Weekly Devotional 11/16/17: Praise

                                                                                                                                               

Psalm 145:10, “All Thy works shall praise Thee, O Lord; and Thy saints shall bless Thee.” (KJV).

The difficulty of God’s people maintaining a working faith is a very real one. No question that we truly love the Lord, and we may have good devotional habits and lead disciplined prayer lives, but not all of us are sure of our faith at a time when prevailing faith is vital. The truth is, we all have the faith that it takes … even to move mountains … because the Word tells us that the measure of faith was placed in us at the moment of our salvation. The problem is, it does not always seem to rise up as triumphant faith; that is, we have it but at certain times we do not seem able to put it to work.

Beloved, there is an answer to this apparent dilemma, and I believe it is found in something the Bible speaks of more than anything else in the realm of God’s relationship to man: Praise! That’s right. The Word admonishes us to develop a lifestyle of praise to almighty God. The Scriptures reveal the entire universe, animate and inanimate, as one grand chorus of praise to the Creator. Walk out into your yard on a beautiful morning and what do you hear? The exciting chirping and singing of birds in every direction, offering up songs of praise to their Maker and Provider.

Psalm 150:6 admonishes us, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” The Word also tells us that praise is the highest occupation of the angels. According to Revelation 4:8, praise is going forth in heaven unceasingly. Thus, praise must have some supreme and extraordinary value.

I am not referring to corporate praise that we enter into during worship services at church. That certainly has its place as the Holy Spirit directs, because it is praise with the fellowship of believers that raises the level of expectancy and causes our faith to reach out to receive.

But my reference here is to a personal life of praise. It certainly seems logical that if the highest function of the angels of God is to praise, then the highest duty of the human spirit should also be to praise. I am convinced it must be praise. The predominant goal of every believer is to come as close as possible to the beautiful character of Jesus. Praise and worship to almighty God causes us to move steadily in that direction. The Apostle Paul describes it perfectly when he speaks of our moving “from glory to glory,” and it is a continuing process all the way into eternity.

According to psychiatric medicine, the foundational cause of most nervous and mental disorders is pre-occupation with self; with personal ego and self-centeredness. When personality becomes ego-centered it disintegrates; the effect of that process is defensiveness; then hostility, followed by aggressive, anti-social behavior. The result is mental illness. In view of this, the words of Jesus in Luke 9:24 makes real sense; “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it – but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” (KJV).

Herein lies the value of praise … it decentralizes self. The praise and worship of God demands a shift from self to God. And when praise becomes a way of life, God truly moves into the center of our life’s every moment; our personality integrates with Him. Stresses and strains disappear and the result is mental wholeness. Now our faith can rise and move into action, and we can believe for all things! Praise is not a religious form. It is a practical and rewarding occupation – invented by God – not just for His glory, but for our blessing and health.

With Thanksgiving week approaching, our hearts and minds are beginning to focus on the blessings we are grateful for.This will be a great time to renew and energy our life of worship and praise to our extraordinarily generous God.

by Ted Pavloff

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