God is with us and wants to encounter us in worship. He is always worthy of much more than we give Him. God does have an opinion on how He wants to be praised and worshipped. Deuteronomy 12:4 says, “You shall not act like this toward the Lord your God.” Worship is about love and being in a love relationship with the Lord. If you are in a love relationship with someone you will take time to discover how they want to be loved.
Praise is an act of love. Praise is the love language of heaven. Praise is mentioned over 300 times in the Bible. Praise is an action word, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord,” (Psalm 150:6). In 2 Samuel 6:12-16 we see the standard King David sets for praise. There is rejoicing (v. 12), there is sacrifice (v. 13), there is David dancing with all his might in verse 14, and in verse 15 there are shouts and the sounds of trumpets. Everyone is created to participate. Verse 16 takes a decided turn when “…Michal the daughter of Saul looked out the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.” Is it easy to despise and criticize types of praise we are not familiar or comfortable? There are many forms of praise that may not be comfortable for us. When we are in a love relationship with God there are going to be many ways in which the people of God will want to express their love. Who would want to be in a relationship where there are no expressions of love?
God is looking for a people who will act in love and praise.
Praise is an act of power. In 2 Chronicles 20 a great multitude is coming against Israel. King Jehoshaphat’s response is to seek the Lord and proclaim a fast. Jehoshaphat says, “O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You,” (2 Chronicles 20:12). Some of us are dealing with circumstances right now that we don’t know what to do and must fix our eyes on Jesus. We are hoping God will give us a weapon that has been missing in our lives and a weapon is needed for the trial we are in, a weapon that will encourage fresh breakthrough in our lives.
King Jehoshaphat gets a word from God. “…Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel. You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord, on your behalf…” (2 Chronicles 20:15-17).
Jehoshaphat obeys the words of God and sends out the army, but he makes this crazy decision to send out those who praise to lead the charge. “When he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the Lord, and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” (2 Chronicles 20:21). Why was he so confident that singing would work? God tells us His weapons are not like the world’s but mighty for pulling down strongholds. The reality is that our weapons don’t make sense to the world and praise is a weapon that God has given His people to defeat the enemy. Jehoshaphat understood the promise and power connected to praise; when the people praise God, He would fight their battles for them.
Praise looks like something foolish and radical. We build a platform for God with our praises and, all of a sudden, God comes down on our platform, and it is not us fighting the battle, but it is God fighting the battle on our platform of praise.
There are promises attached to doing things God’s way and the truth of what God is bringing to us in this season is that He is calling us back to a place of doing things His way.
There is blessing and breakthrough released when we make the decision to live our lives according to the standard of His Word. Praise is an act of love, obedience, and power.
How many battles have we lost because we have made the decision to let go of our heritage and weapon of praise? How can you harness fresh breakthroughs and fresh victory on the platform of your trusting praise?