Saturday, September 12, 2009

Praise Your Way Through

by Donna L. Watkins

When times are rough and tough, I don't naturally think about praising God. It's more likely He'll be hearing grumbling and murmuring as He did with the Israelites every time they had a challenge.

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - Tall Mushroom in Woods
Hopefully, I'm learning to reprogram my human nature and not end up like they did, banned from the Promised Land, doomed to die in the desert because of their stiff-necked rebellious hearts.

The Bible says we're to "offer the sacrifice of praise to God" (Hebrews 13:15). The more it costs us, the more it pays off. After all, life's challenges are meant for lessons to grow us into maturity so that we may be able to handle life's battles while here on earth, and be prepared for eternity in Heaven.

Learning to praise Him in all circumstances shows we don't see God just as somebody to provide all our wants and needs. He's the God of the Universe, the Creator of the ends of the Earth. He is to be praised for who He is and what He's done for us in the redemption plan through the blood of Christ. Life's daily details don't need to be perfect to praise this everlasting God who has a steadfast love for us that surpasses our earthly parenting of not wanting to see our children suffer for their own good.

Besides, a praise-filled environment stops Satan dead in his tracks because he knows that "God inhabits the praises of His people" (Psalms 22:3). God is always near to us, but His presence is especially close and healing (emotionally and physically) when we are praising Him.

At home we can dance, sing and bow down in worship to our Lord and King as we praise Him, but when we're in situations where we need to see Him in all His glory to defeat the thoughts and pictures that the Enemy is launching our way, we can close our eyes anywhere (not while driving) and picture Him sitting on the throne of Heaven surrounded by praise all day.

Put yourself in that throng of heavenly beings and draw near to the one who can comfort you like no other. List His names (Shepherd, Provider, Healer, Everlasting God). Remember His steadfast love and faithfulness in your life. Don't let the devil tell you He's always failed you. It's a lie. God has never failed you. The most awful time in your life He was with you to comfort you if you would allow it.

The whole Creation was made to praise God:
"the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands" (Isaiah 55:12); "Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!" (Psalm 150:6); in Luke 19 the disciples were praising God and when the Pharisees told Jesus to rebuke them, He replied, "I tell you if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

Praise literally helps to heal your emotions and lift the burden of negative thinking you've been shoved under by our Enemy. Praise Him with your whole heart ... let your mind rest with all the details of what's wrong, and enter into the Holy of Holies that we know have access to because of the blood of Jesus. Don't leave until you are filled with hope. love and a knowing that every thing is right. You just can't see it with your physical eyes, but you can see it with the eyes of your heart.

God is always for you and not against you. Romans 8:28: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Remember you have been called to worship and praise Him and as you express this form of love to Him, regardless of circumstances, He will make all things good in your life!

Hearing God's Voice
The book that is having a monumental impact on my life and way of living is one called, How To Hear God's Voice by Mark and Patti Virkler. The clear and detailed content with loads of Scriptural backup, along with the interactive process of applying what you are learning, is yielding a lot of spiritual fruit in my life and the life of my husband, the counselor, who is now promoting the book to everyone he knows. Your view of the present, past and future will never be the same when you begin to commune with God as He always intended us to do since He walked with man in the Garden of Eden. For those who yearn for a deeper relationship with the Father, this book will take you there if you read and apply it. The author promises that and I do too!

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