Psalm 138:1-3 – “I will praise You with my whole heart; before the gods I will sing praises to You. 2 I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above all Your name. 3 In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul.” NKJV
Another dimension of Praise is that it opens a channel for God to speak to us and be heard. I find that awesome and encouraging! I do believe that God is a Speaking God and if He is the same yesterday, today, and forever then if He ever spoke He speaks today and wants to communicate with His people personally and individually. It is one thing to say, “My praise brings God pleasure” but that does not necessarily bring change to my situation. Psalm 29:1-2, “Ascribe to the LORD, O sons of the mighty, Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. 2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in holy array.” As we take note of the verses 3-9 we find THE VOICE OF THE LORD being mentioned. In Psalm 68:32-3, “Sing to God… Sing praises to the Lord… Behold He speaks forth with His voice, a mighty voice…”
Sometimes in Prayer, we do not hear God because we’ve locked the ‘talk button’ in the on position. We are in the ‘transmit mode’ and that is okay, but in Praise when coupled with Prayer we release the ‘talk button’ and bridge the gap giving access and opportunity for God to speak to us. Proverbs 27:21, “As the refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold: so is a man for praise.” It is normal, in times of Praise to have our spirits heated as we are touched by His Presence and ‘hidden thoughts, motives, and desires’ rise to the surface. As we become broken in His Presence those foreign impure elements are separated from the precious metal of our spirits. THEN, we are able to take them to the Cross and be cleansed, washed, purified, and delivered. Hallelujah!
God wants to skim away all that defiles so that we can see His Face in the molten metal of our hearts. Psalm 29:4 – The voice of the Lord is Powerful and full of majesty. Psalm 29:5 – The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars (Royal Trees). Psalm 29:7 – The voice of the Lord divides the flames of fire (Fiery darts). Psalm 29:8 – The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness. (Place of testing). Psalm 29:9 – The voice of the Lord makes hinds to calve (life) and in His temple, everyone speaks of HIS GLORY! Praise!
Isaiah 30:31 tells us that the Voice of the Lord defeats enemies. In Isaiah 66:6 we find that the Voice of the Lord brings recompense to our enemies. I encourage you to read the powerful declaration of Jeremiah 33:11-14 and then Joel 2:11 we find that the Lord utters His voice before His army and 3:16, “The Lord roars from Zion and utters His voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth tremble…” In Psalm 46:6 we discover that the Voice of the Lord causes kingdoms to be moved. Praise releases the Voice of God and opens the door for God to tabernacle in the midst of His people. Hallelujah!
Psalm 22:3 declares that God is enthroned upon the Praise of His People. In Psalm 148:14, we find that through Praise God exalts the Horn (Authority) of His People. Psalm 8:2 gives us the revelation that “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings God has ordained strength” and Matthew 21:16 renders that as Perfected Praise. In Psalm 149 we are told to sing to the LORD a “new song.” I hope this is resonating with you that Praise is not just expressing words, songs, dance, etc. It is when we offer up Praise from the heart and our spirits get heated up in His Presence that His voice is released and He tabernacles in us! It is there that we experience His Presence. It is there that His Person comes into full view. It is there that His voice can be heard. It is there that His power is manifest. I encourage you to read and recall the account in 2 Chronicles 20 of Jehoshaphat and Israel. They were under siege from much more powerful and numerous enemies. We learn that Jehoshaphat was serving and walking with God as 17:3 reveals that “God was with him.” Three powerful enemies were attacking and Jehoshaphat reacted as most humans would, “Fear gripped his heart.” Then in 2 Chronicles 20:3 the key came into focus, “He set himself to seek the Lord.” Notice that his prayer is not one of question and desperation but of victory and praise.
Consider his prayer.
- Are you not God in heaven! (An affirmation not a question)
- Do you not rule over the kingdoms of the heathen! (Affirmation not question).
- Is not power and might in your hand so that none can stand against you! (Affirmation not question).
- Are you not our God who drove out the inhabitants of the land and gave it to the Seed of Abraham, Your friend, FOREVER! (Affirmation not question).
- If evil comes upon us and we stand before this house IN YOUR PRESENCE and cry to you, You hear and help! (Affirmation not question).
- NOW, we don’t know what to do, BUT our eyes are upon you! (That opens the door).
The prophecy that came forth in v.20 gave instruction, “Trust God and be established. Trust His prophets and succeed.” Jehoshaphat took action and in v.21 he appointed singers and praisers and set them in front of the army. (The Lord utters His voice before His army). In v.22, WHEN they began singing and praising God set an ambush and defeated the enemy. Confusion fell on the enemy camp and they turned on each other and it took three days to gather the spoils. They returned with JOY and God gave them PEACE. It could not and would not have happened had they not been obedient and Praised God in the midst of danger and potential disaster. Praise released the Power of God in their midst!
If you are battling an impossible situation in your life – TAKE TIME TO PRAISE GOD! May the Lord bless your richly is my prayer and desire!