Let All Things Praise the LORD1 Praise the LORD!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
2 Praise Him for His mighty acts;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
3 Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;
Praise Him with the lute and harp!
4 Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
5 Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with clashing cymbals!
6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD!
Seems fitting that my psalm for the beginning of this journey would be Psalm 150; a declaration of praise to God, recognition of His sovereignty and greatness; His right to receive praise. Praise is a beautiful thing. It is not only a "gift" of sorts to my Father, who has done so much for me throughout the week, the most notable being that He kept me alive through all of the difficulties I have been having with my heart, it is also very uplifting. Fred Hammond was very accurate when he said "It's in your praise!".
It's hard, especially when we are in the middle of it all, what ever "it all" is, to feel like there is any "quick fix". In truth, there usually isn't, but there is a way to encourage oneself to hope. Something that God put inside us responds to our praises of Him. It's swells up. Where we felt desolate we feel encouraged. I know it is a simplistic explanation of the actual change, but bear with me here. It is nearly impossible to expound on feeling. As a Christian i am not supposed to be ruled by my emotions anyway, but to a point, I must be accept their intrinsic involvement in my life.
God created me to respond in a very human and therefore emotional way. Being a "good Christian" doesn't dictate a disciplined, emotionless life. On the contrary; I am to be perfect as my Father is perfect (As He who calls you is perfect you also be perfect in all your conduct 1Pet 1), and my Father is passionate, jealous, loving, compassionate and so much more. Therefore, my emotions are not anathema to my goal of becoming closer to Him; a lack of control of those emotions however is.
There are many times in an average day where I struggle to control my emotions. There is hurt from my past, frustration with my 4 yr old, disappointment with my 16 yr olds choices, concern and even fear about our financial situations, but being a Christian, I have the tools available that are necessary to control, not negate, not quench, but control those emotions. God has never, in any way, said to me "Child, i want you to stop feeling..." this or that. Rather when I take my situations, my emotions to God He shows me, like through a magic mirror, the truth of the situation. He enables me to feel different. I don't always have time, in a given situation, to seek Him out and sit before Him while He instructs me. Because of this, when I see that I am losing it, I praise.
Praise opens up our spirit. It is a form of communication with the spiritual realm. It would be awesome if we could be open to the spiritual all of the time, and i am sure there are those who are far further in their walk with our Father than I who are. Never the less, I am not. I do not exist in a place where, at a moments notice, I can ask the Lord and hear His answer. But when I praise, when I speak my faith aloud or in song, I open that part of me that is spirit and enable it to drink from the connection to the infinite. Imagine it this way:
There's a woman in a room, it's an ordinary room in an ordinary house. Ordinary things are happening all around her, her children are being ordinary children. There is something so maddeningly mundane about the scene it makes you want to throw something chaotic in the midst of it just to feel like something is happening. Then something does happen; as she moves through the room color starts to drain from her. Not like she is sick and getting pale, but like she is somehow drying up, emptying a little with each move she makes. She helps this one with homework, gets her husband a drink, goes to the kitchen to make dinner, tells that one to take out the trash, all the while, as she serves and directs her little world she is becoming stale, brittle.
A child comes to her as she stirs the pot on the stove and she reacts harshly. The child walks away, but another comes to ask a question, she shoos this one away. Her husband says something and she snaps back. She steps over to the sink, turning her back for a moment on her life. You can see regret overtake her features. She is nearly empty now. There's a hollowness within that cannot be filled by the glass of water she now drinks. She stops and begins to whisper. The words are unintelligible to you, never the less, something begins to happen. Her words open a window to the heavens.
This is how I view praise and it's refreshing work in my life. No matter how one praises the Lord, genuine praise, thanksgiving, declaration of faith, confession of hope, these things open up that part of us that communes with the spiritual realm and enables us to more directly receive from the one who passionately desires to be our Everything. Praise the Lord :)
http://youtu.be/6KV4glz5FXY from me to you....may your praise fill your soul to overflowing today