I encourage you to give thought to how you praise God
We live in an age where the world gives little thought to many of its beliefs and activities as impulse and instinct propel people away from the Lord. However, the Christian thinks about their life. Beliefs, plans, activities, friendships, etc. are so important that thought should be applied in order to be the very best we can for Christ.
Praise is God’s designed activity for humanity, permeating all of life, engaging all that we are and possess. “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him” (Romans 15:11). In other words, our entire being, all that makes us who we are, is to be intelligently engaged in praise for the purpose of God’s glory. In this sense, praise is to speak well of the Lord which involves the bringing together of all your faculties in a unified expression of His glory. By design, believers are more than simply mouths speaking praise to God; they are to be the embodiment of “the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:12).
Bad language, smutty humour, blasphemous use of the Lord’s name, should never be acceptable in the Christian life. These negative behaviours contradict the very faith claimed by the child of God and deny the Lord’s holiness.
The Big Picture in Life
The apostle Paul summarized this thoughtful praise when writing to the Philippians. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8). Praise is to be an organic spiritual process which is deliberate, engaging the whole person. Praise is not haphazard, nor is it accidental. It’s not a special activity which is entered into on special occasions or reserved for Sunday worship only. Praise is who believers are!
Don’t be deceived, the great enemy of God knows that if left to your own natural processes, “your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). It happens so easily, so naturally, and so comfortably; if praise is neglected, after a period of time you will forget that your life is all about Christ. This is why Christians “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Believer’s give thought to how they keep Christ central in their thinking and living.
Paul explained that his mind was never to be disengaged from praise in order to worship. “I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also” (1 Corinthians 14:15). Praise that truly speaks well of the Lord gives thought to the truth being expressed. Your whole inner person should be involved in acknowledging what you know of God’s character through His Word, and telling Him of your surrendered gratitude to His Lordship.
Praise enters worship through the truth and person of Jesus Christ found in the Cross of Calvary. Believers look “to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). Praise realises the living supremacy of Jesus Christ and speaks that truth while living it.
Christian friend, today I encourage you to give thought to how you praise God. He will be glorified; you will be joyfully assured while others shall be spurred on in their spiritual integrity.
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.bbf.net.nz