On Monday, I found myself in a funk. I began to complain internally about everything that was going wrong in my life. But on Tuesday, I got a epiphany. I can either choose to complain about my situation or praise God in the midst of it. It sounds so cheesy but I tell you this is the truth. That’s when I began to ask myself, when last have I genuinely praised God in the secret place? And then I realized, praise was what I was missing the entire time.
Praising is more than words or a song. It’s the position of your heart. Sure I was on the worship team, reciting my ‘thank you Jesus’ prayers and have my ‘Look at God’ moments, But internally, I built up a no-praise wall in my heart that slowly decayed my countenance and my ability to hear God. I went through a very rough time from the beginning of last year up until March of this year, which took a toll on my relationship with God. And hence attributed to my hardened heart towards praising God. Instead, I replaced my ability to praise with complaining. Why is this happening to me. Why am I going through this. God must hate me. I have no idea what I’m doing with my life. All these things have flooded my mind for the past year or so. And even though God had healed me from my depressive state, up until Tuesday, I’ve since forgotten the power of praise. I used to be the type to delight only in praising God. That was how I was able to cope and function with the external factors of life. It was through authentic praise that I would feel intimately close with God. Where all my problems would seemingly fly away as I connected with heaven to worship God for who He is.
But sadly, I can’t remember the last time I had a moment like this. The moment where I freely worshiped God for just being God! No strings attached, not expecting a blessing in return. Just raw true, praise. We may be praising Him in the hopes that He will answer the prayers we have been requesting of Him. Or praising Him in advance for dealing with the problems in our lives. And nothing is technically wrong with that. But we shouldn’t praise Him only on this basis alone. Because honestly, He doesn’t have to answer our prayers. He sovereign and He can do whatsoever He pleases. But when you are able to say God, I don’t care if you answer my prayers, I will still worship you. I will still bring you praise because you are completely worthy. Even if my life is in shambles you will always be worthy. This is the heart that God is looking for.
In Luke 19:38-40, a whole crowd of people began to praise Jesus with a loud voice but the Pharisees told Jesus to rebuke them for worshiping Him. And then the coolest thing happened. Jesus told the Pharisees, if they stop, even the rocks on the side of the road will cry out in their place. All of creation’s role is to praise Him! I’m fully convinced that we still don’t understand the greatness of God. Why? Because if we did, nothing on this Earth will keep us from giving Him praise. The rocks get it. They don’t stop praising based on external things that may happen. They are forever inclined to giving their creator praise.
Something powerful happens when we delight ourselves in the Lord. In Psalm 22:3 it says that “God inhabits the praises of his people.” When you praise, you are inviting God’s presence to come and dwell with you. It opens the door to hearing His voice. I have been struggling to hear God’s voice recently, but it makes total sense that it’s because I have stopped praising Him. You would think I would have figured it out by now, but when you become so accustomed to not doing something for several months, it makes it easy to forget it importance. Even in these two days short days, I am filled with so much more joy and am hearing His voice little by little. It’s as if God is teaching me the basics, all over again. I feel like I have been stretched so much in this season, but I know there is purpose in it all. It’s easy to be consumed with our problems, or worries but never allow those things to stop you from doing the one thing you know you were created to do. Praise!
Until next time,