship Him using the Biblical methods He gives, the Power of His presence comes among His people in an even greater measure.” ~ Graham Truscott

Just as there is POWER in prayer, there is also a Mighty POWER in praise and worship. If you are new to the Christian faith, let me tell you, once you feel the power of praise, you will no longer pick and choose the scripture you adhere to. Your praise will be felt and heard.





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