“My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever,” Psalm 145:21, KJV.
I was blessed to have attended a praise and worship workshop a couple weekends ago that was hosted by a local church in the community. Before the actual “workshop” began, the Holy Spirit moved in the place. We ushered in the very presence of God by exhibiting the very thing we gathered to discuss in the meeting.
I consider it a privilege to give God praise openly. There are many who are persecuted just for acknowledging Jesus as Lord and Savior. Some are jailed while yet others are killed. Praising as a general definition is an expression of approval, commendation, or admiration. That is why you cannot have praises alone. Just as the facilitator of the workshop stated, “A drunken man knows how to praise God.” Many people who are not in right standing with God know how to praise Him. Simply saying thank you is not enough.
Worshipping God take one’s spiritual life to another level. Worship by definition means the reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a sacred object. Notice the word reverent, feeling or showing profound respect. We are familiar with the word reverence which is used in the Bible as respectful fear of the Lord. It describes the very nature a true Christian has by his/her attitude to the One true and living God. As one takes their natural state of praising to a supernatural state of worshipping, the experience is not fully justified by words alone. It is shown by their lifestyles.
Often blessings are expected from the Lord because that’s what He does. He covers, protects, clothes, and shows favor. These are all blessings. But when God said in the beginning let us make man in our image, we are to be like Him. Recently I wrote an article entitled, In His Image. This can be applied directly to that as well. When God made us in His image, he gave us the capacity to bless as well. This not only applies to other people, but especially to Him. “Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD,” Psalm 134:1-2, KJV.
Do we understand that as we attend church services or even a private meeting in our homes, what the praise and worship time is set aside for? Praise and worship songs are not being sung for our entertainment, although I understand it is enjoyable. Why do many of us sit around as if we’re watching paint dry on the wall? Do the words not touch the spirit, inspiring the lifting of hands? Does the Lord not mean that much? But it’s amazing to me how some can jump and root for their favorite sport’s team in a game. Many will stand out in the wet, cold rain for their favorite pastime, but will stay in from church because of the same weather and the services are held inside of a warm sanctuary. What are we saying to God?
I find it discouraging that a lot of stock is often placed in things as opposed to our Savior. Having a spirit of expectancy from the Lord is natural, yet we sometimes forget that we are a reflection of Him. Do we consider what we’re to give back to God?