The older I get, the more I learn the value of praise. Not only does it make you feel so much closer to God, but it releases so much power into your life. Have you ever noticed what King Jehoshaphat did when they were outnumbered in battle in 1 Chronicles Chapter 20?
2 Chronicles 20:21-22 (NKJV)
21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying:
“Praise the Lord,
For His mercy endures forever.”[a]
22 Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.
The tribe of Judah, (which of course means praise) was sent into battle singing praise to God. I like to call it the ‘battle cry of praise’…
“Praise the LORD”,
For His mercy endures forever.”
God gave them the victory, and the weapon was praise. They didn’t whisper a prayer silently, before the battle, which they could have done. They gave a very loud and public praise which served as a testimony to everyone who witnessed it.
I’ve learned to not be ashamed to praise God in public. I’ve learned to not be concerned with what people think. After all, people aren’t concerned what people think when they have public displays of affection in public with their loved ones. I’m not talking about disrespectful displays, but simply holding hands or hugging.
So, we shouldn’t be ashamed to lift up our hands and give God a HOLY HUG…
1 Timothy 2:8 (NKJV)
8 I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;
And, remember David was so excited over the return of the Ark of the Covenant, that he danced until his clothes came off, embarrassing his wife…
2 Samuel 6:20-22 (NKJV)
20 Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, “How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself today in the eyes of the maids of his servants, as one of the base fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!” 21 So David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me instead of your father and all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel. Therefore I will play music before the Lord. 22 And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight. But as for the maidservants of whom you have spoken, by them I will be held in honor.”
I’ve grown to lift up my hands on my front porch of my house…to bow and pray at my desk at work…to lift up my hands in my car…to stop and bow on the sidewalk.
You see, for me praise is powerful therapy. Psalm 16:11 is so true…
Psalm 16:11 (ESV)
11 You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
It is impossible to praise God and complain at the same time.
I can’t count the times I felt overwhelmed, and then stopped and praised God. He blessed me with an uexplainable, but very real feeling of peace and contentment. I said to myself, “HEY! WHERE’D THAT PEACE COME FROM?” There are days when I thought I would go crazy, but praise calmed my spirit.
So, if people look at me a little funny, I don’t care because…
I would rather look crazy than go crazy.
That’s my challenge to you today. Give God a public display of affection. Prove to yourself that you aren’t ashamed. I promise it will be easier after the first time.
I don’t own the rights to this music.
Don’t forget this…
Luke 9:26 (NKJV)
26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.