You have to praise Him no matter what the circumstances.
I know that this is much easier said than done, but it’s the truth. No matter what, you have to thank Him and praise Him. It’s imperative to thank Him for what He has given you. There is such a blessing that comes back when you praise Him. We need to praise Him not only for what He has done for us, which is more than we could ever think or imagine, but we need to wholly praise Him just for the simple fact of who He is.
Praise can come in all forms and shapes. That is something that I have very much learned over the last year, specifically. As I continue to take the Lord out of the box that I had placed Him in, I have also learned to take worship and praise out of the box that I put them in.
It is more than singing a hymn or chorus. This isn’t to say that isn’t praise. It sure is and is literally music to God’s ears. He loves to hear us praise him that way. Worship can be expressed in the form of singing a song, and there have been very powerful moves of the Spirit through songs. Sometimes I think we squelch the Spirit in these moments, as we want to time out every service. This is why I have come to respect the musicians who lead worship at church. As the leader, you have to be in tune with when Jesus is moving and allow for Him to move among the people that you are leading. Otherwise, you can miss out on something powerful and cut off someone’s moment of experiencing the presence of the Lord.
But worship is so much more than these moments. Worship can come in all forms and honestly, it’s okay if you don’t worship the same as everyone else. However you do it, you still can and need to praise the Lord. You should not be ashamed to raise your arms. There is such surrender and openness when you raise your arms. If you need to close your eyes to block everything else out, close your eyes so that way you can truly focus on the words that you are singing.
If you need to break out into dance to praise the Lord, you break out into dance. David ran through the streets dancing. If you need to run around the sanctuary during service, you do that. If you need to do these things in your own home, you do that. There is nothing that says church is the only place we can worship God. There is a great deal of power in corporate worship and in incorporating your whole body in worship, in truly experiencing the Holy Spirit, but there is power in the moments when it’s you and God.
The more you are growing in your relationship personally with God, the more it’s going to outwardly display itself. Worship is an outward display of what’s happening on the inside. It will start to come out more naturally. You won’t be able to contain it. It may not come out in dance or raising your hands, and that is okay. As I said, worship comes in many forms.
You can have tears streaming down your face while praising the Lord. You can be running while praising the Lord. You can be painting or taking pictures of His creation while praising the Lord. You can be sitting in your cubicle at work while worshiping the Lord. There are so many ways to worship the Lord. You writing it down as a poem or short story is worship. You taking care of your body, and the temple that it is, is worshipping the Lord. Remember, he is living inside you.
My challenge to you is to look at worshiping the Lord differently. Don’t limit it to just the songs you sing for twenty minutes on Sundays. Play an instrument, write a poem, paint a picture, take a photograph, dance in your apartment, shout from the depths of your soul, raise your hands, close your eyes, tell the Lord who He is to you, etc. Worship Him how you feel led. Let Him move in you in a mighty way. Be open to experiencing the presence of the Lord. It may be overwhelming at first, but be open to experiencing Him in new and powerful ways. Don’t limit how you praise Him, just as you shouldn’t limit who He is and what He can do.
Praise the LORD!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
praise Him in His mighty heaven!
Praise Him for His mighty works;
praise His unequaled greatness!
Praise Him with a blast of the ram’s horn;
praise Him with the lyre and harp!
Praise Him with the tambourine and dancing;
praise Him with strings and flutes!
Praise Him with a clash of cymbals;
praise Him with loud clanging cymbals.
Let everything that breathes sing praises to the LORD!
Praise the LORD!
Don’t just praise Him when things are good. Praise Him in the tough times. Sometimes that is what is going to win the fight. Praise is another powerful weapon we have. Think about the Israelites marching around the walls of Jericho with trumpets. They didn’t use traditional weapons, yet the Lord brought the walls down.
Let me tell you, I put a praise on it this past week. I can’t tell you how many times I was compelled to dance, knowing that the victory in this battle was mine. I worshiped Him from my heart. And that’s all you need to do. It has to come from the heart. Our praise is an outward reflection of what the Lord has done on the inside.
The Lord has broken my chains. He brought me out of this dark season that I have been in. I have wanted to curl up and cry, and I have had moments where I have done just that. But I have praised Him the whole time. I have recognized who He is and what He can do and I have thanked him for all that He has done for me.
Just as there is power in the Word and power in prayer, there is power in praise. Praise him with everything you’ve got. He can move in a mighty way. I am a living testimony of that fact. The Lord wouldn’t have to do another thing for me and I would still praise Him. Part of our purpose is to worship and praise the one who created us.
I challenge you to put a praise on it and see what the Lord can and will do through that!