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Introduction Chapter 1. WHY WE PRAISE Chapter 2. HOW COULD PAUL PRAISE Chapter !. PRAISE I" #HE OLD #ES#A$E"# Chapter %. A##I#UDE IS E&ERY#HI"' Chapter (. WA)E UP* Chapter +. LI&I"' ,REE Chapter -. E.PERIE"CI"' E#ER"AL LI,E Chapter /. AR$ED A"D DA"'EROUS Chapter 0. HOW PRAISE A,,EC#S 'OD Conc1usion Recei2in3 4esus As Your Sa2ior Recei2in3 #he Ho15 Spirit A6out the Author Contact In7or8ation
Praise a77ects e2er5 area o7 our 1i2es9our persona1 re1ationship :ith 'od; our spiritua1 :ar7are a3ainst the de2i1; and our o:n 8enta1 and e8otiona1 :e11<6ein3. Praise is so8ethin3 a Christian =ust cannot do :ithout. It ou3ht to 6e the 7irst thin3 :e do each 8ornin3 to 6e3in the da5; and it ou3ht to 6e the 1ast thin3 :e do each e2enin3 to end the da5. We shou1d 6e3in and end e2er5 pra5er :ith praise unto the Lord. #he Scripture ad8onishes us to praise the Lord constant159in the 8ornin3; at noon; and :hen the sun 3oes do:n. 'od desires to ha2e a re1ationship :ith e2er5 6e1ie2er; and :e de2e1op that re1ationship throu3h stud5in3 His Word and spendin3 ti8e co88unin3 :ith Hi8. Praise is a part o7 that. Praise 6rin3s inti8ac5; and :hen :e e>perience an inti8ate re1ationship :ith the ,ather; :e e>perience eterna1 1i7e. I rea115 6e1ie2e that our 8inistr5 unto the Lord throu3h praise is the 8ost i8portant thin3 :e can do in our Christian :a1?. I7 :e :ou1d 6e3in to operate in this and understand ho: praise a77ects the Lord and ho: it 8inisters unto Hi8; this :ou1d pro2ide the 6asis o7 a 7oundation that :i11 1ast us throu3h our 1i2es9not on15 in crisis ti8es; 6ut throu3hout the entire ti8e :e@re here on the earth. #here is so 8uch 8ateria1 on the su6=ect o7 praise. #he purpose o7 this 6oo? is to e8phasiAe and to he1p us understand :h5 praise is so i8portant. #here are three areas; I 6e1ie2e; that contain 8uch 8ore re2e1ation 7ro8 'od@s Word a6out :hat praise acco8p1ishes than :hat
8ost Christians ha2e seen9the e77ect praise has on the 6e1ie2er; the e77ect praise has on the de2i1; and the e77ect praise has on 'od. #his 6oo? :i11 sho: 5ou ho: 5ou can :a1? in a ne: 1e2e1 o7 praise in 5our persona1 re1ationship :ith the Lord. You :i11 6e a8aAed at the e77ect a praise<7i11ed 1i7e :i11 ha2e on 5our dai15 1i7e and on 5our re1ationship :ith 'od.
CHAPTER 1 WHY WE PRAISE
Praise is 8uch 8ore i8portant than :hat the a2era3e person thin?s. A 1ot o7 Christians 6e1ie2e it is nice to praise 'od and to 6e than?7u1 unto Hi8; 6ut the5 rea115 1oo? at it as 6ein3 so8ethin3 that@s optiona1. In other :ords; it :ou1d 6e 3ood i7 :e praised 'odB i7 :e don@t; it@s certain15 understanda61e; and no one :ou1d 1oo? at it as 6ein3 sin. #hat is not the picture painted in the Word o7 'od. It is a direct co88and o7 'od. It is not an option. Praise is a necessit5; as :e see in Deuterono85. $oreo2er a11 these curses sha11 co8e upon thee; and sha11 pursue thee; and o2erta?e thee; ti11 thou 6e destro5edB 6ecause thou hear?enedst not unto the 2oice o7 the LORD th5 'od; to ?eep his co88and8ents and his statutes :hich he co88anded theeC And they shall be upon thee fo a s!"n and fo a #onde $ and upon thy seed fo e%e & 'e(ause thou se %edst not the )ORD thy *od #!th +oyfulness$ and #!th "ladness of hea t$ fo the abundan(e of all th!n"s, The efo e shalt thou se %e th!ne ene-!es #h!(h the )ORD shall send a"a!nst thee$ !n hun"e $ and !n th! st$ and !n na.edness$ and !n #ant of all th!n"s/ and he shall put a yo.e of ! on upon thy ne(.$ unt!l he ha%e dest oyed thee& Deute ono-y 01/23421
E2en thou3h this is not :ritten direct15 to us; as :e are not the chi1dren o7 Israe1 and are not under this co2enant; it is sti11 :ritten 7or our ad8onition and 1earnin3. We see ho: serious15 'od 1oo?s at praise 7ro8 His peop1e. #he reason 'od :as 6rin3in3 a11 these curses upon the8 :as 6ecause the5 didn@t ser2e Dthe LORD th5 'od :ith =o57u1ness; and :ith 31adness o7 heart; 7or the a6undance o7 a11 thin3s.E #hat :as sin in 'od@s e5es* When :e thin? o7 'od@s =ud38ent co8in3 upon the Israe1ites in the O1d #esta8ent; :e thin? o7 3ross sins such as ido1atr5; i88ora1it5; 8urder; etc. &er5 7e: peop1e thin? a6out 'od 6rin3in3 =ud38ent upon peop1e 6ecause the5 didn@t ha2e =o5 and the5 :eren@t than?7u1 7or :hat He had done. #heir i88ora1it5 :as a1so a part o7 their =ud38ent; 6ut a 1ac? o7 =o5 and 31adness o7 heart :as inc1uded in their sin. #he5 :ere not than?7u1 7or the a6undance o7 thin3s 'od had 3i2en the8. Praise :as not 6ein3 returned unto 'od. #hat ta?es praise out o7 the cate3or5 o7 6ein3 optiona19 so8ethin3 that :ou1d 6e nice to do i7 :e :anted to; i7 :e 7e1t 1i?e it; or i7 it :as con2enient. #his e1e2ates it to a rea18 that 'od intended it to 6e.
He Is Wo thy Of Ou P a!se
I7 5ou ha2e nothin3 to praise 'od 7or; i7 there is nothin3 3ood in 5our 1i7e; 5ou are sti11 to praise 'od. Wh5 Fecause He is :orth5* #he :riter o7 Psa18 1G- 6e3ins 65 sa5in3; DO 3i2e than?s unto the LORD; 7or he is 3oodC 7or his 8erc5 endureth 7or e2erE HPs. 1G-C1I. #hen 7or the ne>t si> 2erses; he 3i2es
praise unto 'od 7or a11 the 3reat :or?s He had done 7or the nation o7 Israe19speci7ica115 that He 6rou3ht the8 out o7 the 1and o7 E35pt; that He per7or8ed a11 the 8irac1es; and that He de1i2ered the8 7ro8 their distress. #hrou3hout this psa18; he recounted these :ords 7our di77erent ti8es; DOh that 8en :ou1d praise the LORD 7or his 3oodness; and 7or his :onder7u1 :or?s to the chi1dren o7 8enE HPs. 1G-C/I. #he author isn@t sa5in3 that 8en shou1d praise the Lord 6ecause it :i11 6ene7it the8 persona115; a1thou3h it :i11. He isn@t sa5in3 to praise the Lord 6ecause it :i11 o2erco8e our ene85; a1thou3h that is truth. He :as spea?in3 7ro8 'od@s perspecti2e. He :as re1atin3 the heart o7 'od and te11in3 the peop1e to 3i2e praise unto 'od 7or His 3oodness. In other :ords; 'od is :orth5 to 6e praised. 'od deser2es our praise. He has done so 8uch 7or us; 5et 8an5 ti8es :e 7ai1 to reco3niAe that He desires our praise in return. 'od 1on3s 7or that. It@s 2er5 si8i1ar to a parent< chi1d re1ationship. 'od 1o2es us as a parent 1o2es a chi1d; and He :ants our 1o2e in return. In this sense; 'od has a need; and 'od needs that 1o2e returned. I8a3ine i7 5ou rea115 1o2ed so8eone and sho:ered 5our 1o2e upon hi8. I 8ean; 5ou 1o2ed hi8 so 8uch; e2en to the point that 5ou too? 5our o:n son and sacri7iced hi8 so this 8an 8i3ht 3o 7ree. "o: i7 5ou did a11 o7 that 7or hi8 and he turned around and didn@t than? 5ou 7or it; :ou1d that p1ease 5ou I7 he :asn@t than?7u1; i7 he didn@t 8inister 6ac? unto 5ou; :ou1d 5ou 6e 61essed It@s inconcei2a61e that a person :ho rea115 1o2es and sho:s that 1o2e :ou1dn@t :ant to 6e 1o2ed in return. An5 person :ho 1o2es has a need a1so to 6e 1o2ed.
I 6e1ie2e 'od has that need. Don@t 8isunderstand 8e9I@8 not sa5in3 that 'od is depressed; discoura3ed; or 6u88ed 6ecause He@s not recei2in3 the 1o2e that is due unto Hi8. 'od is 3reater than that. Fut I do 6e1ie2e that 'od desires our 1o2e; and I 6e1ie2e He is not p1eased :hen :e don@t 1o2e Hi8 the :a5 :e shou1d. I@8 not sa5in3 He dis1i?es us; 6ut it disp1eases Hi8 6ecause He desires our praise. *!%e unto the )ORD the "lo y due unto h!s na-e, #o sh!p the )ORD !n the beauty of hol!ness& Psal- 05/0 All the ea th shall #o sh!p thee$ and shall s!n" unto thee, they shall s!n" to thy na-e& Selah& Psal- 66/2 I #!ll p a!se the )ORD a((o d!n" to h!s !"hteousness/ and #!ll s!n" p a!se to the na-e of the )ORD -ost h!"h& Psal- 7/17 Whoso offe eth p a!se "lo !f!eth -e& Psal- 38/09 I #!ll bless the )ORD at all t!-es/ h!s p a!se shall (ont!nually be !n -y -outh& Psal- 92/1 'less the )ORD$ O -y soul/ and all that !s #!th!n -e$ bless h!s holy na-e& Psal- 189/1
We are instructed throu3hout Scripture to praise the Lord; to 3i2e Hi8 31or5; and to :orship Hi8. I 1i?e Psa18 1GGC%C DEnter into his 3ates :ith than?s3i2in3; and into his courts :ith praiseC 6e than?7u1 unto hi8; and 61ess his na8e.E #hat is the :a5 our re1ationship :ith Hi8 shou1d 6e. #hat is ho: :e shou1d 6e3in our pra5er965 enterin3 His 3ates :ith than?s3i2in3 and His courts :ith praise. #his is ho: 'od desires it to 6e; 6ecause He 1o2es us and :ants to recei2e that 1o2e in return. I :as at a 8issions@ con7erence one ti8e; and a 8an :as ta1?in3 a6out the i8portance o7 8issions. He 8ade the state8ent that the so1e =usti7ication 7or our e>istence on the earth is to 1ead another person to the Lord. I understood the point he :as tr5in3 to 8a?e. He :as tr5in3 to encoura3e peop1e to reco3niAe; DHe5; :e are supposed to 6e out sharin3 our 7aith.E I a3reed :ith his heart and :ith the point he :as 8a?in3; 6ut :hen he said that; the Lord spo?e to 8e and said; D"o; no; no; that is not the so1e =usti7ication. #hat is not the on15 :a5 5ou can =usti75 5our e>istence here on this earth.E #his is so8ethin3 I 7ee1 8ost Christians ha2e 8isunderstood. We thin? that our net :orth to 'od9the on15 thin3 :e rea115 ha2e to o77er Hi89is our ser2ice. #hat@s not true. 'od 1on3s 7or us persona115; not =ust :hat :e can 3i2e Hi8; not =ust :hat :e can do 7or Hi8. He :ants our a77ection; that :e desire and 1o2e and :orship Hi8.
P a!se ' !n"s Pleasu e To *od
Our nu86er one priorit5 has to 6e 1o2in3 'od persona115 9not =ust 1o2in3 Hi8 throu3h the thin3s :e do 7or Hi8 or :hat He can do 7or us; 6ut to 1o2e 'od. It@s not enou3h =ust to 3i2e 'od our tithesB :e need to 3i2e 'od our hearts. I7 'od 3ets our hearts; He@11 3et our poc?et6oo?s; He@11 3et our ser2ice; He@11 3et e2er5thin3 e1se there is to ha2e. 'od :ants us; not =ust :hat :e can do 7or Hi8. Loo? at Ada8 and E2e as an e>a8p1e. Re2e1ation %C11 sa5s; D,or th5 p1easure the5 are and :ere created.E #he ori3ina1 purpose Ada8 :as created 7or is sti11 the sa8e purpose 'od has 7or peop1e toda597or His p1easure. What :as the =usti7ication 7or Ada8 and E2e@s e>istence Fe7ore sin entered into the earth; ho: cou1d the5 =usti75 their e>istence Ada8 and E2e didn@t ha2e a church to :or? in and to ser2e. #he5 didn@t ha2e an5one to 8inister to or cast de2i1s out o7. #here :ere no sic? to 1a5 hands on and see reco2er. "o one needed the8 to pra5 7or prosperit5. So; :hat :as the =usti7ication 7or Ada8 and E2e@s e>istence I 6e1ie2e that it had to 6e 7or the Lord@s p1easure. 'od created the8 to 6e an o6=ect o7 His 1o2e. He cou1d 1o2e the8 and 8inister to the8; 6ut a1so the5 :ou1d 6e there to 1o2e Hi8 6ac?. It :as a t:o<:a5 street; a t:o<:a5 co88unication. 'od 3ot p1easure out o7 7e11o:shippin3 :ith Ada8 and E2e on a dai15 6asis. 'od created 8an 6ecause He :anted so8eone to 7e11o:ship :ith; to co88une :ith; and to ha2e p1easure in.
P a!se Is *od:s W!ll ;o Us
Thou a t #o thy$ O )o d$ to e(e!%e "lo y and honou and po#e / fo thou hast ( eated all th!n"s$ and fo thy pleasu e they a e and #e e ( eated& Re%elat!on 2/11 #his scripture is :hat the t:ent5<7our e1ders around the throne in hea2en cr5 out to 'od. #his sho:s that 'od@s ori3ina1 purpose 7or creation is 7or His p1easure. #hat purpose has not chan3ed. He created us to 3i2e Hi8 p1easure; and this p1easure re7ers to praise and :orship. I7 this is the :a5 it is in hea2en; then this is the :a5 'od intends 7or it to 6e here on earth. 4esus pra5ed; D#h5 :i11 6e done in earth; as it is in hea2enE H$att. +C1GI. In hea2en; there is constant praise. #hat is 'od@s :i11 7or us. 'od created us to 6e 7u11 o7 praise; 7u11 o7 =o5; and 7u11 o7 than?s3i2in3. We are created to 6e :orshipers o7 'od. #hat is not =ust 7or a 7e: peop1e; 6ut 7or e2er5 6orn<a3ain person. Satan tries to th:art this. He tried to stop a11 o7 hea2en 7ro8 :orshipin3 'od; and no: he@s tr5in3 to stop us 7ro8 :orshipin3 'od on an indi2idua1 1e2e1. Fut :orship is reser2ed 7or 'od a1one.
Pea(e Is A 'enef!t Of P a!se
Re+o!(e !n the )o d al#ay/ and a"a!n I say$ Re+o!(e& )et you -ode at!on be .no#n unto all -en& The )o d !s at hand&
'e (a eful fo noth!n", but !n e%e y th!n" by p aye and suppl!(at!on #!th than.s"!%!n" let you e<uests be -ade .no#n unto *od& And the pea(e of *od$ #h!(h passeth all unde stand!n"$ shall .eep you hea ts and -!nds th ou"h Ch !st =esus& Ph!l!pp!ans 2/247 When :e 1et our reJuests 6e 8ade ?no:n :ith than?s3i2in3; then the Dpeace...:hich passeth a11 understandin3; sha11 ?eep KourL hearts and 8inds throu3h Christ 4esusE H6rac?ets 8ineI. It@s on15 :hen :e pra5 :ith than?s3i2in3 that the peace o7 'od :i11 ?eep our hearts and 8inds. Peace is not a product o7 circu8stances. Peace doesn@t co8e :hen there are no pro61e8s. #hat@s the :a5 the :or1d 1oo?s at it. Fut peace9'od@s ?ind o7 peace9is so8ethin3 that is there e2en in the 8idst o7 pro61e8s. It is a resu1t o7 ?eepin3 our 8inds sta5ed on 'od. I@2e 6een in situations :here; in the natura1; there :as no reason that I shou1d ha2e =o5 or peace. Fut 6ecause I had 85 8ind 7ocused on 'od and His pro8ises; 6ecause I had 7aith :or?in3 on the inside o7 8e; I had peace. It@s e>act15 1i?e these scriptures sa5; that :hen 5ou D1et 5our reJuests 6e 8ade ?no:n unto 'od...the peace o7 'od; :hich passeth a11 understandin3; sha11 ?eep 5our hearts and 8inds throu3h Christ 4esus.E When 5ou are praisin3 'od; a supernatura1 peace :i11 7o11o:; a peace that no 8an can understand or e>p1ain. #here is no ph5sica1 reason 7or it; 6ut the peace o7 'od :i11 ?eep 5our heart and 8ind.
Thou #!lt .eep h!- !n pe fe(t pea(e$ #hose -!nd !s stayed on thee/ be(ause he t usteth !n thee& Isa!ah 06/9 I7 5our 8ind is sta5ed on 'od; 5ou :i11 ha2e per7ect peace. I7 5our 8ind is not sta5ed on 'od; 5ou :i11 not ha2e per7ect peace. I7 5ou aren@t e>periencin3 peace in 5our 1i7e; 8ost 1i?e15 5our 8ind is not sta5ed on 'od HRo8. /C+I. So8e peop1e :i11 ar3ue :ith 8e and sa5; DFut :ait a 8inute. You don@t understand 85 pro61e8. You don@t ?no: 85 situation. Ho: can I ha2e peace E #he5 ha2e =ust sho:n 8e their pro61e8. #heir attention is 7ocused on their pro61e8 and not on the ans:er. #heir attention is 7ocused on15 on the natura1 rea18. Fut there is another :or1d out there. E2en i7 e2er5 ti8e the5 see 1i3ht at the end o7 the tunne1 it turns out to 6e another train; the5 sti11 don@t ha2e to 6e in tur8oi1. I7 :orse ca8e to :orse; :hat cou1d happen #he5 :ou1d die and 3o to 6e :ith the Lord* #hat@s the peace that passes a11 understandin3.
P a!se Is St en"th
Out of the -outh of babes and su(.l!n"s hast thou o da!ned st en"th be(ause of th!ne ene-!es$ that thou -!"htest st!ll the ene-y and the a%en"e & Psal- 1/0 When 4esus 8ade His triu8pha1 entr5 into the cit5 o7 4erusa1e8 on :hat :e ca11 Pa18 Sunda5; thousands o7 peop1e turned out to 3reet Hi8; sin3in3; DHosanna to the Son o7 Da2idE H$att. 21C1(I. #his 3reat15 upset the
Pharisees and the chie7 priests 6ecause the5 considered this 61asphe85. It :ou1d ha2e 6een 61asphe85 i7 4esus :as not 'od. Fut 4esus :as 'odB there7ore it :as appropriate 7or the peop1e to :orship Hi8. #he re1i3ious peop1e e>pected 4esus to re6u?e the 8u1titude 7or such an outcr5; 6ut instead; 4esus Juoted Psa18 /C2; e>cept He chan3ed one phrase. In $atthe: 21C1+; :e 7ind that 4esus rep1ied; DOut o7 the 8outh o7 6a6es and suc?1in3s thou has per7ected praise.E F5 co8parin3 these t:o scriptures; :e see that 4esus interchan3ed the phrase Dper7ected praiseE 7or Dordained stren3th.E Praise is stren3th* I7 5ou thin? praise is optiona1; 5ou :on@t see it that :a5. Fut "ehe8iah sa5s the sa8e thin3C D#he =o5 o7 the Lord is 5our stren3thE H"eh. /C1GI. #his stren3th is speci7ica115 to 6e used a3ainst our ene85. It sa5s that it stops the ene85 and the a2en3er. Praise is the 3reatest :eapon :e ha2e a3ainst Satan and his dai15 ons1au3ht. It 1itera115 8a?es Satan 71ee in terror :hen :e 6e3in to praise 'od; and the anointin3 o7 'od is a61e to 8ani7est itse17 in the a6sence o7 opposition 7ro8 the de2i1. Praise is spiritua1 :ar7are. I ha2e seen 8an5 peop1e 3et into :hat the5 ca11 spiritua1 :ar7are; 6ut it is actua115 depressin3. #he5 are 7i3htin3 the de2i1 and spendin3 8ore ti8e :ith the de2i1 than the5 are :ith 'od. #hat@s not ri3ht. Yes; there is a p1ace 7or 7i3htin3 and resistin3 the de2i1; 6ut 8aintainin3 an attitude o7 praise is the 6est :eapon :e ha2e. I7 sic?ness tries to co8e upon 5our 6od5; instead o7 spendin3 so 8uch ti8e dea1in3 :ith the de2i1 and 8a?in3 that 5our priorit5; 6e3in to praise 'od and than? Hi8 7or
the hea1in3 that has 6een pro8ised to 5ou. #he 8edica1 pro7ession has statistics that sho: a happ5 and =o57u1 person is 8uch hea1thier than a person :ho is 8or6id; sad; and depressed. Praise 'od 7or hea1in3 5ou; and 1et the =o5 o7 the Lord 6e 5our stren3th.
P a!se 'lesses The )o d
So 8an5 peop1e :ere see?in3 Hi8 that so8eti8es 4esus :ou1d ha2e to sta5 up a11 ni3ht pra5in3 and 7e11o:shippin3 :ith the ,ather 6ecause He cou1dn@t do it durin3 the da5ti8e. 4esus 3a2e priorit5 to a persona1 re1ationship :ith 'od; and it@s 3ot to 6e the sa8e 7or e2er5 indi2idua1 8e86er in the 6od5 o7 Christ. We 8ust reco3niAe that this is :hat 8a?es e2er5thin3 e1se 7unction. I7 our persona1 re1ationship :ith 'od is sa33in3; e2er5thin3 e1se :i11 e2entua115 cru861e. #he :a5 :e esta61ish this persona1 re1ationship :ith the Lord is not 1i8ited to praise; 6ut I 6e1ie2e that praise is the :a5 to 6e3in this 1o2e re1ationship :ith 'od. I7 :e 6e3in to 61ess the Lord; te11 Hi8 ho: 8uch :e 1o2e Hi8; and than? Hi8 7or :hat He@s done; I 3uarantee 5ou 'od :i11 8inister His 1o2e 6ac? to us. An e>a8p1e o7 this happened :hen 85 sons :ere 5oun3. I too? 85 t:o 6o5s; 4oshua and Peter; out to ride our horses. I a1so 6ou3ht the8 =un? 7ood9ice crea8 and a11 ?inds o7 thin3s. We spent the :ho1e da5 ridin3 horses; p1a5in3 in the cree?; :rest1in3; and ha2in3 a 3reat ti8e. When the5 :ere 3oin3 to 6ed that ni3ht; I ?issed Peter 3ood ni3ht; turned o77 the 1i3ht; and as I :a1?ed out o7 the roo8; Peter said; DDad E I said; DYep.E He said; DYou@re a 3ood dad.E And do 5ou ?no:; :hat he said 61essed 8e. Fo5; I 8ean it 8ade 85 heart =u8p up and do:n and do
71ip<71ops* He :as sa5in3 a than?<5ou in his o:n :a5. "o: he didn@t sa5; DF1ess 5ou; Dad.E "o; :hat he said :as; DDad; 5ou@re a 3ood dad;E and his sa5in3 that 61essed 8e. When the Scripture ad8onishes us to 61ess the Lord; that@s :hat it@s ta1?in3 a6out. 'od is 61essed 65 us e>pressin3 our 1o2e and :orship and praise unto Hi8. A 3ood 7riend o7 8ine had a re2e1ation o7 ho: 8uch 'od 1o2es hi8. He :as in a terri61e situation in a 8enta1 :ard; 3ot a re2e1ation o7 'od@s 1o2e 7or hi8; and :as 6orn a3ain. As a resu1t; he@s no: a tre8endous 8an o7 'od9he pastors a church and sees 3reat thin3s happen. Fut he has a sa5in3 that he te11s a 1ot o7 peop1e; D'od 1o2es 8e. 'od carries 85 picture in His :a11et.E He a1so sa5s; D'od has 85 picture on His 8ante1.E So8e peop1e 3et o77ended at that. #he5 thin?; $an; :ho do 5ou thin? 5ou are You thin? 5ou@re so8e6od5 specia1 that 5ou cou1d 61ess 'od; that 5ou ha2e so8ethin3 5ou cou1d o77er to 'od Fut the point he@s 8a?in3 is that 'od 1o2es hi8. He 3ot a re2e1ation o7 that. He ?no:s that :hen he 1o2es 'od 6ac? and te11s 'od he 1o2es Hi8; that 61esses 'od. I7 5ou don@t ha2e a rea1 re2e1ation o7 'od@s 1o2e 7or 5ou; or e2en i7 5ou do 6ut 5ou :ant 8ore; =ust 6e3in settin3 aside a specia1 ti8e each da5 to praise Hi8. I 3uarantee 5ou@11 enter into a deeper 1e2e1 o7 inti8ac5 :ith Hi8 and the rest o7 5our da5 :i11 3o a :ho1e 1ot 6etter*
CHAPTER 0 HOW COU)D PAU) PRAISE>
#a?in3 a serious 1oo? at Pau1@s 1i7e; so8e o7 the apost1es@ 1i2es; and e2en so8e o7 this countr5@s ear15 8inisters and 8issionaries; it@s eas5 to :onder ho: the5 cou1d possi615 continue to o77er praise and :orship to 'od in the 8idst o7 their su77erin3s. Ho:e2er; 1oo?in3 7urther; :e see ho: Pau1 2ie:ed a11 o7 the su77erin3 he :ent throu3h. We a e t oubled on e%e y s!de$ yet not d!st essed, #e a e pe ple?ed$ but not !n despa! , Pe se(uted$ but not fo sa.en, (ast do#n$ but not dest oyed, Al#ays bea !n" about !n the body the dy!n" of the )o d =esus$ that the l!fe also of =esus -!"ht be -ade -an!fest !n ou body& 0 Co !nth!ans 2/1418
;o ou l!"ht affl!(t!on$ #h!(h !s but fo a -o-ent$ #o .eth fo us a fa -o e e?(eed!n" and ete nal #e!"ht of "lo y, Wh!le #e loo. not at the th!n"s #h!(h a e seen$ but at the th!n"s #h!(h a e not seen/ fo the th!n"s #h!(h a e seen a e te-po al, but the th!n"s #h!(h a e not seen a e ete nal& 0 Co !nth!ans 2/17411
"otice Pau1 said; DOur 1i3ht a771iction.E #his is an a8aAin3 state8ent* So8eti8es :e s?ip o2er this and don@t rea115 understand the 6ac?3round o7 :hat Pau1 :as sa5in3. I7 :e 1oo? in 2 Corinthians 11; Pau1 8entions :hat his 1i3ht a771ictions :ere. ;o ye suffe $ !f a -an b !n" you !nto bonda"e$ !f a -an de%ou you$ !f a -an ta.e of you$ !f a -an e?alt h!-self$ !f a -an s-!te you on the fa(e& A e they -!n!ste s of Ch !st> @I spea. as a foolA I a-o e, !n labou s -o e abundant$ !n st !pes abo%e -easu e$ !n p !sons -o e f e<uent$ !n deaths oft& Of the =e#s f!%e t!-es e(e!%ed I fo ty st !pes sa%e one& Th !(e #as I beaten #!th ods$ on(e #as I stoned$ th !(e I suffe ed sh!p# e(.$ a n!"ht and a day I ha%e been !n the deep, In +ou ney!n"s often$ !n pe !ls of #ate s$ !n pe !ls of obbe s$ !n pe !ls by -!ne o#n (ount y-en$ !n pe !ls by heathen$ !n pe !ls !n the (!ty$ !n pe !ls !n the #!lde ness$ !n pe !ls !n the sea$ !n pe !ls a-on" false b eth en, In #ea !ness and pa!nfulness$ !n #at(h!n"s often$ !n hun"e and th! st$ !n fast!n"s often$ !n (old and na.edness& 0 Co !nth!ans 11/08 and 09407 Pau1 had 6een throu3h the :rin3er* He e2en said that he had su77ered 8ore than an5one; 5et he considered it a
D1i3ht a771iction.E He :asn@t sa5in3 it :as a 1i3ht a771iction 6ecause he didn@t ha2e as 8an5 pro61e8s as 5ou and I do. Pau1 pro6a615 su77ered 8ore than 5ou and I ha2e e2er thou3ht a6out su77erin3; 6ut it :as =ust a 1i3ht a771iction 7or hi8 6ecause o7 his perspecti2e. I hear so 8an5 peop1e sa5; DI :ou1d praise 'od i7 I didn@t ha2e so 8an5 pro61e8s.E And then the5 6e3in enu8eratin3 a11 o7 their pro61e8s. In e77ect; the5@re sa5in3; DYes; I a3ree :ith praise; and I :ou1d praise 'od i7 it :ere easier; 6ut it@s =ust too hard :ith a11 the pro61e8s I@8 7acin3.E Pau1 had it :orse than an5one; 5et he said it :as =ust a 1i3ht a771iction and praised 'od in the 8idst o7 e2er5thin3. "o: i7 Pau1; :ho had 8ore pro61e8s and 8ore ad2ersit5 than an5 o7 us; cou1d praise 'od; then no one is =usti7ied in not praisin3 'od 6ecause o7 their pro61e8s.
The Cho!(e Is Ou s
Satan has decei2ed the 6od5 o7 Christ. He has de2ised e1a6orate s5ste8s o7 =usti75in3 peop1e@s 1ac? o7 praise. Ps5cho1o35 has a1so had a 6i3 i8pact on our societ5 toda5 9and not a11 o7 it is 3ood. Pri8ari15; it has ta?en 61a8e and responsi6i1it5 a:a5 7ro8 us. We aren@t responsi61e 7or our actions. It@s another person@s 7au1t. It@s our parents and the :a5 the5 did or didn@t treat us. It@s societ5; the co1or o7 our s?in; i7 :e had 8ore 8one5; i7 :e had this or that. We 61a8e our sin or 6ad ha6its on e2er5one and e2er5thin3 e1se. Yet Pau1; :ho had terri61e ad2ersit5 co8e a3ainst hi8; ne2er 61a8ed an5one e1se. He too? responsi6i1it5 7or his e8otions; and he chose to praise 'od.
'i2en our present<da5 situations; :e ha2e the choice o7 ho: :e are 3oin3 to respond. Societ5 can@t 8a?e us respond a particu1ar :a5. Our circu8stances can@t 8a?e us ha2e 6eha2iora1 pro61e8s. It@s our choice. When 'od created us; He 3a2e us the a6i1it5 to choose. 4ust as :e ha2e the a6i1it5 to choose eterna1 1i7e or death; :e ha2e the a6i1it5 to choose to praise 'od in a11 situations. Deuterono85 !GC10 sa5s; DI ca11 hea2en and earth to record this da5 a3ainst 5ou; that I ha2e set 6e7ore 5ou 1i7e and death; 61essin3 and cursin3C there7ore choose 1i7e; that 6oth thou and th5 seed 8a5 1i2e.E 'od 3a2e us the choice. He doesn@t 8a?e the choice 7or us; and Satan cannot 7orce us into an5 decision. It@s our choice. #he choice isn@t di77icu1t. It@s either 1i7e or death; 61essin3 or cursin3. #his shou1d 6e a no<6rainer. Fut =ust in case so8eone 8i3ht 6e ha2in3 trou61e :ith the choice; 'od 3i2es a hint. He sa5s; DChoose 1i7e.E It@s 1i?e a test :ith choices HaI 1i7e or H6I death. And then 'od puts in parentheses that HaI is the ans:er. $5 dad died :hen I :as on15 t:e12e 5ears o1d. I :ent throu3h the teena3e 5ears; the 8ost critica1 ti8e o7 85 1i7e; :ithout a 7ather. Ps5cho1o3ists :ou1d 31ad15 te11 5ou a11 o7 the pro61e8s I shou1d ha2e. $5 dad :as a1:a5s sic?. He :ou1d co8e ho8e 7ro8 :or? and need to rest. He didn@t 3o on ca8pin3 trips. He ne2er thre: a 6ase6a11 :ith 8e. We ne2er p1a5ed 7oot6a11. We ne2er did an5 o7 the thin3s that ?ids are supposed to do :ith their 7athers; and I sti11 1o2ed hi8 dear15. I had a 3ood re1ationship :ith hi8; and I ha2e nothin3 6ut 3ood 8e8ories o7 hi8. When he died; I 8issed hi8; 6ut I understood that he :asn@t
there. I :asn@t 6itter to:ard hi8. I@2e 8et :o8en :ho ha2e 1ost their hus6ands either throu3h di2orce or throu3h death; and the5 are =ust panic< stric?en a6out their chi1drenC D#he5 ha2e to ha2e a 7ather*E #he5 are :i11in3 to 8arr5 the 7irst 3u5s :ho :a1? do:n the street =ust so their chi1dren :on@t 6e 7ather1ess. #hat@s an e>a8p1e o7 this 8enta1it5 that sa5s; DWe =ust can@t prosper i7 :e@re in this ad2ersit5. #he on15 :a5 :e@re rea115 3oin3 to succeed is i7 :e can chan3e our situations and 3et to the p1ace :here :e ha2e no 8ore pro61e8s.E Fut that@s not true. I 3re: up in a situation that 8ost peop1e :ou1d ha2e said :as desperate; 6ut I can honest15 sa5 I can@t reca11 7acin3 a sin31e pro61e8 that I cou1dn@t o2erco8e; 3ro:in3 up throu3h those teena3e 5ears :ithout 85 7ather. So8e peop1e do 6eco8e 6itter and resent7u1 to:ard parents :ho are no 1on3er :ith the8. "ot e2er5 teena3er has 7ond 8e8ories o7 that 8issin3 parent. So8e ?ids ha2e a t:o<parent ho8e; 6ut the 7ather is so in2o12ed in his 6usiness that he is ne2er ho8e to participate in those chi1dren@s 1i2es. Fut :e ha2e a choice to 8a?e. We can choose to respond in 1i3ht o7 'od@s Word and 6e 6etter; or :e can choose to respond accordin3 to our 71esh and 6e 6itter. We can either 6e 6etter or 6itter. It@s our choice.
Paul:s Ult!-ate Des! e
;o I a- !n a st a!t bet#!?t t#o$ ha%!n" a des! e to depa t$ and to be #!th Ch !st, #h!(h !s fa bette /
Ne%e theless to ab!de !n the flesh !s -o e needful fo you& Ph!l!pp!ans 1/09402 Pau1 reco3niAed the 6ene7it o7 3oin3 to 6e :ith the Lord. #hat :as his u1ti8ate desire. Fut he a1so ?ne: there :as 8ore :or? 7or hi8 to do on this earth to 7urther the 'ospe1. So; hesitant15; or re3ret7u115; he sa5s; DI 3uess I@11 sta5 here :ith 5ou so that I can 6ene7it 5ou.E #hat@s a 8an :hose perspecti2e :as ri3ht. #hat@s a 8an :ho operated in praise. So; :hat a6out our situations toda5 I7 :e are stru331in3 in the area o7 hea1in3; :e need to 3et our 8inds o77 o7 our ne3ati2e circu8stances and 6e3in to praise 'od and thin? a6out 'od@s hea1in3. E2en i7 :e don@t recei2e a 8ani7estation o7 hea1in3 in this 1i7e; the :orst that cou1d happen is that :e :ou1d die and 3o to 6e :ith the Lord. He has so 8uch 1aid up 7or us that :e shou1d ha2e the attitude Pau1 did; :here :e can sa5; DI ha2e a desire to depart and to 6e :ith the Lord.E I #ant to .no# Ch !st and the po#e of h!s esu e(t!on and the fello#sh!p of sha !n" !n h!s suffe !n"s& Ph!l!pp!ans 9/18$ NIB Pau1 understood that he :asn@t rea115 the one 6ein3 persecutedB it :as 4esus. 4esus to1d Pau1 that. When he :as con2erted on the road to Da8ascus; the Lord appeared to hi8 and said; DSau1; :h5 are 5ou persecutin3 $e E HActs 0C!<(I. Sau1 had not ph5sica115 persecuted 4esus; 6ut he :as persecutin3 the 7o11o:ers o7 4esusB 4esus put it into
7irst person and said; DYou are persecutin3 $e.E I 6e1ie2e Pau1 thou3ht on those thin3s. He re8e86ered his con2ersion e>perience and rea1iAed he :asn@t 6ein3 persecutedB 4esus :as. 4esus :as su77erin3 throu3h Pau1; and he 6e3an to praise 'od. It :as a decision o7 his :i11 6ased upon the thin3s he :as thin?in3 a6out. I7 he :ou1d ha2e thou3ht a6out his pro61e8; his pain; his disco87ortB ho: un=ust the Ro8ans :ere; and :hat the5 :ere doin3 to hi8; he :ou1d ha2e 6een discoura3ed. Fut instead he chose to operate in praise.
O%e (o-!n" A P essu e Coo.e
Pau1 chose to respond to his pressures in a positi2e :a5. We cannot =usti75 6ein3 ne3ati2e; depressed; or discoura3ed 65 our circu8stances. I ad8it; these responses are a te8ptation9the5 are a pressure. Fut u1ti8ate15; :e 8a?e the choice. I7 the pressure on the inside o7 us is 3reater than the pressure that is on the outside o7 us; :e :on@t cru861e; re3ard1ess o7 :hat happens. Praise is one o7 those thin3s that 6ui1ds up spiritua1 pressure on the inside. Praise puts our attention on 'od and re1eases the stren3th o7 the Lord inside us. I7 the =o5 o7 the Lord is our stren3th; :hen :e operate in praise and choose to 31ori75 'od; stren3th :i11 71o: in us. I re8e86er a science e>peri8ent 85 c1ass did :hen I :as in the si>th 3rade. We too? an e8pt5; one<3a11on; 8eta1 3as can; put it on a 6urner; and heated it unti1 the can 3ot 2er5 hot. "o: :hen air is heated; it e>pands. So the air e>panded inside that 3as can; and :hi1e it :as sti11 hot; :e put the cap on it to 8a?e it airti3ht. We then 1et
the can coo1 do:n. As it coo1ed; the air inside the can 6e3an to co8press; and a partia1 2acuu8 7or8ed. We :atched the can =ust cru8p1e. #he at8ospheric pressure o7 our c1assroo8 crushed the can 6ecause the pressure outside :as 3reater than the pressure inside. #hat e>peri8ent 8ade a 6i3 i8pression on 8e. It i11ustrates :hat I@8 sa5in3 a6out ha2in3 a spiritua1 pressure 6ui1t up inside o7 us so it is stron3er than the outside pressures o7 1i7e :e 7ace e2er5 da5. Praise 6ui1ds that spiritua1 pressure* Praise re1eases the stren3th o7 the Lord inside o7 us. E2er5one e>periences pressure. Pau1 :ent throu3h 8ore pressures than :hat an5 o7 us c1ai8 to 3o throu3h; 5et he said; DIt@s =ust a 1i3ht a771iction.E He didn@t sa5 this 6ecause he didn@t ha2e an5 pro61e8s or outside pressures tr5in3 to cru8p1e hi8; 6ut the pressure he had on the inside :as 3reater. Pau1 had the ri3ht perspecti2e; and that@s :hat praise :i11 do 7or us. Praise :i11 ?eep us 6ui1t up on the inside. It :i11 ?eep our 8inds sta5ed on 'od. #he Lord :i11 ?eep us in per7ect peace. It doesn@t 8atter :hat pressures are co8in3 a3ainst us; praise can ?eep us 7ro8 cru8p1in3 and 7ro8 6ein3 crushed under those pressures.
Paul:s T#o Weapons
Pau1 :as a:are o7 t:o crucia1 points that ?ept hi8 6ui1t up :ith 8ore pressure on the inside than there :as on the outside. ,irst; he said; D#his 1i3ht a771iction is =ust 7or a 8o8ent.E "o: :hen he said D=ust 7or a 8o8ent;E he didn@t 8ean si>t5 seconds* "o; he :as 1oo?in3 at it in 1i3ht o7 eternit5.
Pau1 had pressures co8e a3ainst hi8 throu3hout his entire 8inistr5. In 2 Corinthians 12C-; he ta1?ed a6out a 8essen3er o7 Satan that p1a3ued hi8 e2er5:here he :ent 9it :as persecution. Pau1 :as persecuted e2er5:here he :ent. #his :asn@t so8ethin3 that =ust happened 7or one 8inuteB it happened throu3hout his 1i7eti8e. #he Lord said that he :ou1dn@t re8o2e this persecution 7ro8 hi8; 6ut that His 3race :as su77icient 7or hi8 H2 Cor. 12C0I. In other :ords; 'od said; DYou can 6ear up under it. #he pressure on the inside o7 5ou is 3reat enou3h that 5ou can ta?e an5 o7 the pressure Satan puts on 5ou.E Pau1 sa: his 1i7e as =ust a 8o8ent; co8pared to eternit5 and a11 o7 the ti8e he had 5et to spend :ith 'od. I7 the pressures in 1i7e see8 too 6i3; one o7 the reasons is 6ecause the5 are 6ein3 2ie:ed on15 in the 1i3ht o7 the i88ediate situation. 4ust ?ic? 6ac? and re8e86er; D#his is on15 te8porar5. It :i11 pass. 'od@s 3race is su77icient to see 8e throu3h this situation.E One o7 85 7a2orite scripture phrases is; DIt ca8e to pass.E #hat@s :h5 it ca8e9so it cou1d pass* A11 our pro61e8s are on15 te8porar5. E2er5thin3 that co8es a3ainst us is on15 7or a 8o8ent or a season. E2en thou3h Pau1 :as persecuted; p1a3ued; and 6u77eted e2er5:here he :ent; co8pared to eternit5; it :as =ust a 6rie7 period o7 ti8e. We need to re8ind ourse12es o7 this. I7 a person is uneJua115 5o?ed :ith so8eone and the situation has 6eco8e oppressi2e; 1isten to 8an?ind and the5@11 sa5; DYou@2e 6een at this 7or a :ho1e 5ear* Ho:
1on3 are 5ou 3oin3 to stand E #he5@11 8a?e it sound 1i?e that person is =ust stupid 7or standin3 on the Word and 6e1ie2in3 'od@s pro8ises. Fut 1oo?in3 at it in the 1i3ht o7 eternit5; standin3 7or t:ent5; thirt5; or 7ort5 5ears is 6ut 7or a 8o8ent9nothin3 co8pared to eternit5. You see; this 1i7e on earth is not a11 there is. #here :i11 6e a ti8e :hen :e :i11 stand 6e7ore 'od; 1oo? 6ac? at :hat :e@2e done in this 1i7e; and :ish :e :ou1d ha2e thou3ht a6out eternit5 and ho: 6rie7 this 1i7e :as. $a?e this 1i7e count 7or the 8ost that it possi615 can* #he second thin3 that Pau1 had 3oin3 7or hi8 :as that he sa: his circu8stances and pro61e8s as a D1i3ht a771iction.E Praise puts e2er5thin3 in its proper perspecti2e. Loo?in3 at our situations as 1i3ht a771ictions that :i11 1ast =ust 7or a 8o8ent :i11 chan3e our attitudes. "o: I 6e1ie2e in hea1in3; 6ut so8eti8es peop1e stru331e :ith their hea1in3 :hen it doesn@t see8 to co8e as soon as it shou1d. #he5 thin?; A8 I e2er 3oin3 to 3et hea1ed Fut i7 :orse co8es to :orse; praise 'od; :e@11 6e tota115 hea1ed in eternit5* #hat attitude shou1d ta?e the pressure o77 o7 5ou. It :i11 stop 5our co8p1aints. It :i11 ta?e a:a5 the ne3ati2e thou3hts and 7ears. It :i11 ena61e 5our 7aith to 3ro:. Pau1 said in Phi1ippians 1C21 that Dto 1i2e is Christ; and to die is 3ain.E #here are no diseases; no 7inancia1 trou61es; and no 8arria3e or 7a8i15 pro61e8s in hea2en. #he5@re a11 :iped a:a5. Praisin3 'od 7or the pro8ises He@s 8ade unto us is super po:er7u1*
See!n" The Sp! !tual RealWh!le #e loo. not at the th!n"s #h!(h a e seen$ but at the th!n"s #h!(h a e not seen/ fo the th!n"s #h!(h a e seen a e te-po al, but the th!n"s #h!(h a e not seen a e ete nal& 0 Co !nth!ans 2/11 Another reason Pau1 :as a61e to ca11 his pro61e8s a 1i3ht a771iction :as 6ecause he :as 1oo?in3 into the spiritua1 rea18. He :as seein3 :hat 'od :as doin3. He :as operatin3 in 7aith. #he truth is that e2er5 ti8e :e encounter so8ethin3 ne3ati2e; e2er5 ti8e :e see the de2i1 doin3 so8ethin3; I pro8ise 5ou that 'od is a1so at :or?* 'od has a p1an and a purpose 7or 5our 1i7e H4er. 20C11I. #rust Hi8; 6e1ie2e His Word; and :atch His destin5 7or 5our 1i7e co8e to pass. I7 :e e>ert our 7aith and 1oo? into the spiritua1 rea18 o7 thin3s; those spiritua1 thin3s :i11 do8inate us instead o7 the ph5sica1 thin3s :e see around us. Pau1 operated in this. He didn@t 1oo? =ust at thin3s that cou1d 6e seen. He 1oo?ed at thin3s that cou1d not 6e seen. He 1oo?ed at the pro8ises o7 'od. "o: there are 8an5 :a5s :e can do that; 6ut one o7 those :a5s is throu3h praise. Praise 7ocuses our attention on the pro8ises o7 'od. Praise puts our attention on the thin3s that are not seen. I7 :e are in ti3ht situations; :e ha2e to 3et 6e5ond :hat :e can see and 1oo? at the unseen. Praise :i11 do that. Praise :i11 push us into a rea18 o7 seein3 :hat 'od has done 7or us.
In Acts 1+C2!; Pau1 and Si1as :ere thro:n into prison 7or preachin3 the 'ospe1. #he5 :ere thro:n into a dar?; da8p; rat<in7ested; disease<ridden dun3eon9the 1o:est part o7 the prison. #heir hands and 7eet :ere put in stoc?s. And I 3uarantee 5ou; the5 didn@t ha2e an5 1a:s 3o2ernin3 the treat8ent o7 prisoners. It :as a 6ad situation. I dou6t that this :as the 8ost encoura3in3 8o8ent o7 their da5* #he5 didn@t 7ee1 =o5 co8in3 upon the8. Fut Pau1 and Si1as :eren@t 1oo?in3 at the thin3s that :ere seen9the5 :ere 1oo?in3 at the thin3s that :ere not seen. #he5 :ere 1oo?in3 at the Ans:er. #he5 6e3an to praise and :orship 'od; not ?no:in3 e>act15 ho: 'od :ou1d de1i2er the8; 6ut the5 praised Hi89their Ans:er. In the 8idd1e o7 that prison ce11; Pau1 and Si1as 6e3an to praise and :orship 'od; and :hen the5 did; an earthJua?e ca8e. #his :as no coincidence. #his earthJua?e :as direct15 7ro8 'od; and the praise o7 'od is :hat re1eased it. Praise re1eased de1i2erin3 po:er; and the5 :ere set 7ree 7ro8 that ne3ati2e situation.
What Does It All Cean ;o Us>
$an5 Christians toda5 are 7i3htin3 depression and discoura3e8ent. As I tra2e1 around and 8inister; I@2e seen as 8an5 as /G to 0G percent o7 the Spirit<7i11ed Christians in church stand up :hen I 3i2e an in2itation 7or peop1e :ho are discoura3ed. "o: I@8 not conde8nin3 peop1e; 6ut it is :ron3 7or Spirit<7i11ed Christians to 6e constant15 7i3htin3 depression and discoura3e8ent. I can hear 5ou sa5; DFut 5ou don@t understand 85 circu8stances.E You@re ri3ht9I don@t understand 5our
circu8stances. Fut 5our circu8stances aren@t :orse than :hat Pau1@s circu8stances :ere in 2 Corinthians %; and he :as a61e to re=oice and sa5; D#he5@re =ust a 1i3ht a771iction.E Your circu8stances are not 8a?in3 5ou depressedB the :a5 5ou are respondin3 to the8 is. I7 5ou :ou1d choose to praise 'od; 5ou cou1d co8e out o7 those thin3s. You cou1d prosper. It doesn@t 8atter :hat 5our circu8stances are. It is necessar5 7or Christians to 3o 6e5ond their ph5sica1 circu8stances. We need to 3et our 8inds o77 o7 the pro61e8 and 6e3in to see the ans:er* Yes; :e ha2e pro61e8s. Yes; the ene85 :i11 co8e a3ainst us. Fut our tria1s are a D1i3ht a771ictionE and D6ut 7or a 8o8ent.E We ha2e eternit5 to 1oo? 7or:ard to*
CHAPTER 9 PRAISE IN THE O)D TESTACENT
So8e peop1e 8a5 sa5; DWe11; I can see the 6ene7its o7 praise; and it :ou1d 6e :onder7u1 to ?eep 85 8ind sta5ed on 'od. Fut 5ou =ust don@t understand 85 situation. It doesn@t :or? that :a5 7or e2er5one.E On the contrar5; Pau1 :asn@t the on15 person in the Fi61e to su77er. #here are 8an5 e>a8p1es in Scripture o7 8en and :o8en o7 'od 7indin3 the8se12es in desperate situations.
#he O1d #esta8ent prophet Ha6a??u? :rote a 2er5 sad 6oo? in the sense that he pronounced =ud38ent on the nation o7 4udah. #he peop1e had re=ected 'od and had not o6e5ed His co88ands. 4udah had 6een :arned that their sin7u1 :a5s :ere disp1easin3 to 'od. #he5 ?ne: the5 needed to repent; 5et the5 re7used. So the dreaded Cha1deans ca8e upon 4udah and tota115 destro5ed the8. #hen; at the 2er5 end o7 the 6oo?; this prophet :ho had pronounced nothin3 6ut 31oo8 and doo8 ca8e up :ith one o7 the 8ost po:er7u1 state8ents on praise in the entire Word o7 'od. When I hea d$ -y belly t e-bled, -y l!ps <u!%e ed at the %o!(e/ ottenness ente ed !nto -y bones$ and I t e-bled !n -yself$ that I -!"ht est !n the day of t ouble/ #hen he (o-eth up unto the people$ he #!ll !n%ade the- #!th h!s t oops&
Althou"h the f!" t ee shall not blosso-$ ne!the shall f u!t be !n the %!nes, the labou of the ol!%e shall fa!l$ and the f!elds shall y!eld no -eat, the flo(. shall be (ut off f o- the fold$ and the e shall be no he d !n the stalls/ Yet I #!ll e+o!(e !n the )ORD$ I #!ll +oy !n the *od of -y sal%at!on& The )ORD *od !s -y st en"th$ and he #!ll -a.e -y feet l!.e h!nds: feet$ and he #!ll -a.e -e to #al. upon -!ne h!"h pla(es& Haba..u. 9/16415 #hat@s a tre8endous state8ent* A11 o7 this 31oo8; a11 o7 this doo8; a11 o7 this =ud38ent; and he sa5s; DE2en thou3h there@s no 7ood; e2en thou3h the catt1e are :asted; e2en thou3h nothin3 is :or?in3 7or 8e; 5et I :i11 re=oice in the Lord.E Re=oicin3 is a decision :e 8a?e. It@s so8ethin3 :e choose to do. $an5 peop1e ha2e 6een 1ied to 65 the de2i1 and 65 our societ5. #here are attitudes in our societ5 that :e ha2e accepted as 6ein3 true :ithout Juestionin3 the8. One o7 those is9I7 :e 7ee1 6ad; :e can@t he1p it. We =ust ha2e to 6e discoura3ed. We ha2e to 1et those 7ee1in3s do8inate us. #hat is not true. I@8 sure Ha6a??u? did not 7ee1 3oose 6u8ps 3oin3 up and do:n his spine as he 6e3an to praise 'od. Fut in the 8idst o7 this depressin3 situation; he chose to re=oice in the Lord and 1et the Lord 'od 6e his stren3th.
In 1 Sa8ue1 !G; Da2id 7ound hi8se17 in a situation :here; 7or thirteen 5ears; he had 6een anointed to 6e ?in3. Fecause o7 his inte3rit5; he had not ta?en the throne 7ro8 Sau1. He had p1ent5 o7 opportunities to ?i11 )in3 Sau1; :ho :as 1i2in3 an un3od15 1i7e and :as re=ected 65 'od H1 Sa8. 1(C1G<!(I; 6ut Da2id didn@t do it. Da2id operated in inte3rit5; and it cost hi8 dear15. He 1ost his :i7e :hen Sau1 3a2e her to another 8an H1 Sa8. 1/C10I. He :as dri2en out o7 the nation o7 Israe1 H1 Sa8. 22C1<(I. On one occasion; he acted 1i?e he :as craA5; 1et spit run do:n his 6eard; and 7ei3ned 6ein3 tota115 out o7 his 8ind to sa2e his nec? H1 Sa8. 21C1!I. He :as hun3r5. He :as under pressure. He had nothin3 6ut the outcasts o7 Israe1 1i2in3 :ith hi8 and actin3 as his ar85. ,ina115; to top it a11 o77; his :i2es A6i3ai1 and Ahinoa8 :ere captured 65 the A8a1e?ites; :ho too? a11 the :o8en and chi1dren :hen the5 6urned and p1undered the cit5 o7 Mi?1a3. #he :a5 that a77ected Da2id cou1d ha2e 6een trau8atic. When the5 7ound their cit5 p1undered and their :i2es and chi1dren 3one; his o:n 8en; :ho8 he had 7ed; de7ended; and ta?en care o7; 3ot an3r5 and p1anned to stone hi8 H1 Sa8. !GC1<+I. In the 8idd1e o7 that situation; Da2id :ept 6e7ore the Lord; and in 1 Sa8ue1 !GC+; it sa5s he D:as 3reat15 distressed.E He :as depressed. Fut it 3oes on to sa5 that he Dencoura3ed and stren3thened hi8se17 in the Lord his 'odE HA$PI. Instead o7 3i2in3 up; he did e>act15 :hat :e are supposed to do. He :as surrounded 65 terri615 ne3ati2e circu8stances; 6ut he 7ocused his attention on
'od. He re8e86ered the pro8ises 'od had 3i2en hi8. He re8e86ered the da5 Sa8ue1 had anointed hi8 to 6e ?in3 H1 Sa8. 1+C1G<1!I. He 6e3an to praise 'od :ith so8e o7 the 2er5 psa18s that are :ritten in the Fi61e; and despite his circu8stances; he encoura3ed hi8se17 in the Lord. As a resu1t; Da2id :as a61e to rescue a11 o7 the :o8en and chi1dren :ho had 6een sto1en 65 the A8a1e?ites. He reco2ered a11 that had 6een 1ost; inc1udin3 his t:o :i2es. He e2en too? a11 o7 the 71oc?s and herds the A8a1e?ites had 3ained. $ost i8portant15; :ithin =ust a nu86er o7 da5s; he rea1iAed his 2ision o7 6ein3 ?in3 o2er Israe1. I7 he had Juit :hen he had 6een discoura3ed and depressed; he :ou1d ha2e 1ost e2er5thin3 =ust 7ort5<ei3ht hours a:a5 7ro8 the 7u17i118ent o7 his anointin3. Fut 5ou see; he encoura3ed hi8se17 in the Lord in the 8idst o7 a ne3ati2e situation. And :e can do that too* We can encoura3e ourse12es and 3ain stren3th 7ro8 the Lord throu3h praise. #he Scripture ca11s Da2id Da 8an a7ter K'od@sL o:n heartE H1 Sa8. 1!C1%; 6rac?ets 8ineI. I 6e1ie2e one o7 the thin3s that 8ade hi8 a 8an a7ter 'od@s o:n heart :as praise. He :as constant15 praisin3 'od. He didn@t 3i2e in to depression. In 2 Sa8ue1 +C1+<2!; it is recorded that he praised 'od so de8onstrati2e15 in 7ront o7 the entire nation o7 Israe1; that his :i7e; $icha1; ca11ed hi8 a 7oo1. As he :as 6rin3in3 the Ar? o7 the Co2enant 6ac? into the cit5 o7 Da2id; $icha1 1oo?ed out o7 her :indo:; sa: hi8 dancin3 and praisin3 'od; and Ddespised hi8 in her heart.E She :as e86arrassed 6ecause o7 his un6rid1ed praise and :orship unto 'od. Do 5ou ?no: :hat Da2id@s reaction :as He spo?e o7 a11 the thin3s 'od had done 7or hi8. He said he :as nothin3 unti1 the Lord ca11ed hi8 and anointed hi8. He then to1d her he :ou1d 6e e2en 8ore de8onstrati2e than this. He :as :i11in3 to 8a?e a 7oo1 o7
hi8se17 in her e5es so he cou1d 31ori75 'od. $icha1 and Da2id ne2er did 3et o2er that pro61e8. He had no 8ore re1ationship :ith her unti1 the da5 o7 her death; and she died a 6arren :o8an. Fut e2en :hen his :i7e 8ade 7un o7 hi8; he re7used to 3i2e up his praise and :orship unto 'od. #hat :as his priorit5 in 1i7e. #hat :as :hat 8ade hi8 a 8an a7ter 'od@s o:n heart.
It is so i8portant that :e ?eep our 8inds sta5ed on 'od. E1i=ah 3ot his 8ind o77 the thin3s o7 the Lord. He started 1oo?in3 at the ne3ati2e and 3ot so depressed that he as?ed 'od to ?i11 hi8 H1 )in. 10C%I. ,ina115; the Lord appeared to E1i=ah. And the :ord o7 the LORD ca8e to hi8C DWhat are 5ou doin3 here; E1i=ah E He epl!ed$ DI ha%e been %e y Eealous fo the )ORD *od Al-!"hty& The Is ael!tes ha%e e+e(ted you (o%enant$ b o.en do#n you alta s$ and put you p ophets to death #!th the s#o d& I a- the only one left$ and no# they a e t y!n" to .!ll -e too&F 1 G!n"s 15/5418$ NIB #hat :asn@t true. E1i=ah :asn@t the on15 one 1e7t; and he ?ne: it. O6adiah to1d hi8 in 1 )in3s 1/C1! that he had ta?en one hundred prophets and hidden the8 in t:o ca2es; :ith :ater and 7ood supp1ies to 1ast throu3h the 7a8ine. Others :ere 7aith7u115 ser2in3 'od.
E1i=ah had an attitude* He had 6eco8e ne3ati2e; and that@s a11 he cou1d see9the ne3ati2e side o7 thin3s. Our societ5 toda5 e>ce1s at seein3 the ne3ati2e side o7 e2er5thin3. We ha2e 31ori7ied the ne3ati2e. We report so 8an5 ne3ati2e thin3s that; sad to sa5; e2en the church has 6eco8e one o7 the 3reatest pro8oters o7 ne3ati2it5. We 1o2e to ta1? a6out ho: 6ad the situation is. I thin? it actua115 8a?es us 7ee1 8ore =usti7ied :hen :e aren@t 8a?in3 the i8pact :e shou1d. We 7ee1 sorr5 7or ourse12es. DOh; it@s such a stron3 6att1e. I =ust can@t he1p it.E It ta?es so8e o7 the 6ite out o7 our 7ai1ures. 'od didn@t ?i11 E1i=ah 1i?e he as?ed. He had 8erc5 on hi8 and 3a2e hi8 E1isha; :ho 8inistered unto hi8. He a1so to1d E1i=ah in 1 )in3s 10C1/ that he :as not a1one. Se2en thousand others :ere sti11 ser2in3 'od. Li?e E1i=ah; :e need to 3et our e5es o77 o7 the ne3ati2e and re8e86er that 'od is sti11 on the throne*
In 2 Chronic1es 2G; :e 7ind 4ehoshaphat; a 3od15 ?in3 o7 4udah; in a rea1 predica8ent. #hree ar8ies are a6out to co8e a3ainst hi89the ar85 o7 $oa6; the ar85 o7 A88on; and the ar85 o7 $ount Seir. #hese three ar8ies had =oined to3ether to co8e a3ainst the nation o7 4udah. When 4ehoshaphat heard a6out it; he Juic?15 ca11ed the entire nation to3ether and proc1ai8ed a 7ast. He stood 6e7ore the peop1e in the te8p1e and pra5ed; O$ )ORD *od of ou fathe s$ a t not thou *od !n hea%en> and ulest not thou o%e all the .!n"do-s of the heathen> and !n th!ne hand !s the e not po#e and -!"ht$ so that none !s able to #!thstand thee>
;o #e ha%e no -!"ht a"a!nst th!s " eat (o-pany that (o-eth a"a!nst us, ne!the .no# #e #hat to do/ but ou eyes a e upon thee& 0 Ch on!(les 08/6 and 10 #he peop1e stood there and :aited 7or 'od to do so8ethin3. 'od sent the8 a prophet; and the prophet 3a2e the8 this :ordC Hea .en ye$ all =udah$ and ye !nhab!tants of =e usale-$ and thou .!n" =ehoshaphat$ Thus sa!th the )ORD unto you$ 'e not af a!d no d!s-ayed by eason of th!s " eat -ult!tude, fo the battle !s not you s$ but *od:s& To -o o# "o ye do#n a"a!nst the-/ behold$ they (o-e up by the (l!ff of H!E, and ye shall f!nd the- at the end of the b oo.$ befo e the #!lde ness of =e uel& Ye shall not need to f!"ht !n th!s battle/ set you sel%es$ stand ye st!ll$ and see the sal%at!on of the )ORD #!th you$ O =udah and =e usale-/ fea not$ no be d!s-ayed, to -o o# "o out a"a!nst the-/ fo the )ORD #!ll be #!th you& 0 Ch on!(les 08/13417 4ehoshaphat then 6o:ed his 7ace to the 3round; a1on3 :ith a11 o7 4udah and 4erusa1e8; and :orshiped the Lord. I88ediate15; the Le2ites and the sin3ers 6e3an praisin3 'od :ith a 1oud 2oice. #he :ord o7 de1i2erance ca8e 7ro8 the Lord and i88ediate15 the5 6e3an to praise 'od. Our 7aith is e>pressed throu3h praise and :orship.
4ehoshaphat to1d the8 in 2 Chronic1es 2GC2G; DFe1ie2e in the LORD 5our 'od; so sha11 5e 6e esta61ishedB 6e1ie2e his prophets; so sha11 5e prosper.E He then consu1ted :ith the peop1e and ca8e up :ith the 6att1e p1an. He decided to put the sin3ers in the 7ront o7 the 6att1e sin3in3; DPraise the LORDB 7or his 8erc5 endureth 7or e2erE H2 Chr. 2GC21I. "o:; this is an a8aAin3 thin3. When 3oin3 to 6att1e a3ainst three nations; it :ou1d 6e co88on sense to put the stron3est so1diers on the 7ront 1ines. Fut the5 put their sin3ers and 8usicians up there* #he5 didn@t ha2e an5 :eapons o7 :arB the5 :ere 6e1ie2in3 the :ord 'od had 3i2en. #he5 :ere not e>pectin3 to 7i3ht9the5 :ere 6e1ie2in3 'od 7or a supernatura1 de1i2erance. And #hen they be"an to s!n" and to p a!se$ the )ORD set a-bush-ents a"a!nst the (h!ld en of A--on$ Coab$ and -ount Se! $ #h!(h #e e (o-e a"a!nst =udah, and they #e e s-!tten& ;o the (h!ld en of A--on and Coab stood up a"a!nst the !nhab!tants of -ount Se! $ utte ly to slay and dest oy the-/ and #hen they had -ade an end of the !nhab!tants of Se! $ e%e y one helped to dest oy anothe & And #hen =udah (a-e to#a d the #at(h to#e !n the #!lde ness$ they loo.ed unto the -ult!tude$ and$ behold$ they #e e dead bod!es fallen to the ea th$ and none es(aped& 0 Ch on!(les 08/00402 4ehoshaphat and his 8en ne2er had to 7i3ht. When the Israe1ites 1oo?ed out o2er the 6att1e7ie1d; not one 8an :as 1e7t a1i2e. It too? 4ehoshaphat@s 8en three da5s to 3ather
the spoi1s 7ro8 the 6att1e. Fut notice in 2erse 22 that D:hen the5 6e3an to sin3 and to praise; the LORD set a86ush8ents.E Praise re1eases 'od@s po:er and stren3th to sti11 the ene85. Satan 1oses his po:er :hen 'od@s peop1e 6e3in to praise.
E1isha :as a 8an o7 8an5 8irac1es. He sa: peop1e raised 7ro8 the dead H2 )in. %C1/<!-I; he 8ade the a>e head 71oat H2 )in. +C(<+I; and he 8u1tip1ied 7ood H2 )in. %C%2<%%I; =ust to na8e a 7e:. In 2 )in3s !; :e 7ind that 4ehoshaphat tea8ed up :ith the ?in3 o7 Israe1 and the ?in3 o7 Edo8 to 7i3ht the $oa6ites. #he5 tra2e1ed 7or se2en da5s :ith no 7ood or :ater 7or their ar85 or 7or the ani8a1s. #he ?in3 o7 Israe1 :as sure that the Lord :ou1d de1i2er the8 into the hands o7 the $oa6ites. 'ut =ehoshaphat e-e-be ed El!sha$ #ent to h!-$ and as.ed h!- to p ay fo the! del!%e an(e& El!sha$ unde stand!n" the po#e of p a!se$ esponded$ As the )ORD of hosts l!%eth$ befo e #ho- I stand$ su ely$ #e e !t not that I e"a d the p esen(e of =ehoshaphat the .!n" of =udah$ I #ould not loo. to#a d thee$ no see thee& 'ut no# b !n" -e a -!nst el& And !t (a-e to pass$ #hen the -!nst el played$ that the hand of the )ORD (a-e upon h!-& 0 G!n"s 9/12413
When E1isha surrounded hi8se17 :ith praise; the hand o7 the Lord ca8e upon hi8; and he 3a2e the three ?in3s the ans:er the5 :ere needin3. When E1isha :anted to 3et a :ord 7ro8 'od and see the anointin3 and the po:er o7 'od 8ani7ested; he ca11ed 7or a 8instre1; a 8usician. #his is the 6ac?3round o7 ho: a t5pica1 church ser2ice is conducted. So8eti8es :e don@t thin? a6out thin3s9:e =ust do thin3s a certain :a5 6ecause that@s the :a5 it has a1:a5s 6een done. Fut so8e:here do:n the 1ine; the 6od5 o7 Christ understood the po:er o7 praise. #he5 understood that praise a77ects the indi2idua1. $ost peop1e enter a church ser2ice :ith their 8inds on thin3s o7 this :or1d. #he5@re under pressure and stress 7ro8 their =o6s or their 7a8i1ies. So :e 6e3in the ser2ice :ith praise 6ecause it chan3es the indi2idua1. It ta?es peop1e@s 8inds o77 their pro61e8s. Praise turns their 7ocus to:ard 'od; :here it 6e1on3s. What E1isha did i11ustrates the princip1e 6ehind :h5 our church ser2ices are set up the :a5 the5 are. I Juit re1i3ion a 1on3 ti8e a3o. I decided that I@11 ne2er do so8ethin3 =ust 6ecause it@s traditiona1. I@2e ana15Aed the :a5 :e :orship 'od. I :ent to the Scriptures and said; D'od; :hat@s the ri3ht :a5 What shou1d :e 6e doin3 E I ca8e up :ith the sa8e conc1usionC :e shou1d 6e3in our ser2ices in praise and :orship unto 'od. It prepares peop1e@s hearts; and it dri2es the de2i1 o77. It re1eases the anointin3 o7 'od.
What The ;utu e Holds
Wi11 :e e2er 6e pro61e8 7ree Yes; 6ut not :hi1e :e@re here on this earth. So; :hat do :e do in the 8eanti8e We praise 'od*
Re+o!(e e%e -o e& P ay #!thout (eas!n"& In e%e y th!n" "!%e than.s/ fo th!s !s the #!ll of *od !n Ch !st =esus (on(e n!n" you& 1 Thessalon!ans 3/16411 We 8ust re8e86er the 8en o7 the O1d #esta8ent; the pro61e8s the5 7aced; and ho: 'od 6rou3ht the8 throu3h. I 6e1ie2e it@s sa7e to assu8e 5ou don@t ha2e three ar8ies p1annin3 to attac? 5ou; 6ut 8a56e 5ou are 7acin3 tria1s that see8 too 3reat to hand1e. 'od@s 3race is su77icient 7or 5ou. He is no respecter o7 persons; and :hat He did 7or the8; He@11 do 7or 5ou*
CHAPTER 2 ATTITUDE IS EBERYTHIN*
Pro2er6s 2!C- sa5s; DAs he thin?eth in his heart; so is he.E Whate2er :e@re thin?in3 on is the :a5 :e@re 3oin3 to 6e. I7 :e thin? on discoura3in3 thin3s; :e@re 3oin3 to 6e discoura3ed. I7 :e thin? on depressin3 thin3s; :e@re 3oin3 to 6e depressed. Fut on the other hand; i7 :e thin? on 'od; i7 :e set our 8inds on thin3s a6o2e; :e are 3oin3 to 6e 61essed. #hat@s e>act15 :hat praise does. When 'od created 8an in His o:n i8a3e H'en. 1C2-I; it 8eant 8ore than =ust the ph5sica1 aspect. It 8eant 8ore than the 7act that :e ha2e a spirit; sou1; and 6od5. We a1so ha2e the character o7 'od. I 6e1ie2e that one o7 the characteristics o7 'od is that He is =o57u1. Thou lo%est !"hteousness$ and hatest #!(.edness/ the efo e *od$ thy *od$ hath ano!nted thee #!th the o!l of "ladness abo%e thy fello#s& Psal- 23/7 I7 :e rea115 6e1ie2e :hat this scripture sa5s; then 4esus :as happier than an5one around Hi8. 'od anointed Hi8 :ith the oi1 o7 31adness. #raditiona115; that is not the :a5 4esus is usua115 presented; 6ut it is e>act15 :hat this scripture sa5s. 'od Hi8se17 is a 'od o7 praise. 'od is =o57u1. 'od is 31ad<hearted. He did not create 8an to 6e 8or6id; sad; or depressed. He did not create us to 6e 3ripers and co8p1ainers.
Co-pla!n!n" *ets Us No#he e
When the chi1dren o7 Israe1 ca8e out o7 the 1and o7 E35pt; it is reported t:ice that 'od :as so upset :ith the8 6ecause o7 their 8ur8urin3 and co8p1ainin3; He :as :i11in3 to :ipe the8 out and start a11 o2er a3ain. ,ro8 the ti8e the Lord 6rou3ht the8 out o7 E35pt; the5 3riped and co8p1ained. 'od 3a2e the8 8anna 7ro8 hea2en; a supernatura1 supp15 o7 7ood; 5et the5 3riped a6out it and said; DWe hate this 1i3ht 6read* We :ish :e had so8ethin3 e1seE H"u8. 11C+I. #hen He 3a2e the8 8eat to eat and the5 3riped a6out that H"u8. 11C!2I. #he5 3riped a6out e2er5thin3 the Lord did 7or the8. #he5 did not ser2e the Lord :ith =o57u1ness and 31adness o7 heart 7or the a6undance o7 a11 thin3s HDeut. 2/C%-I. 'od created 8an to 6e than?7u1. #o 6e depressed; discoura3ed; unthan?7u1; and unho15 is part o7 the corrupted nature9a resu1t o7 sin. Th!s .no# also$ that !n the last days pe !lous t!-es shall (o-e& ;o -en shall be lo%e s of the! o#n sel%es$ (o%etous$ boaste s$ p oud$ blasphe-e s$ d!sobed!ent to pa ents$ unthan.ful$ unholy$ W!thout natu al affe(t!on$ t u(eb ea.e s$ false a((use s$ !n(ont!nent$ f!e (e$ desp!se s of those that a e "ood$ T a!to s$ heady$ h!"h-!nded$ lo%e s of pleasu es -o e than lo%e s of *od,
Ha%!n" a fo - of "odl!ness$ but deny!n" the po#e the eof/ f o- su(h tu n a#ay& 0 T!-othy 9/143 "otice that un<than?7u1ness is put in this 1ist o7 terri61e thin3s that are si3ns o7 the end ti8es. Ri3ht ne>t to it is un<ho1iness; diso6edience to parents; 61asphe8ers; and peop1e :ho despise e2er5thin3 that is 3ood. Fein3 than?7u1 is not an option* It@s not so8ethin3 that :ou1d 6e nice i7 :e 7e1t 1i?e doin3 itB it@s the :a5 'od 8ade us to 6e. So; do :e ha2e to do this I don@t 6e1ie2e :e ha2e to do an5thin3. 'od 1o2es us unconditiona115. I7 peop1e tru15 put their 7aith in the Lord 4esus Christ; the5 can 6e 6orn a3ain and :i11 spend eternit5 :ith Hi8. Fut the5 are not 7u17i11in3 'od@s :i11 in their 1i2es the :a5 the5 shou1d i7 the5 3ripe and co8p1ain a1on3 the :a5. #hat is not ho: 'od intended us to 6e. #hat is not His p1an 7or us. Do :e rea115 :ant to 6e a11 'od :ants us to 6e One o7 the chie7 characteristics o7 a Christian ou3ht to 6e that o7 a praiser9so8eone :ho 3i2es 31or5 and credit to 'od; :ho is than?7u1 and hu861e and praises 'od. #hat ou3ht to 6e the si3n o7 a Christian. It is not optiona1. #hat is the nor8a1 Christian 1i7e.
Abound!n" In ;a!th Th ou"h P a!se
As ye ha%e the efo e e(e!%ed Ch !st =esus the )o d$ so #al. ye !n h!-/ Rooted and bu!lt up !n h!-$ and stabl!shed !n the fa!th$
as ye ha%e been tau"ht$ abound!n" the e!n #!th than.s"!%!n"& Coloss!ans 0/647 When this 2erse sa5s Da6oundin3 therein;E the DthereinE is re7errin3 6ac? to the :ord 7aith. We a6ound in 7aith :ith than?s3i2in3. #han?s3i2in3 is a 8ani7estation or a part o7 praise. We cou1d turn this 2erse around and sa5 that i7 :e are not operatin3 in than?s3i2in3; :e are not a6oundin3 in 7aith. #hat doesn@t 8ean 7aith isn@t thereB it 8eans it@s not a6oundin3. It is not co8p1ete. It@s not the hi3hest 7or8 o7 7aith. An5ti8e :e 6e3in to operate in a hi3h 7or8 o7 7aith9a Fi61e<t5pe o7 7aith9praise :i11 6e an inte3ra1 part. It@s i8possi61e to i8a3ine a person :hose 7aith is co8p1ete :ithout than?s3i2in3. I7 there is so8ethin3 the5 are 6e1ie2in3 7or; at the 8o8ent it 6eco8es rea1; there is so8e 7or8 o7 praise. As an e>a8p1e; sa5 a person :as 6e1ie2in3 and pra5in3 7or a 8i11ion do11ars 7or a specia1 need. 'od supp1ied that 8i11ion do11ars. "o: :hen that 8i11ion do11ars :as p1aced in his or her hand; I 3uarantee 5ou there :as so8e 7or8 o7 praise. So8e peop1e 8a5 3et 2er5 e8otiona1; shout; and screa8. Others 8a5 sho: their praise in a 8ore su6dued 7ashion. Fut there :ou1d 6e so8e reaction o7 praise. It@s i8possi61e to en2ision our 7aith 6ein3 co8p1ete :ithout so8e 8ani7estation o7 praise :hen :e recei2e the e>act thin3 :e pra5ed 7or. I7 5ou@re pra5in3 7or a person to 3et sa2ed; :hen 5ou see the8 accept 4esus; there@s 3oin3 to 6e so8e reaction o7 praise. I7 5ou@re pra5in3 7or 5our chi1dren to 3et ri3ht :ith the Lord; :hen 5ou see that happen; there@s 3oin3 to
6e so8e 7or8 o7 praise. We can see 65 o6ser2ation that :hen 7aith is co8p1ete; praise is a1:a5s there. Fut instead o7 :aitin3 7or the 8ani7estation to o77er praise; :e can act on scriptures 1i?e Co1ossians 2C+<-. F5 operatin3 in praise; :e 6ui1d up our 7aith and 8a?e it co8p1ete. We can a6ound in 7aith 6e7ore the thin3 co8es. We can increase our 7aith and operate in a hi3h 7or8 o7 7aith 65 praisin3 'od 7ro8 the 8o8ent :e see the pro61e8 or the need. "o:; I 6e1ie2e it is 2er5 i8portant that this is understood; 6ecause so 8uch o7 :hat peop1e do toda5 in tr5in3 to 6e1ie2e 'od 7or so8ethin3 is not 1aced :ith praise. #here is not a 1ot o7 praise in2o12ed in it. So8e peop1e co8e to 8e and ta1? a6out ho: the5@re stru331in39the5@re 6e1ie2in3 'od and standin3; 6ut the5 are so depressed and discoura3ed. #he5 te11 8e; DI@8 6e1ie2in3 'od :ith e2er5thin3 I ha2e.E Fut there@s no praise. #here7ore; the5 can@t 6e a6oundin3 in 7aith. Praise can 6e used as an indicator o7 :hether :e@re rea115 in true Fi61e 7aith or :hether :e@re =ust hopin3 and tr5in3. It@s 2er5 hard to de7ine :hen peop1e are =ust 3oin3 throu3h the 8otions and :hen the5@re rea115 6e1ie2in3 7ro8 their hearts. We tr5 a11 ?inds o7 thin3s to descri6e this. We sa5 that there@s a di77erence 6et:een 6e1ie2in3 :ith the head and 6e1ie2in3 :ith the heart; 6ut it@s hard to dra: a de7initi2e 1ine 6et:een :hen :e@re in 7aith and :hen :e aren@t. So8eti8es it@s e2en hard 7or indi2idua1s the8se12es to distin3uish this. #he5 can decei2e the8se12es into thin?in3 I@8 standin3 in 7aith; 6ut in their hearts; there@s 7ear that the5 =ust aren@t :i11in3 to ac?no:1ed3e.
Ho: can :e reco3niAe :hen :e@re standin3 in 7aith I 6e1ie2e that one o7 the ?e5s is this area o7 praise. When :e@re operatin3 in 'od@s ?ind o7 7aith; praise :i11 6e there. We a6ound in 7aith :ith than?s3i2in3. I7 there is no than?s3i2in3; :e are not a6oundin3 in 7aith. Praise is 1i?e a ther8o8eter :e can use to ta?e our spiritua1 te8perature and 7ind out :here :e are in 6e1ie2in3 'od. I7 there is no praise or i7 praise is 1i8ited; then our 7aith is 1i8ited. When :e 3et to :here :e@re rea115 a6oundin3 in praise9praisin3 'od as i7 it :as a1read5 done9:e ?no: :e are 6e3innin3 to a6ound in 7aith; and it@s =ust a 8atter o7 ti8e unti1 :e see the thin3 that :e desire. Praise is a super<i8portant part o7 7aith.
Geep!n" Ou ;o(us On =esus
#he Scripture sa5s in He6re:s 12C2 that :e are supposed to 1oo? Dunto 4esus the author and 7inisher o7 our 7aith.E Our 7aith co8es 7ro8 4esus. When :e are standin3 on the Word and considerin3 the Word; 7aith is 71o:in3 6ecause 7aith co8es 65 hearin3 and hearin3 65 the Word HRo8. 1GC1-I. When :e are considerin3 4esus; 7aith is 71o:in3 6ecause 4ohn 1C1 sa5s 4esus is the Word. When :e@re 1oo?in3 unto 4esus; :hich is 1oo?in3 to the Word o7 'od and usin3 it as the 6asis o7 our 7aith; then 7aith 71o:s. ,aith co8es 7ro8 'od@s Word and 6eho1din3 :hat 'od@s Word has to sa59considerin3 'od@s Word and not considerin3 the pro61e8. On the other hand; un6e1ie7 or 7ear co8es 7ro8 considerin3 thin3s contrar5 to 'od@s Word. I7 a doctor te11s a 8an he is 3oin3 to die; and he thin?s on :hat the doctor said; 7ear and un6e1ie7 are 3oin3 to co8e. Fut i7 he
turns to 'od@s Word and His pro8ises; and thin?s so1e15 on :hat His Word sa5s; then a11 he :ou1d 3et :ou1d 6e 7aith. ,aith has to ha2e 4esus as its o6=ect. He is the Author and the ,inisher o7 our 7aith; and praise is so8ethin3 that 7orces us to put our attention on 'od. When :e 8a?e a decision to praise 'od9to discip1ine ourse12es not to 3ripe; co8p1ain; or 6eco8e ne3ati2e9:e :i11 praise 'od. #o 7o11o: throu3h :ith that co88it8ent; :e 8ust ta?e our attention o77 the ne3ati2e circu8stances in our 1i2es. ,or instance; that doctor to1d that 8an he :as 3oin3 to die. #he 8an@s rep15 :as; DWe11; I@8 3oin3 to praise 'od;E 6ut he :ou1dn@t sa5; D#han? You; ,ather; that I@8 d5in3. #han? You that accordin3 to this doctor; I@8 3oin3 to 6e dead in si> 8onths. #han? You that 85 :i7e and ?ids are 3oin3 to 6e destitute.E "o* #here@s nothin3 praise:orth5 in that. #hose are ne3ati2e thou3hts and are not praise:orth5. Instead; he :ou1d 7o11o: throu3h :ith his decision to praise 'od and sa5; DI@11 praise 'od in e2er5 situation.E Psa18 !%C1 sa5s; DI :i11 61ess the LORD at a11 ti8esC his praise sha11 continua115 6e in 85 8outh.E As he 61esses the Lord at a11 ti8es and continuous15 praises Hi8; he :ou1d ta?e his attention o77 o7 the sic?ness; o77 o7 the doctor@s report; o77 o7 :hat :ou1d happen to his :i7e and ?ids; and 7ocus upon 'od and His pro8ises. He :ou1d ha2e to start sa5in3 thin3s 1i?e; D,ather; than? You that the Word o7 'od sa5s that 65 the stripes o7 4esus; I :as hea1ed H1 Pet. 2C2%I. ,ather; than? You that in the Word o7 'od; You hea1ed peop1e in :orse shape than I a8.E He cou1d 1oo? at LaAarus H4ohn 11C1-<%%I. He cou1d 1oo? at
4airus@s dau3hter and the :o8an :ith the issue o7 61ood HLu?e /C%1<((I. A7ter readin3 a6out their situations; he cou1d sa5; DPraise You; ,ather; that i7 You can raise peop1e 7ro8 the dead; You can sure15 ?eep peop1e 7ro8 d5in3. #han? You; ,ather; that accordin3 to the Scripture; You hea1 a11 o7 our sic?nesses and a11 o7 our diseasesE HPs. 1G!C!I. And e2er5thin3 this 8an cou1d do; :e can do too. In order to praise; 3et 5our attention o77 o7 the pro61e8 and onto the ans:er. 'et to a p1ace :here 5our 7aith; 5our attention; is sta5ed upon 4esus; the Word o7 'od; and His pro8ises. When 5ou do that; 7aith :or?s. ,aith rea115 isn@t hard; 6ut it is dependent upon thou3hts and 8ind<set. I7 5ou thin? on pro61e8s; 5ou@re 3oin3 to ha2e un6e1ie7. It doesn@t 8atter :hat scriptures 5ou@2e heard; :ho pra5s 7or 5ou; ho: 8uch 5ou tr5; or ho: 8uch 5ou p1ead :ith 'od9i7 5ou thin? on ne3ati2e circu8stances; 5ou@re 3oin3 to 6e de7eated. Dou6t and un6e1ie7 co8e throu3h considerin3 thin3s other than the Word o7 'odB 7aith co8es throu3h considerin3 the Word o7 'od.
P aye O Co-pla!n!n"
I7 :e ?eep our 8inds sta5ed on the Word o7 'od; :e :i11 3et the resu1ts o7 the Word o7 'od. I7 :e ?eep our 8inds sta5ed on the pro61e8; the pro61e8 :i11 do8inate us. I ha2e dea1t :ith 8an5 :o8en :ho co8e to 8e and co8p1ain that their hus6ands are repro6ate. #he5@re tr5in3 to pra5 7or the8; 6ut the5@re =ust 6eside the8se12es. #hese :o8en are depressed and discoura3ed; and the5 sa5; DWhat can I do I@2e 3ot to ha2e so8e re1ie7 in 85 ho8e.E
$an5 ti8es; I@2e to1d the8 that the 7irst thin3 the5 need to do is Juit pra5in3 7or their hus6ands. $ost react :ith; DWhat are 5ou sa5in3 #hat@s terri61e* #hat cannot 6e 7ro8 'od. I need to pra5 7or 85 hus6and.E We11; i7 it :as 3od15 pra5er; 6ased tota115 on the Word o7 'od; then I@d sa5 5es to that. Fut :hat 8ost peop1e ca11 pra5er is not rea115 pra5er9it@s co8p1ainin3. I heard Char1es Capps ta1? one ti8e a6out ho: he :as in a rea1 6ad situation. He :as pra5in3 and ta1?in3 to 'od a6out it; and in the 8idd1e o7 his pra5er; the Lord as?ed; DWhat are 5ou doin3 E He said; DWe11; I@8 pra5in3.E #he Lord to1d hi8; DYou aren@t pra5in3B 5ou@re co8p1ainin3.E I rea115 6e1ie2e that a 1ar3e portion o7 :hat peop1e are ca11in3 pra5er is not true pra5er. It is co8p1ainin3. $an5 o7 these :o8en pra5in3 7or their hus6ands ha2e pra5ed; DOh; 'od; I as? You to sa2e 85 hus6and. He 6eats 8e. He 6eats the ?ids. He 6eats the do3. He spends our 8one5. He 6u5s 6ooAe. He doesn@t 1o2e 8e. He...E #he5@11 spend 7ort5<7i2e 8inutes ta1?in3 a6out a11 the ne3ati2e thin3s their hus6ands do; and at the end o7 the pra5er; the5@11 sa5; DI@8 as?in3 You to sa2e hi8; in 4esus@ na8e. A8en.E #he5@11 spend 7ort5<7i2e 8inutes ta1?in3 a6out the pro61e8 and 7i2e seconds ta1?in3 a6out the ans:er. #hen the5 :onder :h5 the5@re depressed; :h5 the5@re discoura3ed; and :h5 their pra5ers ha2en@t 6een ans:ered. I 6e1ie2e co88unication is 2ita1 to a 3ood 8arria3e and a 3ood pra5er 1i7e; 6ut :e need to 1earn to co88unicate 3ood thin3s. We need to repent o7 those thin3s that don@t edi75; that :i11 on15 o77end and hurt. Fur5 the8 and don@t share the8 :ith an5one e1se; e2en
'od. 'ripin3 is not pra5er* I ha2e seen this so 8an5 ti8es :hen I ha2e preached on 7or3i2enessC One person :i11 3o to another person in the ser2ice and sa5; DI :ant 5ou to ?no: that I 7or3i2e 5ou. Ri3ht no: I a8 7or3i2in3 5ou 7or a11 o7 the rotten thin3s 5ou@2e done and said.E I@2e e2en had peop1e do that to 8e; and I didn@t ?no: the5 :ere e2er upset :ith 8e* F5 doin3 that; it 3a2e opportunit5 7or another o77ense to occur. I7 5ou 7ind 5ourse17 in a situation 1i?e that; desperate15 needin3 to 7or3i2e another; 5ou shou1d sa5; D,ather; 7or3i2e 8e 7or ta?in3 o77ense. And 7or3i2e Andre:. He didn@t 8ean it. I@8 sorr5B I as? Your 7or3i2eness. I as? You to ta?e a11 6itterness a:a5. It@s o2er; and I a8 3oin3 to 7or3et it.E Don@t spea? to an5one a6out it; 6ecause 65 8entionin3 it; 5ou put Satan in a position to te8pt so8eone e1se :ith an o77ense. #he sa8e thin3 is true in a 8arria3e situation. So8e thin3s shou1dn@t e2en 6e 6rou3ht up. So8eti8es :e =ust need to repent o7 our :ron3 7ee1in3s and not 61a6 a6out the8. Sure; that@s co88unication; 6ut it@s not 3ood co88unication. And it@s the sa8e thin3 in pra5er. We don@t need to pour out our hearts; 3ripe; co8p1ain; and te11 'od ho: 8isera61e :e are. #hat@s not pra5er9that@s co8p1ainin3. "o: there is a p1ace 7or 6earin3 our hearts to the Lord; 6ut it is not the p1ace that 8ost o7 us ha2e used. It is not 7ort5<7i2e 8inutes ta1?in3 a6out ho: 6ad the situation is and 7i2e seconds ta1?in3 a6out the ans:er. $a56e :e shou1d tr5 spendin3 one 8inute te11in3 'od; DOh 'od; this is ho: I 7ee1...E and then start praisin3 Hi8; e>pressin3 our 7aith; and spea?in3 the ans:er 7or 7ort5<7i2e 8inutes.
#hat is :h5 I te11 a 1ot o7 peop1e to Juit pra5in3 7or their 8ates; 6ecause the5 are 7ocusin3 on a11 o7 those ne3ati2e thin3s. #he5 :ou1d 6e 6etter o77 to praise 'od 7or :hat the Word sa5s a6out their 8ates. I te11 the8 to start praisin3 'od 7or :hat the5 :ant their 8ate to 6e; :hat the5 are 6e1ie2in3 7or the8 to 6e. 'od 1o2es 5ou; persona115. 'od 1on3s 7or 5ou to ha2e persona1; inti8ate co88union :ith Hi8. ;o %e !ly I say unto you$ That #hosoe%e shall say unto th!s -ounta!n$ 'e thou e-o%ed$ and be thou (ast !nto the sea, and shall not doubt !n h!s hea t$ but shall bel!e%e that those th!n"s #h!(h he sa!th shall (o-e to pass, he shall ha%e #hatsoe%e he sa!th& The efo e I say unto you$ What th!n"s soe%e ye des! e$ #hen ye p ay$ bel!e%e that ye e(e!%e the-$ and ye shall ha%e the-& Ca . 11/09402 We can either sa5 :hat :e ha2e; or :e can ha2e :hat :e sa5. I7 :e sa5 :hat :e ha2e; 1oo?in3 on15 at :hat our 8ates are constant15 doin3; then :e are =ust rein7orcin3 those thin3s. We@re 8a?in3 the pro61e8 3ro: 6i33er and 6i33er in our o:n 8inds. It :i11 8inister dou6t; discoura3e8ent; and depression to us. Fut i7 :e :i11 7ocus on the ans:er; :e@11 7ind out that 7aith :i11 co8e. We 8ust sta5 7ocused on the Word o7 'od and :hat His Word has to sa59then our pra5ers :i11 6e e8po:ered 65 praise instead o7 6ein3 crushed 65 continuous ne3ati2e co8p1aints.
What:s The Ans#e >
Ho: can :e ?eep 7ocused :hen :e@re under pressure When the 6i11s are pi1in3 up; it@s hard to =ust c1ose the chec?6oo? and sa5; DI re7use to thin? on this.E When :e ha2e pain on our 6odies; it@s hard to i3nore that pain. When :e see re1ationships 7a11in3 apart; ho: do :e ?eep 7ro8 d:e11in3 on those thin3s I ad8it that it@s not eas5 to contro1 our 8inds; 6ut one o7 the 8ost i8portant thin3s :e can do to concentrate on the ans:er instead o7 the pro61e8 is to praise. #his is one o7 the 8ost po:er7u1 :eapons 'od has 3i2en us. When :e are praisin3 'od; :e ha2e to 3et into :hat 'od is doin3. C1ai8in3 the pro8ises 'od has 3i2en and praisin3 Hi8 7or the8 ta?es our attention o77 o7 the ne3ati2e and i88erses us in 7aith; 1o2e; and =o5. You :i11 cease to praise 'od i7 5ou a11o: 5our 8ind to dri7t 6ac? to the ne3ati2e. Fut i7 5ou 8a?e a decision to 7ocus on Hi8; 5ou can sa5; DWait a 8inute;E and 3o 6ac? to praisin3 'od. It :i11 ta?e so8e practice on 5our part; and it 8a5 not happen one ti8e :hen 5ou decide to do this. It :i11 ta?e so8e discip1ined spiritua1 e>ercise. 'ut st on" -eat belon"eth to the- that a e of full a"e$ e%en those #ho by eason of use ha%e the! senses e?e (!sed to d!s(e n both "ood and e%!l& Heb e#s 3/12 Li?e e>ercisin3 to 6ui1d 8usc1es in the 6od5; it ta?es ti8e and e77ort to 6ui1d a consistent attitude o7 praise. We don@t 3et discoura3ed i7 :e can@t 6ench<press %GG pounds the 7irst da5 :e 6e3in e>ercisin3. It ta?es ti8e to 6ui1d up to that. Fut e2er5 sin31e ti8e :e e>ert ourse12es; :e 3et a 1itt1e stron3er; unti1 one da5 :e reach our 3oa1.
It@s the sa8e thin3 :ith praise. I7 5ou ha2e 6een 2er5 ne3ati2e; it 8a5 ta?e a :ee? or t:o :ee?s or 1on3er 6e7ore 5ou 6e3in to see the true 6ene7it o7 praise. Fut i7 5ou :i11 8a?e this co88it8ent; D'od; I@8 3oin3 to 6e a person :ho praises You. I@8 3oin3 to thin? on the 3ood thin3s and I re7use to 6e ne3ati2e;E sooner or 1ater 5ou :i11 e>ercise 5ourse17 unto 3od1iness and reap the 6ene7its. Re+o!(e !n the )o d al#ay/ and a"a!n I say$ Re+o!(e& )et you -ode at!on be .no#n unto all -en& The )o d !s at hand& 'e (a eful fo noth!n", but !n e%e y th!n" by p aye and suppl!(at!on #!th than.s"!%!n" let you e<uests be -ade .no#n unto *od& Ph!l!pp!ans 2/246 Pau1 is ta1?in3 a6out praisin3 'od and re=oicin3 in the Lord a1:a5s. #hen he starts ta1?in3 a6out pra5er. He sa5s; DFe care7u1 7or nothin3E9in other :ords; don@t 6e an>ious; don@t :orr5 a6out an5thin396ut co88it De2er5 thin3 65 pra5er and supp1ication :ith than?s3i2in3.E #han?s3i2in3 is a part o7 pra5er. We shou1d start our pra5ers :ith praise and end our pra5ers :ith praise. An5 pro61e8s can 6e 8entioned in 6et:een. Fut e2en then; :e 8ust ?eep our attention on the ans:er rather than the pro61e8. #his is e>act15 the instruction 3i2en in $atthe: +; :here 4esus ta1?ed a6out :hat is co88on15 ca11ed the Lord@s Pra5er. He started it o77 in 2erse 0 65 sa5in3; DOur ,ather :hich art in hea2en; Ha11o:ed 6e th5 na8e.E #hat@s
praise* He ended this pra5er in 2erse 1! 65 sa5in3; D,or thine is the ?in3do8; and the po:er; and the 31or5; 7or e2er. A8en.E He used :hat I ca11 a Dsand:ich techniJueE96e3innin3 and endin3 :ith praise. Fe7ore e2en presentin3 the pro61e8; present the ans:er. You sa5; DPraise You; 4esus; that 65 Your stripes; I@2e 6een hea1ed.E #hen 5ou si8p15 8ention; D,ather; I@2e 3ot a pro61e8 in 85 6od5. #han? You that it@s 6ein3 ta?en care o7.E #he pro61e8 can 6e 8entioned as 1on3 as it is not the 7ocus. I@8 not sa5in3 to i3nore our pro61e8s or not 7ace up to the8; 6ut :e cannot 1et the ene85 stea1 our =o5. )eepin3 an attitude o7 praise :i11 ?eep us 7i11ed :ith His =o5.
Ho# We A e To P ay
The effe(tual fe %ent p aye of a !"hteous -an a%a!leth -u(h& =a-es 3/16 I 6e1ie2e that in e8phasiAin3 pra5er toda5; :e ha2e to1d peop1e =ust to ta1? to 'od. It rea115 doesn@t 8atter :hat :e sa5B =ust 3et there. ,or an hour or t:o hours; pra5 o2er the situation; and that@s a11 there is to it. We@2e done our dut5. Fut that@s not so. #he Scripture ca11s it an De77ectua1 7er2ent pra5er.E #hat 8eans that our pra5ers are e77ecti2e and 7er2ent. Are :e e77ecti2e15 and :ho1ehearted15 co88unicatin3 :ith the Lord Fein3 e77ecti2e is pra5in3 His Word in 7aith; and 6ein3 7er2ent is our :ho1e hearts 7i11ed :ith praise and than?s3i2in3 unto Hi8. We :i11 see resu1ts :hen :e pra5 this t5pe o7 pra5er. Co8p1ainin3 :i11 3et us no:here; 6ut praise :i11 open hea2en@s 3ates*
CHAPTER 3 WAGE UPI
I besee(h you the efo e$ b eth en$ by the -e (!es of *od$ that ye p esent you bod!es a l!%!n" sa( !f!(e$ holy$ a((eptable unto *od$ #h!(h !s you easonable se %!(e& And be not (onfo -ed to th!s #o ld/ but be ye t ansfo -ed by the ene#!n" of you -!nd$ that ye -ay p o%e #hat !s that "ood$ and a((eptable$ and pe fe(t$ #!ll of *od& Ro-ans 10/140 #here are t:o t5pes o7 pro61e8s9pro61e8s :e ha2e persona115 and pro61e8s in the :or1d that direct15 or indirect15 a77ect us. As I ha2e said throu3hout this 6oo?; 7indin3 the ans:er to an5 pro61e8 6e3ins :ith praise. When 5ou praise 'od; 5ou step into His presence and 7ind the ans:er. Fut :hen 5ou do not praise Hi8; 5ou step a:a5 7ro8 Hi8; and a11 5ou see is the pro61e8.
Stepp!n" A#ay ; o- *od
;o the # ath of *od !s e%ealed f o- hea%en a"a!nst un"odl!ness and un !"hteousness of -en$ #ho hold the t uth !n un !"hteousness, 'e(ause that #h!(h -ay be .no#n of *od !s -an!fest !n the-, fo *od hath she#ed !t unto the-& ;o the !n%!s!ble th!n"s of h!- f o- the ( eat!on of the
#o ld a e (lea ly seen$ be!n" unde stood by the th!n"s that a e -ade$ e%en h!s ete nal po#e and *odhead, so that they a e #!thout e?(use/ 'e(ause that$ #hen they .ne# *od$ they "lo !f!ed h!not as *od$ ne!the #e e than.ful, but be(a-e %a!n !n the! !-a"!nat!ons$ and the! fool!sh hea t #as da .ened& P ofess!n" the-sel%es to be #!se$ they be(a-e fools$ And (han"ed the "lo y of the un(o upt!ble *od !nto an !-a"e -ade l!.e to (o upt!ble -an$ and to b! ds$ and fou footed beasts$ and ( eep!n" th!n"s& Whe efo e *od also "a%e the- up to un(leanness th ou"h the lusts of the! o#n hea ts$ to d!shonou the! o#n bod!es bet#een the-sel%es& Ro-ans 1/11402 Pau1 is sa5in3 that e2er5 person :ho@s e2er 6een created has an intuiti2e ?no:1ed3e o7 'od. Ho:e2er; 6ecause the5 do not :orship Hi8; do not 31ori75 Hi8 as 'od; and are not than?7u1; the5 6eco8e 7oo1s. #he5 enter into ido1atr5 and 7ro8 there pro3ress into a11 t5pes o7 per2ersion. I :ant to point out the pro3ression. ,irst o7 a11; e2er5 person has an intuiti2e ?no:1ed3e o7 'od HRo8. 1C1/<2GI so that Dthe5 are :ithout e>cuseE H2erse 2GI. #hen notice ho: this steppin3 a:a5 7ro8 'od starts9the5 don@t 31ori75 Hi8 as 'od. #hat@s ta1?in3 a6out praise. #he5 don@t 3i2e the praise and reco3nition to 'od that is due unto Hi8; nor are the5 than?7u1.
#hen it sa5s the5 D6eca8e 2ain in their i8a3inations.E #he ne>t step is that their 7oo1ish hearts are dar?ened. Once peop1e@s hearts 6e3in to harden to:ard 'od; accordin3 to $ar? /; the5 6eco8e spiritua115 retarded. #hat@s 85 o:n ter8ino1o35; 6ut that@s a resu1t o7 a hardened heart. It ta?es a:a5 the a6i1it5 to thin? rationa115. So; one o7 the thin3s that :i11 ?eep us 7ro8 steppin3 a:a5 7ro8 'od is 3i2in3 praise and 31or5 unto 'od; and 6ein3 than?7u1.
Rul!n" O%e Ou ;eel!n"s
So8e peop1e sa5; DFut I =ust don@t 7ee1 1i?e praisin3 'od.E Who cares ho: :e 7ee1 We need to do it 6ecause 'od@s Word sa5s to do it. Others 8a5 sa5; DFut :ait; I didn@t choose to 6e discoura3edB it =ust happened. It@s =ust the :a5 I 7ee1. I can@t he1p it.E #o 1et our e8otions and 7ee1in3s ru1e us is 2er5; 2er5 i88ature. I sa5 this in 1o2eB it cuts 8e the sa8e as it cuts an5one e1se. We :ere raised to 1et our 7ee1in3s do8inate us; 6ut that@s not ri3ht. 4ust 6ecause :e 7ee1 depressed doesn@t 8ean :e ha2e to 6e depressed. I ha2e thou3hts o7 depression co8e at 8e; 6ut I choose to re=ect the8. I choose to 6ui1d 85se17 up and encoura3e 85se17 in the Lord. ,ee1in3s are to 6e en=o5ed :hen the5 are 3ood; and the5 are to 6e re=ected :hen the5 are 6ad. E8otions are ne2er to dictate to usB :e are to contro1 the8. Ps5cho1o35 has to1d us; DDon@t suppress 5our 7ee1in3s. Let the8 a11 out.E "o: I a3ree that it isn@t hea1th5 to store thin3s up on the inside and si88er and 6rood o2er the8. Fut :hen :e ha2e ne3ati2e e8otions; instead o7 1ettin3
the8 out; :e shou1d re=ect the8 and choose the positi2e e8otions o7 praisin3 and 31ori75in3 'od. I7 :e :ou1d choose to do that; :e :ou1d e>perience a ne: po:er in our 1i2es. Our 8inds :ou1d 6e sta5ed on 'od; and our 7aith :ou1d a6ound on the inside o7 us.
;a!th Isn:t Ca"!(
$an5 peop1e tr5 to use their 7aith to 3et rid o7 a11 their pro61e8s. We can do that; to a de3ree9:e can a2oid a 1ot o7 pro61e8s 65 =ust :a1?in3 in the Word o7 'od. So8e o7 our pro61e8s are direct de8onic attac?s; and :e can o2erco8e those throu3h the Word. Fut :e@re ne2er 3oin3 to a2oid e2er5 pro61e8. I7 :e :a1? in hea1th and ne2er ha2e an5 ph5sica1 pro61e8s; and i7 :e :a1? in prosperit5 and ne2er ha2e an5 7inancia1 pro61e8s; I can pro8ise thisC Satan :i11 send so8eone a1on3 :ho ru6s us the :ron3 :a5. And e2en i7 no one ru6s us the :ron3 :a5 and :e 3et a1on3 3reat :ith e2er5one :e 8eet; so8e pro61e8 :i11 rise up a3ainst us; 6ecause :e don@t 1i2e in a per7ect :or1d. I7 5our idea o7 :a1?in3 in peace and 2ictor5 is ha2in3 a11 o7 5our pro61e8s re8o2ed; 5ou@11 ne2er o6tain that. You need to rea1iAe that it doesn@t 8atter :hat the de2i1 thro:s a3ainst 5ou; 'od sa5s 5ou can prosper in the 8idst o7 it. You can praise 'od and ?eep 5our 8ind sta5ed on Hi8. #hat@s the :a5 to hand1e the pressures o7 1i7e and 8aintain our Christian :a1?.
*u!ded 'y C! (u-stan(es
#he reason so 8an5 peop1e are 7i3htin3 depression toda5
is 6ecause e2er5thin3 in the natura1 :or1d is 3eared to:ard 6ein3 ne3ati2e and depressed. #he ne:s 8edia reports a11 o7 the ne3ati2e ne:s. #he5 don@t re1ate the 3ood thin3s; on15 the 6ad. I7 :e 1isten to the :or1d; it :ou1d appear that :e are surrounded 65 horri61e situations. And i7 :e a11o: ourse12es to 6e do8inated 65 the thin?in3 o7 this :or1d; :e are 3oin3 to ha2e depression a8on3 us. Our circu8stances don@t 8a?e us the :a5 :e are9that@s our choice. We can choose to react to our circu8stances and 6e depressed or discoura3ed; or :e can choose to 1oo? 6e5ond our circu8stances to 'od@s 7aith7u1ness to:ard us and 6e 61essed. I re8e86er :hen the United States entered the 'u17 War. So8e 8e86ers o7 Con3ress and 8an5 peop1e in this countr5 :ere sa5in3 it :as 3oin3 to 6e a 61ood6ath 7or the United States. So8e predicted at 1east 2G;GGG to !G;GGG U.S. 1i2es :ou1d 6e 1ost. Others predicted that :e :ere 3oin3 to 6e :iped out 65 a11 o7 the Russian tan?s in the Persian 'u17. &er5 7e: peop1e 6o1d15 disa3reed :ith those ne3ati2e co88ents. It caused 7ear and concern in A8erica@s peop1e. We entered the :ar 2er5 apprehensi2e15. Fut in retrospect; it :as the 8ost 8ini8a1 1oss o7 1i7e in the histor5 o7 the United States. Our eJuip8ent pro2ed superior o2er an5thin3 that the IraJis had. So :here :ere a11 these peop1e :ho; a 5ear ear1ier; had 8ade those terri61e predictions #he5 shou1d ha2e 6een 2oted out o7 o77ice. #he5 :ere tota115 out o7 touch and 8issed it 6i3 ti8e. Fut; sad to sa5; 8an5 o7 the8 are sti11 in o77ice; sti11 8a?in3 their ne3ati2e predictions; and peop1e are sti11 1istenin3 to the8.
The Slant Of The Ced!a
#he ne:s 8edia is s1anted a3ainst reportin3 thin3s 7ro8 a Christian perspecti2e. #he truth is; I 6e1ie2e :e are e>periencin3 the 3reatest re2i2a1 to e2er hit the United States. $an5 peop1e :ou1d disa3ree :ith 8e; 6ut I@8 6asin3 this on :hat the Word o7 'od sa5s and :hat I@8 seein3 in the 6od5 o7 Christ toda5. I@11 ad8it there are p1ent5 o7 pro61e8s out there. Satan@s cro:d has 3otten 8ore 2oca1 and 8ore 2isi61e than the5@2e e2er 6een. ,ocused on those thin3s; a case cou1d 6e 8ade 7or A8erica 6ein3 in tota1 8ora1 deca5. Fut :hen rea115 1oo?in3 at it 7ro8 'od@s perspecti2e; I 6e1ie2e that it@s di77erent than the :a5 the ne:s 8edia has presented it. #a?e the 3a5 ri3hts@ 8o2e8ent 7or e>a8p1e. #he ho8ose>ua1s ha2e 3ained tre8endous attention =ust 7ro8 te1e2ision. Peop1e are hearin3 so 8uch a6out AIDS; eJua1 ri3hts 7or 3a5 coup1es; and so on; that it has de2e1oped a 8enta1it5 in peop1e that the ho8ose>ua1s rea115 ha2e 6eco8e an accepted part o7 the co88unit59or at 1east the5 are headed that :a5. Yet I heard a sur2e5 in 1002 on radio station )PFC in Da11as that 3a2e the 7o11o:in3 statisticsC in 10+G; +/ percent o7 the A8erican popu1ation thou3ht ho8ose>ua1it5 :as :ron3. #he5 didn@t =ust e>press that it :asn@t their pre7erence; the5 thou3ht it :as :ron3 7or an5one. #he5 6e1ie2ed that it :as a per2ersionB it :asn@t nor8a1. In 1002; 3uess :hat the percenta3e :as. $ost peop1e :ou1d sa5 it :as pro6a615 1ess than (G percent. #hat@s certain15 the reaction I had. Fut the statistics in the sur2e5 sho:ed that in 1002; -( percent o7 the A8erican pu61ic thou3ht ho8ose>ua1it5 :as :ron3; that it :as a per2ersion. #hat :as a - percent increase 7ro8 10+G. We are 8ore 8ora1 in that area toda5 than :e :ere in the si>ties. Yet that@s not the perception 8ost
peop1e ha2e; 6ecause the ne:s 8edia is not 6ein3 7air and honest. #he5 are paintin3 a decepti2e picture. As another e>a8p1e; the "ationa1 Or3aniAation 7or Wo8en H"OWI 3ets Juoted constant15. E2er5 ti8e an a6ortion ri3hts@ issue or a pro<choice issue co8es up; the 8edia 3oes to that 3roup o7 :o8en to 3et their 2ie: 6ecause the5 are supposed to 6e spo?espersons 7or :o8en. So8e:here around (GG;GGG :o8en are in2o12ed in "OW. Concerned Wo8en 7or A8erica; a Christian 3roup or3aniAed 65 Fe2er15 LaHa5e; a1so has (GG;GGG :o8en in its or3aniAation. #he5 ha2e =ust as 8uch representation as "OW; 5et 5ou ne2er hear the8 Juoted on po1itica1 issues. A 7e: 5ears a3o; a ra115 at the Capito1 dre: 1itera115 hundreds o7 thousands o7 peop1e protestin3 a6ortion. On the 7ront pa3e; the ne:spaper co2erin3 the stor5 had a picture o7 a6out a doAen peop1e standin3 :ith pro< a6ortion p1acards* F5 1istenin3 to the 8edia; it :ou1d 6e eas5 to thin?; #hin3s are 7a11in3 apart. It@s rea115 a terri61e :or1d :e 1i2e in* What a depressin3 thou3ht. Fut the truth is; 'od is doin3 3reat thin3s toda5. #here are 8ore 6orn<a3ain; Spirit< 7i11ed peop1e per capita in the United States toda5 than there has e2er 6een in the histor5 o7 this countr5. $ore peop1e are pra5in3 and see?in3 'od than e2er 6e7ore.
The e Is Hope
In 85 o:n persona1 1i7e; I ?no: at 1east thirt5<ei3ht peop1e :ho ha2e either 6een raised 7ro8 the dead or ha2e raised so8eone 7ro8 the dead. I ha2e a 7riend in Sa1t
La?e Cit5 :ho has persona115 raised ei3ht peop1e 7ro8 the dead. One o7 85 sta77 8e86ers; Don )ro:; sa: his dau3hter raised 7ro8 the dead a7ter he pra5ed 7or her. I conducted a 8eetin3 in )ansas Cit5; and t:o peop1e :ho had 6een raised 7ro8 the dead stood up. I had 6een there :hen it happened to one o7 the8 e1e2en 5ears 6e7ore. At that ti8e; durin3 85 8essa3e; the pastor and so8e o7 the peop1e in the church :ent out and pra5ed 7or hi8. He :as 3one 7or 7ort5<7i2e 8inutes; 6ut then he :as raised 7ro8 the dead and 6rou3ht 6ac? in* #he reason I sa5 this is to 6rin3 up the point that on15 ei3ht peop1e :ere raised 7ro8 the dead in the Fi61e. It@s a:eso8e to thin? that one person ?no:s at 1east thirt5<ei3ht peop1e9near15 7i2e ti8es the nu86er recorded in the Fi61e9:ho :ere raised 7ro8 the dead. #hat@s a reason to 6e e>cited* So8ethin3 is happenin3 in our da5. I 6e1ie2e 'od is on the 8o2e. 'reat thin3s are happenin3 in A8erica*
Satan Is )os!n"
In tra2e1in3 to di77erent churches around the nation; I@2e 6een to at 1east a doAen p1aces :here peop1e sa5; D#his is the occu1t capita1 o7 the United States.E "o:; the5 can@t a11 6e the occu1t capita1* #he5 can@t a11 ha2e a11 the satanic po:er. Fut i7 the5 see an5 satanic a6i1it5 :hatsoe2er; the5 :ant to sa5 it@s the occu1t. So8eho: or another; it@s e>citin3 to sa5; DWe@re in this 6att1e* We need to stand stron3 a3ainst this.E #he truth is; Satan is 1osin3 6i3 ti8e. I@8 not sa5in3 Satan hasn@t 8ade so8e 3reat inroads and :on so8e 6att1es; 6ut 'od@s :innin3 the :ar. #here are t:o sides to this coin. 'od@s ?in3do8 is 3ettin3
stron3er; and Satan@s ?in3do8 is 3ettin3 stron3er. Ho: can this 6e A11 o7 the 8idd1e 3round is disappearin3. Peop1e :ho :ere =ust ?ind o7 8ora1 6ut :eren@t rea115 see?in3 'od are 6eco8in3 either hot or co1d. "o:; :e can 7ocus on the co1d. We can 1oo? on15 at the ne3ati2e and paint a 2er5 61ea? picture; or :e can 7ocus on the positi2e. #here is a 1ot o7 positi2e out there. And there@s a 1ot o7 positi2e in 5our o:n situation i7 5ou :ou1d =ust :a?e up and see it*
Choos!n" ; eedoWe need to :a?e up* We need to =ar ourse12es and reco3niAe that :e ha2e 6eco8e ne3ati2e. We ha2e 6eco8e 8ur8urers and co8p1ainers. It@s not our hor8ones that 8a?e us depressedB it@s :hat :e set our 8inds on. It@s our stin?in3 thin?in3. I7 :e :ou1d chan3e our attitudes and 6e3in to praise 'od in e2er5 situation 1i?e Ha6a??u? and 1i?e Pau1 and Si1as; :e :ou1d e>perience the 1i7e o7 'od. We can choose to 6e 61essed. We ha2e a choice in the 8atter. I :as in En31and in 100G conductin3 so8e 8eetin3s; and a :o8an :ho had =ust 1e7t a 8enta1 hospita1 :as 6rou3ht to a 8eetin3 65 a 7a8i15 8e86er. She :as suicida1 and had tried to ?i11 herse17 a nu86er o7 ti8es. I didn@t ?no: an5 o7 these thin3s a6out her; 6ut I ?ne: 'od :as 8inisterin3 to her. I ca11ed her out and 6e3an to pra5 7or her. As I did; the Lord sho:ed 8e that she had 6een 8enta115 unsta61e. I to1d her that i7 she :anted to 6e 7ree; she cou1d. It :as her choice. She cou1d 6e depressed and 3ui1t<ridden; or she cou1d choose to 6e1ie2e that she :as 7or3i2en. #his :o8an :as a1read5 6orn a3ain and :as sti11 e>periencin3 these pro61e8s.
#he ne>t da5; she ca11ed the pastor and to1d hi8 she :o?e up and 7e1t depressed a3ain; 6ut she chose to start praisin3 'od and said she had 6een doin3 3reat. She ca11ed 6ac? t:o 8ore ti8es the :ee? I :as there and said she had done the sa8e thin3 :ith 3reat resu1ts. It@s 6een 5ears since then; and that :o8an is so set 7ree; she@s 6een on te1e2ision and radio; ho1din3 se8inars and ta1?in3 to peop1e a6out ho: to 6e de1i2ered. #his :o8an :as incapa61e o7 e2en 7unctionin3 and no: she@s he1pin3 other peop1e 6ecause she rea1iAed her e8otiona1 state :as a choice9it :as her decision. She@s a tre8endous testi8on5. I7 5ou@re depressed toda5; 5ou chose to 6e depressed. You 8a5 not ha2e sat do:n and said DI :ant to 6e depressed;E 6ut 5ou chose to thin? on thin3s that 8ade 5ou depressed. ;!nally$ b eth en$ #hatsoe%e th!n"s a e t ue$ #hatsoe%e th!n"s a e honest$ #hatsoe%e th!n"s a e +ust$ #hatsoe%e th!n"s a e pu e$ #hatsoe%e th!n"s a e lo%ely$ #hatsoe%e th!n"s a e of "ood epo t, !f the e be any %! tue$ and !f the e be any p a!se$ th!n. on these th!n"s& Ph!l!pp!ans 2/1 I7 :e :ou1d choose to thin? on thin3s that are honest; pure; and 1o2e15; :e :ou1d e>perience 7reedo8 7ro8 depression. I7 :e :ou1d sta5 spiritua115 8inded; :e :ou1d ha2e 1i7e and peace. Fut i7 :e are carna115 8inded; that is death. ;o to be (a nally -!nded !s death, but to be sp! !tually -!nded !s l!fe and pea(e& Ro-ans 1/6
Fein3 spiritua115 8inded is 6ein3 Word<8inded. 4ohn +C+! sa5s; D#he :ords that I spea? unto 5ou; the5 are spirit; and the5 are 1i7e.E I7 5ou@re e>periencin3 an5thin3 other than 1i7e and peace; 5ou ha2en@t ?ept 5our 8ind sta5ed on the Word o7 'od. Ho: do :e ha2e 1i7e and peace Praise puts our attention on 'od. Praise 8a?es us a:are o7 :hat 'od is doin3. As :e sta5 our 8inds on 'od; :e@re 3oin3 to ha2e 1i7e and peace. #he peace o7 'od :i11 ?eep our hearts and 8inds throu3h Christ 4esus. 'od :i11 ?eep us in per7ect peace :hen our 8inds are 7i>ed upon Hi8. Set you affe(t!on on th!n"s abo%e$ not on th!n"s on the ea th& Coloss!ans 9/0 We don@t ha2e to thin? on the thin3s o7 this :or1d. We can set our a77ection on thin3s a6o2e. And :hen :e set our a77ection9our 7u11 attention9on 'od and :hat He@s doin3; our pro61e8s are supernatura115 s:a11o:ed up 65 our Ans:er*
CHAPTER 6 )IBIN* ;REE
We praise 'od 6ecause He is :orth5 o7 our praise; 6ut the resu1ts o7 our praise a77ect us tre8endous15* "o:; our 8oti2es 8ust 6e pure in this. We shou1dn@t :orship 'od on15 6ecause it@s 3oin3 to 6ene7it us. I7 it ne2er 6ene7ited us; :e sti11 shou1d :orship 'od 6ecause He is :orth5 to 6e praised. Fut I pro8ise 5ou; 5ou cannot out<3i2e 'od. When 5ou 6e3in to 3i2e 31or5 and praise unto Hi8; He is 3oin3 to 8u1tip15 it 6ac? unto 5ou. *!%e$ and !t shall be "!%en unto you, "ood -easu e$ p essed do#n$ and sha.en to"ethe $ and unn!n" o%e $ shall -en "!%e !nto you boso-& )u.e 6/91 We 8ost o7ten use this scripture in re1ation to 7inancia1 3i2in3. Fut i7 5ou :i11 start 61essin3 Hi8; He@s 3oin3 to 61ess 5ou 8ore than 5ou@2e e2er 61essed Hi8. His 1o2e :i11 6e so 8ani7est in 5our 1i7e that 5ou :i11 6e 7i11ed :ith a11 the 7u11ness o7 'od.
We A e H!s Te-ple
Da2id :anted to 6ui1d a te8p1e 7or the Lord; 6ut the Lord to1d hi8 not to do it hi8se17. He said that He :ou1d 1et his son; So1o8on; 6ui1d Hi8 a te8p1e; :hich he did H1 Chr. 22C+<12I. E2en thou3h Da2id :as 7or6idden to 6ui1d the te8p1e; he did esta61ish a ta6ernac1e. He 6rou3ht the Ar? o7 the Co2enant into 4erusa1e8 and ordered :orship to continua115 ta?e p1ace in the ta6ernac1e.
Co eo%e fou thousand #e e po te s, and fou thousand p a!sed the )ORD #!th the !nst u-ents #h!(h I -ade$ sa!d Da%!d$ to p a!se the e#!th& And Da%!d d!%!ded the- !nto (ou ses a-on" the sons of )e%!$ na-ely$ *e shon$ Gohath$ and Ce a !& 1 Ch on!(les 09/346 Da2id di2ided the8 into di77erent :or? shi7ts so that praise :as 3oin3 up to 'od t:ent5<7our hours a da5. #he on15 =o6 7or %;GGG peop1e :as to praise 'od. What :ou1d happen i7 churches toda5 :ere to desi3nate %GG peop1e :ho :ere paid =ust to :orship and praise the Lord I a8 sure 8an5 :ou1d criticiAe that 6ecause :e =ust don@t put that ?ind o7 priorit5 on praise. Yet this is :hat the :ho1e ta6ernac1e :as a11 a6out. Da2id desi3nated these sin3ers to o77er :orship unto 'od; t:ent5<7our hours a da5; throu3h 8usica1 instru8ents; sin3in3; and praisin3. 'y h!- the efo e let us offe the sa( !f!(e of p a!se to *od (ont!nually$ that !s$ the f u!t of ou l!ps "!%!n" than.s to h!s na-e& Heb e#s 19/13 As "e: #esta8ent 6e1ie2ers; :e are the te8p1e o7 the Lord. We ha2e churches that :e 3o to; 6ut the5 are =ust p1aces to 8eet. #he te8p1e o7 the Lord is us; and our te8p1es shou1d 6e :orshipin3 and praisin3 'od t:ent5< 7our hours a da5. A continua1 sacri7ice 8eans :e praise Hi8 not on15 :hen :e 7ee1 1i?e it; 6ut =ust 6ecause 'od is 3ood. Da2id :as constant15 praisin3 'od. #hat@s one o7 the thin3s that 8ade hi8 a 8an a7ter 'od@s o:n heart.
He Inhab!ts Ou P a!ses
)et the- p a!se h!s na-e !n the dan(e/ let the- s!n" p a!ses unto h!- #!th the t!-b el and ha p& ;o the )ORD ta.eth pleasu e !n h!s people/ he #!ll beaut!fy the -ee. #!th sal%at!on& Psal- 125/942 'ut thou a t holy$ O thou that !nhab!test the p a!ses of Is ael& Psal- 00/9 The )ORD thy *od !n the -!dst of thee !s -!"hty, he #!ll sa%e$ he #!ll e+o!(e o%e thee #!th +oy, he #!ll est !n h!s lo%e$ he #!ll +oy o%e thee #!th s!n"!n"& Hephan!ah 9/17 'od 3ets p1easure out o7 us. He inha6its our praises. #hese scriptures sho: a 'od :ho 1o2es us; not a 'od :ho pities us or has a sense o7 o61i3ation to:ard us. He =o5s o2er us :ith sin3in3* $an5 5ears a3o; the Lord a11o:ed 85 :i7e; 4a8ie; to see into the spiritua1 rea18; and she sa: an3e1s dancin3 o2er us as :e praised the Lord. At 7irst I thou3ht; Ho: cou1d this 6e Who are :e to thin? the an3e1s o7 'od cou1d 6e dancin3 and re=oicin3 :ith us #hen the Lord re8inded 8e o7 Mephaniah !C1-. When :e 6e3in to :orship Hi8; it touches the heart o7 'od; and a11 o7 hea2en 3oes to
dancin3 and praisin3 'od. #here is re=oicin3 in hea2en :hen :e praise 'od.
P a!se Ta.es Us Into H!s P esen(e
It (a-e e%en to pass$ as the t u-pete s and s!n"e s #e e as one$ to -a.e one sound to be hea d !n p a!s!n" and than.!n" the )ORD, and #hen they l!fted up the! %o!(e #!th the t u-pets and (y-bals and !nst u-ents of -us!(.$ and p a!sed the )ORD$ say!n"$ ;o he !s "ood, fo h!s -e (y endu eth fo e%e / that then the house #as f!lled #!th a (loud$ e%en the house of the )ORD, So that the p !ests (ould not stand to -!n!ste by eason of the (loud/ fo the "lo y of the )ORD had f!lled the house of *od& 0 Ch on!(les 3/19412 Da2id had desi3nated %;GGG peop1e to praise 'od constant15; and So1o8on 7o11o:ed that sa8e e>a8p1e :hen he dedicated the te8p1e. As the5 6e3an to praise 'od; the 31or5 o7 the Lord 7i11ed the house so that it 1itera115 ?noc?ed the8 to their 7aces. #he po:er and the 31or5 o7 'od 7i11ed the house as the5 praised and :orshiped Hi8. 'od inha6its the praises o7 His peop1e. A person :ho is not praisin3 'od is a person :ho is not rea115 enterin3 into the 3ates and the courts o7 the Lord. "o:; I@8 not sa5in3 that i7 :e aren@t praisin3 'od; :e aren@t 6orn a3ain
and the po:er o7 'od isn@t resident on the inside o7 us; 6ut it@s ne2er 3oin3 to 6e 8ani7ested unti1 :e 6e3in to 31ori75 and praise Hi8. #hat is one o7 the 8ost i8portant thin3s :e can do. Whoso offe eth p a!se "lo !feth -e/ and to h!- that o de eth h!s (on%e sat!on a !"ht #!ll I she# the sal%at!on of *od& Psal- 38/09 DOrdereth KourL con2ersation ari3htE H6rac?ets 8ineI 8eans :e are praisin3 'od and 3i2in3 the 31or5 due unto Hi8.
P a!se Geeps Us Hu-ble
;o *od es!steth the p oud$ and "!%eth " a(e to the hu-ble& Hu-ble you sel%es the efo e unde the -!"hty hand of *od$ that he -ay e?alt you !n due t!-e& 1 Pete 3/346 Praisin3 'od and 3i2in3 than?s unto Hi8 8a?es us hu861e. Peop1e :ho are 7u11 o7 praise and than?7u1ness are constant15 ac?no:1ed3in3 that their o:n e77orts are not :hat produce 61essin3s and prosperit5 in their 1i2es. Praise re8inds us :ho our source is. A person :ho is not praisin3 'od is a proud person9a person cau3ht up in their o:n interests.
,irst #i8oth5 !C+ sa5s that i7 :e 3et 1i7ted up :ith pride; :e :i11 7a11 into the conde8nation o7 the de2i1. #hat@s the inroad Satan has into our 1i2es. Pride can 6e de7ined 8an5 di77erent :a5s. It is not on15 thin?in3 :e@re 6etter than so8eone e1seB in its si8p1est ter8s; it is se17<centeredness. Peop1e can ha2e 2er5 1o: se17<estee8s; 6ut i7 the5 are se17<centered; the5 are in pride. #he5 are not re15in3 on 'od as their source. #he5 are se17<consu8ed. Praise ?eeps us in hu8i1it5 to:ard 'od. #han?7u1 peop1e are hu861e peop1e9the5 ac?no:1ed3e that it is not their o:n po:er that has produced 61essin3s in their 1i2es. Rather; it@s 'od :ho has 61essed the8. Peop1e :ho :i11 3i2e praise and than?s unto 'od are constant15 re8e86erin3 that 'od is their source. When $oses 6e3an to 6rin3 the chi1dren o7 Israe1 into the Pro8ised Land; he 3a2e the8 these instructions ri3ht 6e7ore his deathC And !t shall be$ #hen the )ORD thy *od shall ha%e b ou"ht thee !nto the land #h!(h he s#a e unto thy fathe s$ to Ab aha-$ to Isaa($ and to =a(ob$ to "!%e thee " eat and "oodly (!t!es$ #h!(h thou bu!ldest not$ And houses full of all "ood th!n"s$ #h!(h thou f!lledst not$ and #ells d!""ed$ #h!(h thou d!""edst not$ %!neya ds and ol!%e t ees$ #h!(h thou plantedst not, #hen thou shalt ha%e eaten and be full, Then be#a e lest thou fo "et the )ORD$ #h!(h b ou"ht thee fo th out of the land of E"ypt$ f o- the house of bonda"e& Deute ono-y 6/18410
He :arned the peop1e not to 7or3et the Lord and to praise Hi8 7or a11 the 3ood thin3s the5 had. He 3a2e e>p1icit directions that praise :as to 6e an inte3ra1 part o7 the8 re8e86erin3 their roots; re8e86erin3 :here the5 had co8e 7ro8.
P a!se Re%eals H!s )o%e
That Ch !st -ay d#ell !n you hea ts by fa!th, that ye$ be!n" ooted and " ounded !n lo%e$ Cay be able to (o-p ehend #!th all sa!nts #hat !s the b eadth$ and len"th$ and depth$ and he!"ht, And to .no# the lo%e of Ch !st$ #h!(h passeth .no#led"e$ that ye -!"ht be f!lled #!th all the fulness of *od& Ephes!ans 9/17415 'od desires to ha2e inti8ate re1ationship :ith us. As :e 6e3in to 1o2e Hi8 :ith a11 o7 our hearts; 8inds; sou1s; and stren3th; :e@11 see that inti8ate; persona1 re1ationship de2e1op. We@11 ha2e a re2e1ation o7 =ust ho: 8uch 'od 1o2es us. #he 1o2e o7 'od :i11 6e shed a6road in our hearts. It :i11 6e poured out on us. $an5 ti8es; :e@re not c1ear on ho: to ha2e that inti8ate re1ationship. We thin? :e ha2e to earn it or :or? 7or it. I7 I do this 7or 'od or i7 I do that; then a11 o7 these thin3s :i11 happen. "o; the truth is that 'od a1read5 1o2es 5ou :ithout 5ou doin3 an5thin3. #han? Hi8 7or that 1o2e; re8e86erin3 the 3reat thin3s He has done 7or 5ou.
When :e e>perience the 1o2e o7 'od; :e@11 start praisin3 Hi8 8oreB as :e praise Hi8 8ore; :e@11 e>perience 8ore o7 the 1o2e o7 'od. It@s a ne2er<endin3 c5c1e. E2er5thin3 co8es 7ro8 1o2e. Do 5ou need 8ore 7aith 'a1atians (C+ te11s us that 7aith :or?s 65 1o2e. I7 5ou need 8ore 7aith; then 5ou need 8ore 1o2e 8ani7ested9a re2e1ation o7 His 1o2e. Ho: do 5ou 3et it F5 praisin3 'od. As 5ou 6e3in to 1o2e Hi8; re1ease 5our 1o2e to:ard 'od; and enter into this persona1 re1ationship; the 1o2e o7 'od :i11 a6ound in 5our 1i7e.
P a!se W!ll E?(han"e Ne"at!%e ;o Pos!t!%e
I@2e seen peop1e d5in3 in hospita1sB ph5sica115; the5 shou1d ha2e reco2ered; 6ut their ne3ati2e e8otions a77ected their ph5sica1 6odies. We can see ho: our e8otiona1 and spiritua1 :e11<6ein3 can a77ect us in a 1ot o7 :a5s. We can usua115 identi75 peop1e :ho are stressed 65 1oo?in3 at their 7aces. It can a77ect their hair; their s?in; and their e5es. I 6e1ie2e it :as $ar5; Nueen o7 Scots; :ho had a 7u11 head o7 red hair; and the ni3ht 6e7ore she :as e>ecuted it is said that her hair turned sno: :hite 6ecause o7 the :orr5 and 7ear o7 6ein3 6eheaded the ne>t da5. Our e8otions can direct15 a77ect our ph5sica1 6odies; and one o7 the :a5s Satan tries to de2our us is :ith 6ad hea1th. An attitude o7 praise and than?s3i2in3 :i11 stop 8an5 o7 Satan@s attac?s a3ainst us. Pro2er6s 1-C22 sa5s; DA 8err5 heart doeth 3ood 1i?e a 8edicine.E It is a 7ront 1ine o7 de7ense a3ainst ph5sica1 pro61e8s; and I 6e1ie2e the sa8e thin3 is true in the area o7 7inances. A person :ho has a positi2e attitude and is praisin3 'od :i11 ha2e creati2e
ideas; :hereas a ne3ati2e person :i11 not ha2e creati2e ideas. I ha2e pra5ed 7or peop1e; and 'od has 3i2en 8e a specia1 :ord; a creati2e :ord; 7or their situations. I@11 te11 the8; DHere@s :hat 5ou can do.E Fut as I share it :ith the8; the5 are so discoura3ed that the5 =ust don@t ha2e an5 2ision. #he5@re in a sur2i2a1 8ode. #he5 can@t thin? a6out 3ro:th or a6out 3ettin3 out and doin3 so8ethin39the5@re =ust tr5in3 to sur2i2e. Once a person 3ets that ?ind o7 attitude; it@s 2er5 critica1 6ecause the5 :ou1dn@t recei2e the ans:er i7 'od 3a2e it to the8. #he5 =ust aren@t recepti2e to it. #he5 see the8se12es as a certain :a5 or in :hat the5 7ee1 is a hope1ess situation; and 6ecause o7 their attitude; the5 aren@t e2er 3oin3 to co8e out o7 it. ;o as he th!n.eth !n h!s hea t$ so !s he& P o%e bs 09/7 I7 5ou see 5ourse17 as poor; i7 5ou see 5ourse17 as a 7ai1ure; then that@s the :a5 5ou@re 3oin3 to 6e. Fut praise :i11 8a?e 5ou see 5ourse17 di77erent15. Praise :i11 stop the ne3ati2e attitudes that Satan 1o2es and 7eeds on. It :i11 dri2e Satan a:a5; and in the a6sence o7 Satan@s depression and discoura3e8ent; creati2e ideas :i11 co8e to 5ou. A 1ad5 in one o7 85 Fi61e studies :as pra5in3 a6out her 7inancia1 situation; and 'od sho:ed her that she a1read5 had the ans:er in her hand. She had 6een 8a?in3 a specia1 ?ind o7 c1a5 7or her chi1dren to p1a5 :ith that :as nonto>ic; co1or7ast; p1easant s8e11in3; and cou1dn@t 3et in the carpet and 8a?e a 8ess. #he Lord to1d her to 8ar?et
it. In =ust a coup1e o7 5ears; her creati2e idea 6eca8e a t:o<8i11ion<do11ar 6usiness. #hose ?ind o7 thin3s are =ust a thou3ht a:a5 7ro8 an5one. Fut it@s the ne3ati2is8 :e har6or that ?eeps us 7ro8 recei2in3 these :ords 7ro8 'od. Satan has 61inded peop1e to 'od@s ans:er. Ho: do :e o2erco8e that Praise :i11 chan3e it. Praise :i11 not on15 chan3e our attitudes; 6ut it :i11 1itera115 dri2e Satan and his deception a:a5. Praise :i11 6rin3 the anointin3 o7 'od on our 1i2es; and 2 Corinthians !C1- sa5s; DWhere the Spirit o7 the Lord is; there is 1i6ert5E97reedo8. #his is 7reedo8 on15 'od can 3i2e. Fut He can 3i2e it on15 i7 :e enter His 3ates :ith than?s3i2in3 and co8e into His courts :ith praise. Li2in3 7ree is a2ai1a61e to us at a11 ti8es and in a11 situations i7 :e continua115 praise 'od. It@s =ust that si8p1e* Fecause :hen :e praise Hi8; the Ho15 Spirit 7i11s our :ho1e 6ein3; He surrounds us :ith 'od@s 1o2e and 3race; and :hate2er trou61es :e ha2e 7ade into the 6ac?3round in 1i3ht o7 His 31or5. "o: that@s the :a5 I :ant to 1i2e*
CHAPTER 7 EJPERIENCIN* ETERNA) )I;E
#he secu1ar :or1d has reduced peop1e to a 7e: nu86ers9 a co8puter nu86er; a socia1 securit5 nu86er; or 8a56e a credit card nu86er. We 7ind depersona1iAin3 on near15 e2er5 1e2e1 o7 societ5. I7 I ca11 85 credit card co8pan5; a co8puter that te11s 8e that i7 I :ant this option; push this 6utton; or 7or another option; push another 6utton. I can do 85 entire transaction :ithout e2er ta1?in3 to a 1i2e person. In the na8e o7 producti2it5; I@2e 6eco8e =ust another nu86er. As a resu1t; there@s no need 7or re1ationship. Wh5 shou1d I spea? to a 1i2e person :hen a co8puter can do the tas? 8ore e77icient15 Fut :e need re1ationship9that@s :hat peop1e are hun3r5 7or.
The T ue Pu pose Of Sal%at!on
;o *od so lo%ed the #o ld$ that he "a%e h!s only be"otten Son$ that #hosoe%e bel!e%eth !n h!- should not pe !sh$ but ha%e e%e last!n" l!fe& =ohn 9/16 $ost peop1e are so 7a8i1iar :ith this 2erse that the5 honest15 don@t ?no: :hat it sa5s. We ta?e this 2erse and teach that 4esus ca8e and died 7or our sins so :e :ou1dn@t perish. Fasica115; that has 6een the 8essa3e o7 the church. We ha2e preached that i7 peop1e don@t :ant to 3o to he11; the5 need to accept 4esus as their Sa2ior. E2en thou3h those are true state8ents; that@s not the 8essa3e
the "e: #esta8ent church preached. #he 'ospe1 8eans 3ood ne:s; or 31ad tidin3s. "o: it@s true that i7 peop1e don@t accept 4esus as the pa58ent 7or their sins; the5 :i11 3o to he11; 6ut that@s not 3ood ne:s. It@s true; 6ut it@s not 3ood ne:s. #he 3ood ne:s is that e2en thou3h :e deser2e to 3o to he11; 4esus paid 7or our sins. Wh5 So :e :ou1d not perish 6ut ha2e e2er1astin3 1i7e. #he rea1 e8phasis o7 4ohn !C1+ shou1d 6e that 4esus ca8e to 6rin3 us e2er1astin3 1i7e. Sin :as not the rea1 purpose 7or 4esus co8in3 to this earth. He did not co8e pri8ari15 to 7or3i2e 8an?ind o7 their sins. 4esus ca8e to 6rin3 8an into eterna1 1i7e. He ca8e to 6rin3 us into re1ationship :ith 'od. It =ust so happened that sin :as the o6stac1e; the 6arrier; that stood 6et:een us and 'od; and it had to 6e dea1t :ith. $an cou1dn@t o2erco8e his o:n sin7u1ness; so 4esus died 7or our sins. Sin :as 8o2ed out o7 the :a5; so :e cou1d ha2e an inti8ate re1ationship :ith 'od.
Ete nal )!fe Is No#
I7 peop1e on15 3et their sins 7or3i2en and ?no: 4esus is their Sa2ior; 6ut the5 don@t enter into inti8ate re1ationship :ith 'od; the5 are 8issin3 out on :hat eterna1 1i7e is a11 a6out. $ost peop1e thin? eterna1 1i7e is 1i2in3 7ore2er; ne2er d5in3. Fut the Fi61e sa5s that e2er5one is 3oin3 to 1i2e 7ore2er in the sense that no one ceases to e>ist H$att. 2(C%+I. We :i11 1i2e 7ore2er :ith 'od or 7ore2er :ith Satan in the 1a?e o7 7ire; :hich is ca11ed the Dsecond deathE HRe2. 2GC1% and 21C/I. These th!n"s ha%e I # !tten unto you that bel!e%e on the na-e of the Son of *od, that ye -ay .no# that ye
ha%e ete nal l!fe$ and that ye -ay bel!e%e on the na-e of the Son of *od& 1 =ohn 3/19 And th!s !s l!fe ete nal$ that they -!"ht .no# thee the only t ue *od$ and =esus Ch !st$ #ho- thou hast sent& =ohn 17/9 Eterna1 1i7e is not so8ethin3 that is 3oin3 to happen :hen :e 3o to hea2en. Eterna1 1i7e is a present<tense rea1it5. Eterna1 1i7e is ?no:in3 'od. #he :ord ?no: is the sa8e :ord that :as used in 'enesis %C1 :hen it said that DAda8 ?ne: E2e his :i7eB and she concei2ed; and 6are CainE He8phasis 8ineI. It is a ter8 used 8an5 ti8es in the O1d #esta8ent to descri6e an inti8ate se>ua1 re1ationship. So :hen it sa5s Dthis is 1i7e eterna1; that the5 8i3ht ?no: thee the on15 true 'od; and 4esus Christ; :ho8 thou hast sent;E it@s sa5in3 that eterna1 1i7e is an inti8ate; persona1 re1ationship :ith 'od. #hat is :hat 4esus ca8e to purchase. #hat is the :ho1e purpose o7 sa12ation. As I said ear1ier; 'od didn@t =ust pit5 us and 8a?e a :a5 so :e :ou1dn@t die and 3o to he11B He 1o2ed us enou3h to ta?e a:a5 the sin; so :e cou1d enter into persona1 re1ationship :ith Hi8. Christianit5 is 6ased on re1ationship; not ru1es and re3u1ations. It is not =ust a doctrine. Other re1i3ions o7 the :or1d ha2e a doctrine. $an5 o7 the8 ha2e 8ora1 codes o7 conduct that are actua115 eJua1 to or stricter than Christianit5. Fut the thin3 the5@re 8issin3 is persona1 re1ationship :ith 'od. "o other re1i3ion on the 7ace o7 the earth can o77er that. 4esus de7ined eterna1 1i7e as inti8ate re1ationship :ith 'od. I 3ot a 1etter se2era1 5ears a3o 7ro8 a :o8an in the Hunts2i11e; #e>as; prison :ho :as in so1itar5 con7ine8ent
7or a se2ere cri8e and not e1i3i61e 7or paro1e 7or t:ent5 5ears. A7ter she entered prison; she had a 3enuine e>perience :ith the Lord and :as 6orn a3ain. She said she ?ne: 7or sure that she :as 6orn a3ain; and that i7 she :as to die; she :ou1d 3o to hea2en. #hat :as not her pro61e8. She 7e1t 1i?e her :ho1e 1i7e had 6een :asted. #he 7a8i15 that she 3re: up in had 6een tota115 dis3raced 65 her conduct. She had ruined her o:n persona1 7a8i15 1i7e. She :as 8arried and had ?ids; 6ut no: her hus6and had di2orced her. Her ?ids :ere :ithout a 8other 6ecause she :as in the state penitentiar5. She had a1so inter7ered in another 7a8i159her 2icti8@s. $an5 peop1e had 6een a77ected 65 her cri8e; and 8an5 1i2es ruined. #his :o8an 7e1t 1i?e a11 she had e2er 6een :as a pro61e8 to peop1e. She didn@t ha2e ce118ates 6ecause she :as in so1itar5 con7ine8ent; so she didn@t 3et to 8eet other peop1e and 7e1t she cou1dn@t redee8 her 1i7e 65 sharin3 the 'ospe1 :ith others. "o:; she :as 6orn a3ain; 6ut 6ein3 in prison; she 7e1t she :as a 1eech on societ5. #his :o8an :as so tota115 depressed and discoura3ed that she :as sa5in3; D'od; ta?e 8e ho8e. I :ant to die. I :ant to 3o ho8e. #here@s no purpose in 8e 1i2in3 here. A11 I@8 doin3 is occup5in3 space; 6reathin3 air so8eone e1se cou1d 6e usin3.E She 7e1t tota115 use1ess 6ecause o7 the 8enta1it5 that sa5s our net :orth to 'od is re1ated to e>act15 :hat :e can do 7or Hi8; ho: :e can produce. Fut she heard 8e on the radio and :rote to 8e. She e>p1ained the past situation; and then she said; DFut no: I understand that 'od 1o2es 8e not =ust 7or :hat I can do 7or Hi8; 6ut 'od 1o2es 8e. I can 61ess Hi8. I can 8inister 6ac? unto Hi8. I can 8a?e
85 1i7e count. I can 1o2e 'od. "o: I ha2e a purpose 7or 1i2in3. #he t:ent5 5ears unti1 85 paro1e :i11 see8 1i?e no ti8e no: 6ecause I can 8inister unto 'od. 'od is 61essed 65 85 praise.E #hat@s :hat eterna1 1i7e is a11 a6out. Our re1ationship :ith 'od has to 6e our 7oundation9the priorit5 a6o2e an5thin3 and e2er5thin3 e1se. #hat :o8an :as e>periencin3 8ore sa12ation; 8ore 7reedo8; and 8ore 1i6ert5 than 8ost Christians :ho ha2e ne2er 6een in =ai1. She :as 7orced to put her attention on the Lord and reco3niAe that this :as a11 she cou1d o77er Hi8.
The Effe(t!%eness Of The Ea ly Chu (h
That #h!(h #e ha%e seen and hea d de(la e #e unto you$ that ye also -ay ha%e fello#sh!p #!th us/ and t uly ou fello#sh!p !s #!th the ;athe $ and #!th h!s Son =esus Ch !st& And these th!n"s # !te #e unto you$ that you +oy -ay be full& 1 =ohn 1/942 #he ear15 "e: #esta8ent church had persona1 re1ationship :ith 'od; :hich is :h5 their 8essa3e :as so e77ecti2e. It is a historica1 7act that in the thirt5 5ears a7ter the resurrection o7 4esus; the "e: #esta8ent church e2an3e1iAed their ?no:n :or1d. "o: that is an a:eso8e state8ent* #hese peop1e didn@t ha2e the ad2anta3es o7 radio and te1e2ision; 8odern 8edia; or the 8eans o7 transportation that :e ha2e. #he5 :ere handicapped in
near15 e2er5 techno1o3ica1 area co8pared to :here :e are toda5; 5et the5 8ade a 3reater i8pact on their :or1d than :e@re 8a?in3 on ours. We@re du8pin3 6i11ions and 6i11ions o7 do11ars into preachin3 the 'ospe19a 3reat e77ort95et a 3roup o7 un1earned; uneducated peop1e; :ithout our present<da5 ad2ances and the a6i1it5 to tra2e1 1i?e :e can; 8ade a 3reater i8pact. I 6e1ie2e the di77erence can 6e 6oi1ed do:n to the 7act that peop1e :ere dra:n to their 8essa3e 6ecause o7 their persona1 re1ationship :ith the ,ather. Loo? at :hat their 8essa3e :as9'od 1o2es 5ou and created 5ou 7or 7e11o:ship. #he5 :eren@t preachin3 he11; da8nation; and repentance; :hich is the conte8porar5 8essa3e. #he5 :ere preachin3 that 'od created 8an?ind to ha2e re1ationship :ith Hi8. #he peop1e :ou1d as?; DHo: can I ha2e it E #he apost1es :ou1d rep15; DRepent o7 5our sins; and recei2e 4esus and the 7or3i2eness that@s a1read5 o77ered. It@s there 7or 5ou.E
Sat!sfy!n" Ou Sp! !tual Hun"e
#he apost1es 6rou3ht peop1e to re1ationship :ith 'od; and that@s :hat peop1e are hun3r5 7or. #here@s a desire; a dri2e; on the inside o7 e2er5 person 7or deep; inti8ate; persona1 re1ationship; 6ut it@s 6een so per2erted toda5. $an5 don@t 7u115 reco3niAe this dri2e; and the5 tr5 to 7u17i11 it in se>ua1 re1ationships or dru3 a6use or other thin3s. When the5 7ind out that@s not :here it@s at; the5 3o into so8e other ?ind o7 per2ersion; thin?in3 that the 1itt1e Ain3 the5 3et out o7 it :i11 satis75 that hun3er; 6ut it
doesn@t. #he on15 thin3 that is 3oin3 to satis75 peop1e@s hun3er in their hearts is persona1 re1ationship :ith the Lord. $an5 Christians 8a5 not 3et into i88ora1it5; adu1ter5; ho8ose>ua1it5; or other per2ersions; 6ut the5 do tr5 to 7i11 that 1on3in3 on the inside :ith ser2ice. #he5 6eco8e so 6us5 and so preoccupied :ith doin3 the Lord@s :or?; that the5 nu86 the8se12es to their o:n hun3er. #hat@s not :hat it@s a11 a6out. What i7 5ou :ere stranded on a desert is1and and cou1d no 1on3er do an5thin3 7or the Lord What i7 a11 5ou had :as =ust 5ou and 'od9no one e1se to 8inister to and nothin3 e1se to do Ho: :ou1d 5our re1ationship 6e
Ho# Do We Ceasu e Up>
I 6e1ie2e that the 2ast 8a=orit5 o7 Christians are consu8ed :ith as?in3 'od 7or thin3s; not 8inisterin3 unto 'od. I7 :e :ere to 6rea? Christians into t:o 3roups; carna1 and spiritua1; carna1 Christians spend the 8a=orit5 o7 their pra5er ti8e as?in3 'od speci7ica115 7or thin3s. It 8a5 6e 7or ph5sica1 needs; 7inancia1 needs; or e8otiona1 needs; 6ut it@s thin3s. Spiritua1 Christians :ho spend 8ost o7 their pra5er ti8e intercedin3 7or others to ha2e thin3s; e8otiona1; ph5sica1; or 7inancia1; are sti11 as?in3 'od 7or thin3s. Fut i7 5ou :ere stranded on a desert is1and and a11 o7 5our as?in3 7or thin3s 7or 5ourse17 or 7or others :as ta?en a:a5; :hat :ou1d 5our persona1 re1ationship :ith the Lord 6e 1i?e What i7 5ou didn@t ha2e to practice spiritua1 :ar7are and the on15 ones present :ere 5ou and 'od Wou1d 5ou ?no: 'od What i7 it :as 5ou in the 'arden o7
Eden co88unin3 :ith 'od a11 da5 Ho: :ou1d 5ou 8easure up I7 :e too? a:a5 a11 the ti8e :e spent as?in3 7or thin3s or intercedin3 7or others and 6oi1ed it do:n to ho: 8uch ti8e :e spend 8inisterin3 unto 'od and 1o2in3 Hi8; 8an5 Christians :ou1d co8e up short. Ho:e2er; that shou1d 6e the 6u1? o7 our pra5er. 'ut see. ye f! st the .!n"do- of *od$ and h!s !"hteousness, and all these th!n"s shall be added unto you& Catthe# 6/99 I7 :e :ou1d put the Lord 7irst; 1o2e Hi8; and 8inister unto Hi8; :e :ou1dn@t ha2e to spend so 8uch ti8e as?in3 7or thin3s9the5 :ou1d 6e added unto us. Eterna1 1i7e is re1ationship9c1ose; inti8ate; persona1 re1ationship :ith 'od. We need to 8a?e that the 7oca1 point o7 our 1i2es. I can sa5 7ro8 85 o:n persona1 1i7e that it@s so8ethin3 I constant15 ha2e to dea1 :ith. I don@t e2er =ust 8a?e a decision in this area and ne2er a3ain ha2e trou61e :ith it. Constant15; I ha2e to :ar a3ainst the thin3s o7 this :or1d that co8e in; :ant to occup5 85 ti8e; and ?eep 8e 7ro8 a persona1 re1ationship :ith 'od. It 8a5 6e e2en 8ore di77icu1t 7or 8inistersB it@s so eas5 to =usti75 not spendin3 8uch persona1 ti8e :ith the Lord; 6ecause :hat :e@re doin3 is so i8portant. Fut :hen :e reco3niAe that our 8inistr5 unto the Lord has such 3reat eterna1 2a1ue; it e1e2ates our re1ationship :ith the ,ather to such a hi3h priorit5 that :e can near15 =usti75 1ettin3 e2er5thin3 e1se 3o.
Our re1ationship :ith the Lord ?eeps e2er5thin3 in its proper order9spiritua115 and natura115. One pastor :as te11in3 8e that it had 6een 7our or 7i2e 5ears since he and his 7a8i15 had ta?en an5 ti8e o77. #he5 needed to 3et a:a5 7ro8 the 8inistr5 and spend ti8e :ith the Lord and :ith each other. So the5 p1anned their 2acation; and on the da5 the5 :ere supposed to 1ea2e; so8eone in their church died. Fecause he :as the pastor; the5 7e1t the5 had an o61i3ation to sta5 and 8inister to the 7a8i15. So the5 did. #he5 cance1ed their 2acation. It@s eas5 to 3et 6us5 and that in2o12ed in the 8inistr5; 6ut :e ha2e to rea1iAe 'od is a priorit5. #he Lord spo?e to 8e that i7 I e2er 3et to :here I a8 8ore concerned a6out 8inisterin3 to peop1e than I a8 a6out 8inisterin3 to Hi8; I@8 actua115 3oin3 to decrease the 1en3th o7 85 8inistr5. I@11 6eco8e ine77ecti2e. #he 2er5 thin3 that has caused 'od to anoint 8e and use 8e to 6e a 61essin3 to other peop1e is dependent upon 85 persona1 re1ationship :ith Hi8. I7 I 3et so 6us5 8inisterin3 to other peop1e that I ha2e no ti8e 7or 'od; I@11 shorten this 8inistr5 and actua115 reach 7e:er peop1e. E2en the Lord Hi8se17 :ou1d separate :ith His discip1es and escape the 8u1titude 6ecause the5 needed rest. #o ?eep thin3s in perspecti2e; so8eti8es :e ha2e to turn do:n opportunities to 8inister to peop1e. We can@t put o77 our persona1 ti8e :ith the Lord. #hat de2e1ops and stren3thens our re1ationship :ith Hi89that is :here :e e>perience eterna1 1i7e.
CHAPTER 1 ARCED AND DAN*EROUS
We esta61ished in chapter one that praise is stren3th. 4esus Juoted Psa18 /C2 to the Pharisees as He entered 4erusa1e8 and said Dper7ected praiseE in p1ace o7 Dordained stren3th.E #his stren3th stops the ene85B it sti11s the a2en3er. One o7 the 3reatest 6ene7its o7 praise is that it is such a po:er7u1 :eapon a3ainst the de2i1. #here is a tre8endous a8ount o7 teachin3 on spiritua1 :ar7are; and I 6e1ie2e that there@s a 1ot o7 truth out there. In 85 esti8ation; thou3h; there has 6een a 1ot o7 a6use too. I ha2e seen 8an5 peop1e 3et into :hat the5 are ca11in3 spiritua1 :ar7are; :hen actua115 it@s rather depressin3. #he5 are 7i3htin3 :ith the de2i1 and spendin3 8ore ti8e :ith the de2i1 than the5 are :ith 'od. #hat@s not ri3ht. P1ease don@t 8isunderstand. #here is a p1ace 7or 7i3htin3 a3ainst the de2i1 and resistin3 hi8; 6ut I a8 sa5in3 that praise is one o7 the 8ost po:er7u1 :eapons :e ha2e. It 1itera115 8a?es Satan 71ee in terror :hen :e 6e3in to praise 'od.
Wal.!n" In Gno#led"e
To del!%e su(h an one unto Satan fo the dest u(t!on of the flesh$ that the sp! !t -ay be sa%ed !n the day of the )o d =esus& 1 Co !nth!ans 3/3
To #ho- ye fo "!%e any th!n"$ I fo "!%e also/ fo !f I fo "a%e any th!n"$ to #ho- I fo "a%e !t$ fo you sa.es fo "a%e I !t !n the pe son of Ch !st, )est Satan should "et an ad%anta"e of us/ fo #e a e not !"no ant of h!s de%!(es& 0 Co !nth!ans 0/18411 In 1 Corinthians; Pau1 instructed the Corinthian church ho: to discip1ine a 8an :ho had 6een :ith his 7ather@s :i7e. He to1d the8 that the5 :ere to turn hi8 o2er to Satan. In 2 Corinthians; he to1d the peop1e that the 8an@s punish8ent :as enou3h9he had repented; and the5 shou1d recei2e hi8 6ac?. Un<7or3i2eness is one inroad that Satan has into our 1i2es. Pau1 is sa5in3 that i7 :e are i3norant o7 Satan@s de2ices; he has an opportunit5 to co8e a3ainst us. E2en thou3h these scriptures are ta1?in3 a6out un7or3i2eness; the princip1e is that i7 :e@re i3norant o7 ho: Satan operates; it can 3i2e the ene85 an opportunit5 a3ainst us. In order to reco3niAe Satan and his de2ices; :e need to understand that he is tota115 do8inated 65 se17< centeredness. He :ants e2er5thin3 7or hi8se17. An5thin3 that dra:s peop1e@s attention a:a5 7ro8 'od is a de2ice o7 the de2i1. It doesn@t a1:a5s ha2e to 6e so8ethin3 :e ca11 outri3ht sin. He@s not a1:a5s 3oin3 to 3et peop1e to :orship hi8 direct15; 6ut he can 3et the8 not to :orship 'od i7 the5 don@t ?no: his sche8es. #he 6est o77ense a3ainst the :a5s o7 the ene85 is to 3i2e peop1e ?no:1ed3e. )no:1ed3e is po:er. When :e 6e3in to understand ho: Satan attac?s us and ho: he operates;
:e can dea1 :ith those areas.
The De%!(es Of The Ene-y
I cou1d :rite a 2er5 1en3th5 1ist o7 a11 the de2ices o7 the ene85; 6ut su77ice it to sa5 that e2er5 sin31e tric? Satan has 7or 6e1ie2ers is desi3ned to ?eep us 7ro8 praisin3 and :orshipin3 'od. He sees the po:er that it re1eases in our 1i2es. He certain15 doesn@t :ant us to prosper and 6e in 3ood hea1th. $ost i8portant15; he doesn@t :ant the Lord to 6e :orshiped. I7 he can 3et us to stop praisin3 'od; :e ha2e ta?en a step to:ard the de2i1. When :e are praisin3 'od; :e are de7eatin3 the p1ans o7 the de2i1 and 7u17i11in3 the purpose o7 our creation. 'e sobe $ be %!"!lant, be(ause you ad%e sa y the de%!l$ as a oa !n" l!on$ #al.eth about$ see.!n" #hohe -ay de%ou / Who- es!st stedfast !n the fa!th$ .no#!n" that the sa-e affl!(t!ons a e a((o-pl!shed !n you b eth en that a e !n the #o ld& 1 Pete 3/145 Satan 3oes a6out see?in3 :ho8 he 8a5 de2our. He :ou1d 1o2e to de2our e2er5one; 6ut he can@t. He has to see? peop1e :ho :i11 a11o: hi8 to de2our the8. I don@t 6e1ie2e an5one intentiona115 sa5s; DYes; I :ant to 6e one o7 the peop1e that Satan ruins.E Fut 6ecause o7 6ad decisions; one o7 :hich is a decision not to praise 'od; :e 3i2e Satan an inroad into our 1i2es. It@s =ust 1i?e droppin3 our 3uard :hen :e@re in a 7i3ht. We a11o: Satan to ta?e 7ree punches at us.
Pe (ept!on O De(ept!on>
We 3i2e Satan too 8uch credit. Satan does not ha2e spiritua1 perception. He can@t understand spiritua1 thin3s; 6ut he is a 8aster o7 deception. He understands natura1 thin3s in the carna1 rea18. He can 6eat an5one in the natura1 rea18; 6ut :hen it co8es to operatin3 in the spirit rea18; he can@t co8pete. Ho#be!t #e spea. #!sdo- a-on" the- that a e pe fe(t/ yet not the #!sdo- of th!s #o ld$ no of the p !n(es of th!s #o ld$ that (o-e to nou"ht/ 'ut #e spea. the #!sdo- of *od !n a -yste y$ e%en the h!dden #!sdo-$ #h!(h *od o da!ned befo e the #o ld unto ou "lo y/ Wh!(h none of the p !n(es of th!s #o ld .ne#/ fo had they .no#n !t$ they #ould not ha%e ( u(!f!ed the )o d of "lo y& 1 Co !nth!ans 0/641 I7 the scri6es and Pharisees :ho :ere in opposition to the Lord :ou1d ha2e had an5 spiritua1 perception and :isdo8; the5 :ou1d not ha2e cruci7ied the Lord o7 31or5. 4esus prophesied 8an5 ti8es that He :ou1d die and 6e resurrected on the third da5. He e2en prophesied the 8ethod o7 His death. I7 the5 :ou1d ha2e had an5 spiritua1 perception; the5 :ou1d ha2e ?i11ed Hi8 an5 other :a5 than on a cross. In 7act; the5 :ou1d ha2e done an5thin3 e>cept ?i11 4esus; 6ecause He had prophesied His death and His triu8ph o2er it. Satan :as the dri2in3 7orce that 8oti2ated these peop1e to
co8e a3ainst 4esus; and Satan is the one :ho caused the8 to cruci75 Hi8. I7 the5 had operated in an5 7or8 o7 spiritua1 understandin3; the5 :ou1d ha2e ne2er cruci7ied Hi8. Yet Satan :ent ahead and 7u17i11ed e2er5thin3 'od had intended. He p1a5ed ri3ht into the hand o7 'od :hen he cruci7ied 4esus. 'ut the natu al -an e(e!%eth not the th!n"s of the Sp! !t of *od/ fo they a e fool!shness unto h!-/ ne!the (an he .no# the-$ be(ause they a e sp! !tually d!s(e ned& 1 Co !nth!ans 0/12 A person :ithout the Spirit o7 'od cannot rea115 recei2e spiritua1 truth. Satan is :ithout the Spirit o7 'od. Satan is spiritua115 stupid. E2en thou3h the 6oo? o7 Re2e1ation so c1ear15 prophesies the punish8ent and de7eat o7 Satan; he cannot co8prehend it. He cannot 6e1ie2e that :hat 'od has said is trueB there7ore he@11 p1a5 ri3ht into the hand o7 the Lord.
The Results Of Inte (ess!on
O1d #esta8ent intercession is 2er5 di77erent 7ro8 "e: #esta8ent intercession. In the O1d #esta8ent; the sacri7ice hadn@t 6een 8ade 5et. In the "e: #esta8ent; the sacri7ice o7 4esus Christ has 6een 8ade. It@s a si8p1e 8atter o7 ta?in3 the 2ictor5 that has a1read5 6een purchased and e>ecutin3 it. I don@t 6e1ie2e spiritua1 :ar7are has to 8a?e a person 1oo? 6eat do:n; depressed; sad; and discoura3ed. #hat@s not :hat spiritua1 :ar7are or intercession is a11 a6out.
In the O1d #esta8ent; there :as actua115 a p1eadin3 :ith 'od. In E>odus !2C0<12; $oses as?ed 'od to repent and not 6rin3 His :rath upon the Israe1ites 7or 8a?in3 and :orshipin3 the 3o1den ca17. A1so; a ?ind o7 6arterin3 :ent on 6et:een A6raha8 and 'od o2er the cities o7 Sodo8 and 'o8orrah H'en. 1/C2!<!!I. #hose ?inds o7 thin3s don@t :or? in the "e: #esta8ent. #hat is not the t5pe o7 intercession :e are to ha2e. Cy l!ttle (h!ld en$ of #ho- I t a%a!l !n b! th a"a!n unt!l Ch !st be fo -ed !n you& *alat!ans 2/15 Pau1 spea?s o7 tra2ai1in3 in the spirit; 6ut it has 6een so 61o:n out o7 proportion. I 6e1ie2e one o7 the thin3s that :ou1d put the "e: #esta8ent 8inistr5 o7 intercession and spiritua1 :ar7are 6ac? in its proper 6a1ance is i7 :e started operatin3 in praise. Praise :i11 61ind the de2i1 and dri2e hi8 a:a5 Juic?er than an5thin3 e1se :e can do. When intercessors operate in praise; the5 are 3oin3 to 7ocus their attention on the Ans:er instead o7 the pro61e8. #he5@re 3oin3 to :ind up spendin3 their ti8e :ith 'od instead o7 the de2i1.
Spend!n" Too Cu(h T!-e W!th The De%!l
When I 3ot rea115 e>cited 7or the Lord 6ac? in 10+/ and 6e3an castin3 de8ons out o7 peop1e; it :as a8aAin3 to 8e that so8e o7 the thin3s I had a1:a5s considered nor8a1 :eren@t so nor8a19so8e 6eha2iors actua115 had de8onic spirits 6ehind the8. #hat i88ediate15 3ot 85 attention; and I started seein3 a de8on on e2er5 door?no6* I
re8e86er e2er5 ti8e so8eone had a t:itch or a cou3h; I@d thin? it 8ust 6e a de8on. I 3ot to :here I :ou1d spend one to t:o hours a da5 6indin3 this spirit; 6indin3 that spirit; pra5in3 a3ainst the de2i1; and so on. 'od understood 85 heart. I 6e1ie2e 'od is =ust 1i?e a natura1 7ather. We see our chi1dren 3o throu3h thin3s that 8a5 6e out o7 6a1ance; 6ut that@s =ust part o7 1earnin3. We don@t 3et upset :ith the8; 6ut :e correct the8 and teach the8 the proper :a5. Durin3 that period; I had so8e 3reat ti8es :ith the Lord; 6ut I pro6a615 had 8ore de8onic pro61e8s than I shou1d ha2e9not necessari15 so8ethin3 on the inside o7 8e; 6ut Satan attac?ed 8e 8ore then than an5 ti8e since. I ?no: t:o or three occasions :here I ph5sica115 7ou3ht so8e de8onic 7orces. I cou1dn@t see the8; 6ut the5 :ere 3ra66in3 8e around the throat and cho?in3 8e. #here :ere ti8es I :ou1d :a?e up 7ro8 a drea8 and =ust 6e terri7ied and thin? It :as on15 a drea8; 6ut then I :ou1d 7ind 85se17 actua115 61eedin3 7ro8 so8ethin3 that happened to 8e. In 10-1; I tried to open a ha17:a5 house :here I cou1d ta?e in addicts and 8inister to the8. I rented a 1ar3e house that had 6een a 7raternit5 house; and it :as in7ested :ith de8ons. I :as there 65 85se17 1ate one ni3ht :hen I :as ph5sica115 attac?ed 65 a nu86er o7 de8ons. I 7ou3ht unti1 there :as 2ictor5; 6ut it :as not a p1easant e>perience* I ?no: Satan is rea1. Fut I a8 con2inced that one o7 the reasons I :as 6ein3 attac?ed 1i?e that :as 6ecause I :as spendin3 so 8uch ti8e thin?in3 a6out the de2i1. I :as tr5in3 to resist hi8; 6ut 85 attention :as so 8uch on the
de2i1 that I :as 8ore a:are o7 Satan@s po:er than I :as o7 'od@s po:er. ,ina115; the Lord 6e3an to 6rin3 8e out o7 this. I rea1iAed the error o7 85 :a5s and decided it had to stop. I 6e3an to thin?; I don@t ha2e to spend a11 85 ti8e re6u?in3 and castin3 do:n e2er5 possi61e thin3 that cou1d co8e a3ainst 8e. I7 I :ou1d =ust 6e3in to praise 'od and :a1? :ith Hi8... #he 6est de7ense is a 3ood o77ense. I7 I@8 in co88union :ith 'od; that :i11 auto8atica115 stop a 1ot o7 the attac?s o7 the de2i1. As I 6e3an to i8p1e8ent that in 85 1i7e; I sa: a chan3e in 85 spiritua1 :ar7are. I sti11 see de8ons cast out. So8eti8es; the Lord :i11 3i2e 8e a :ord o7 ?no:1ed3e o2er so8eone I a8 pra5in3 7or; and the de8ons :i11 co8e out screa8in3; ?ic?in3; and 5e11in3. Fut I don@t spend hard15 an5 ti8e ta1?in3 to the de2i1; 6ecause I ha2e 1earned that praise is stren3th to sti11 the ene85 and the a2en3er. As I ?eep 85 co88union :ith 'od; as I :orship and praise Hi8; as I ?eep 85 attitude strai3ht and 85 8ind sta5ed upon the Lord and His Word; the Lord ?eeps 8e in per7ect peace. #hat is 85 i88uniAation a3ainst the de2i1. Since those ear15 5ears o7 85 :a1? :ith the Lord; I a8 seein3 8ore 2ictories o2er the de2i1 :ith 1ess e77ort. I depend on praise and :orship to 'od as 85 :eapon that sti11s the ene85; and it@s 6een decades since I ha2e had an5 8ani7estation o7 Satan ph5sica115 attac?in3 8e. Praise is a po:er7u1 :eapon. In the 8idst o7 a11 o7 the spiritua1 :ar7are teachin3; :e need to 3i2e pree8inence to praise. A 1ot o7 peop1e :ou1d 6e 6etter o77 i7 the5 spent 1ess ti8e ta1?in3 to the de2i1 and 8uch 8ore ti8e praisin3 'od 7or :ho He is. I7 the5 :ou1d praise 'od 7or the
positi2e; the5 :ou1dn@t ha2e to spend so 8uch ti8e on the ne3ati2e.
Satan Gno#s He Is Defeated
Satan ?no:s his da5s are nu86ered; so he is tr5in3 his 6est to th:art the p1ans o7 'od 7or peop1e@s 1i2es. Persona115; I 6e1ie2e that@s the reason Christ8as has 6een co8pro8ised as a Christian ho1ida5. Satan has su6stituted a 6i3; =o115 8an in a 6ri3ht red suit 7or the Lord 4esus. He is tr5in3 to dra: peop1e a:a5 7ro8 the true :orship o7 'od. Ho:e2er; e2en :ith a11 o7 its co88ercia1iAation; Christ8as has i8pacted the secu1ar :or1d to such a de3ree that durin3 the ho1ida5s; I can :a1? into a depart8ent store that nor8a115 is p1a5in3 secu1ar 8usic and hear son3s 1i?e D4o5 to the Wor1dE and others that 31ori75 'od. Peop1e :ho don@t thin? a6out 'od an5 other ti8e o7 the 5ear are 6o86arded :ith the 'ospe1 durin3 the Christ8as season. I 3et e>cited a6out that; and I rea1iAe that Satan can@t stand it. He 8a5 6e success7u1 :ith a 7e: a peop1e; 6ut o2era11; he ?no:s he@s a1read5 de7eated. #han?s3i2in3 in the United States is one o7 the 3od1iest ho1ida5s :e ha2e; 6ecause it is a da5 that :as set aside 7or nothin3 6ut than?s3i2in3 and praise to:ard 'od 7or the a6undance o7 thin3s. It is :hat I ca11 a pure ho1ida5. Yet it has near15 6een passed o2er :ith a11 the other thin3s; such as 7oot6a11 3a8es and the a7ter<#han?s3i2in3Opre< Christ8as sa1es. We need to 6e a:are o7 Satan@s de2ices; :hich 8a5 see8 so innocent; and purpose in our hearts and 8inds to sta5 in an attitude o7 praise.
Satan Cannot Stand P a!se
Satan :as the de8onic spiritua1 po:er 6ehind the ?in3 o7 Fa651on. In Isaiah 1%; ta1?in3 a6out the de8ise o7 Satan; Isaiah spea?s this para61e a3ainst the ?in3 o7 Fa651onC Ho# hath the opp esso (easedI the "olden (!ty (easedI The )ORD hath b o.en the staff of the #!(.ed$ and the s(ept e of the ule s& He #ho s-ote the people !n # ath #!th a (ont!nual st o.e$ he that uled the nat!ons !n an"e $ !s pe se(uted$ and none h!nde eth& The #hole ea th !s at est$ and !s <u!et/ they b ea. fo th !nto s!n"!n"& Yea$ the f! t ees e+o!(e at thee$ and the (eda s of )ebanon$ say!n"$ S!n(e thou a t la!d do#n$ no felle !s (o-e up a"a!nst us& Hell f o- beneath !s -o%ed fo thee to -eet thee at thy (o-!n"/ !t st! eth up the dead fo thee$ e%en all the (h!ef ones of the ea th, !t hath a!sed up f o- the! th ones all the .!n"s of the nat!ons& All they shall spea. and say unto thee$ A t thou also be(o-e #ea. as #e> a t thou be(o-e l!.e unto us> Thy po-p !s b ou"ht do#n to the " a%e$ and the no!se of thy %!ols/ the #o - !s sp ead unde thee$ and the #o -s (o%e thee&
Ho# a e thou fallen f o- hea%en$ O )u(!fe $ son of the -o n!n"I ho# a t thou (ut do#n to the " ound$ #h!(h d!dst #ea.en the nat!onsI ;o thou hast sa!d !n th!ne hea t$ I #!ll as(end !nto hea%en$ I #!ll e?alt -y th one abo%e the sta s of *od/ I #!ll s!t also upon the -ount of the (on" e"at!on$ !n the s!des of the no th/ I #!ll as(end abo%e the he!"hts of the (louds, I #!ll be l!.e the -ost H!"h& Isa!ah 12/2412 #he on15 ti8e Satan is ca11ed Luci7er in the Fi61e is in Isaiah 1%C12. #he Scripture c1ear15 3i2es us the intent o7 Luci7er@s heart :hen he trans3ressed and re6e11ed a3ainst 'od. I7 :e rea115 thin? a6out :hat the 8oti2es :ere in Satan@s re6e11ion; it cou1d tota115 chan3e our i8pression a6out Satan. $ost peop1e thin? Satan is a tota1 per2ert; that he 31ories in a11 the thin3s 'od hates. Fut Isaiah 1%C12<1% sho:s us =ust the opposite. Satan actua115 1o2ed a11 the thin3s 'od had9the praise; the :orship; the 31or5; and the honor. Satan@s sin :as not hatin3 e2er5thin3 'od 1i?edB rather; he co2eted the thin3s o7 'od. Satan :anted to D6e 1i?e the 8ost Hi3h.E Satan@s rea1 sin :as =ea1ous5 o7 'od. EAe?ie1 2/C1% sa5s he :as Dthe anointed cheru6 that co2ereth.E Cheru6i8 are an3e1ic 6ein3s :ho :ere p1aced o2er the 8erc5 seat to protect the Ho15 o7 Ho1ies HE>. 2(C10I. So Satan :as a created 6ein3; an an3e1ic 6ein3 o7 'od. He :as the Danointed cheru6 that co2ereth.E #hat :as a hi3h
position. So8e peop1e specu1ate that he :as an archan3e1; the position that the an3e1 $ichae1 no: ho1ds H4ude 0I. #hat :ou1d 8ean he :as in char3e o7 a11 the other an3e1s. He :asn@t satis7ied :ith that. He :anted the 31or5; the honor; and the praise that :ent to 'od a1one. #hat :as his trans3ression. I :i11 3rant that Satan is the author o7 a11 per2ersion and e2er5thin3 that is anti<'od. Fut I 6e1ie2e the reason he pu11s peop1e in that direction is that he@s tr5in3 to dra: the8 a:a5 7ro8 'od. He is insane15 =ea1ous o7 'od; and that 3i2es us a 6etter understandin3 o7 :h5 praise to 'od is stren3th to sti11 the ene85. $an5 peop1e a1so thin? Satan :as anointed in the area o7 8usic. He :anted 7or hi8se17 a11 the praise; the :orship; and the 8usic that :as 3oin3 up to 'od 65 the an3e1ic 6ein3s; so 'od o2erthre: hi8. #o this da5; Satan is dri2en 65 =ea1ous5.
What P a!se Does To Satan
When :e praise and :orship 'od; it re8inds Satan o7 his de7eat. Praise to 'od tor8ents hi8; so 8uch that he e2en tried to 3et 4esus to :orship hi8. When Satan ca8e a3ainst 4esus in the :i1derness; 4esus :as =ust 6e3innin3 His 8inistr5. Satan presented 4esus :ith three te8ptations; one o7 :hich :as 8ateria1 3ain to tr5 to 3et 4esus to :orship hi8. A3ain; the de2i1 ta?eth hi8 up into an e>ceedin3 hi3h 8ountain; and she:eth hi8 a11 the ?in3do8s o7 the :or1d; and the 31or5 o7 the8B
And sa!th unto h!-$ All these th!n"s #!ll I "!%e thee$ !f thou #!lt fall do#n and #o sh!p -e& Catthe# 2/145 Satan does the sa8e thin3 to us toda5. He te8pts us :ith 8ateria1 3ain to tr5 to 3et us to :orship an5thin3 6ut 'od. #his 3oes 6ac? to the 2er5 heart o7 :hat I@2e said9Satan has a1:a5s desired the :orship that :as intended and reser2ed 7or 'od a1one. #his sho:s ho: i8portant the area o7 praise is to Satan. Satan to1d 4esus he :ou1d 3i2e up e2er5thin3 he had in e>chan3e 7or the praise reser2ed 7or 'od a1one. He :as and is a 7anatic a6out this* He is tota115 craA5. Fut Satan is not stupid.* He is an ene85 to 6e rec?oned :ith. We can@t ta?e hi8 1i3ht159he@s 6een at this 7or thousands o7 5ears. Ho:e2er; his e>tre8e =ea1ous5 has tota115 per2erted his thin?in3; and an5ti8e a person 6e3ins to praise 'od; Satan cannot hand1e it. Satan cannot stand praise to 'od. #he ne>t ti8e 5ou 7ind 5ourse17 6ein3 te8pted to sin; 6ein3 attac?ed; or 7acin3 so8e pro61e8; 1i7t 5our 2oice to hea2en and start praisin3 'od. I 3uarantee 5ou that not on15 :i11 5ou 7ee1 the peace o7 'od co8e upon 5ou; 6ut 5ou :i11 ?no: the de2i1 is de7eated in :hate2er area 5ou@re doin3 6att1e. In rea1it5; 5ou are =ust 6ein3 a doer o7 the Word. Sub-!t you sel%es the efo e to *od& Res!st the de%!l$ and he #!ll flee f o- you& =a-es 2/7
The Gey To B!(to y
I :ent to Ro8e ri3ht out o7 hi3h schoo1; and I re8e86er readin3 accounts o7 the Christians :ho :ere 6urned at the sta?e and thro:n to the 1ions in the Circus $a>i8us and the Co1osseu8 in Ro8e. #here are actua1 reports o7 e8perors :ho stuc? their 7in3ers in their ears and screa8ed out; DWh5 do these Christians sin3 as :e ?i11 the8 E It :as reported that Christians :ou1d :orship and praise 'od e2en in the 2er5 1ast sta3es o7 death; and the e8perors cou1dn@t hand1e it. Peop1e are a7raid o7 :hat the5 can@t understand; and I 6e1ie2e the de2i1 has the sa8e reaction. I7 5ou :ant to tor8ent the de2i1; start praisin3 'od. It :i11 dri2e hi8 a:a5. I7 5ou :ant to con7use the de2i1; start praisin3 'od. )et the h!"h p a!ses of *od be !n the! -outh$ and a t#oed"ed s#o d !n the! hand, To e?e(ute %en"ean(e upon the heathen$ and pun!sh-ents upon the people, To b!nd the! .!n"s #!th (ha!ns$ and the! nobles #!th fette s of ! on, To e?e(ute upon the- the +ud"-ent # !tten/ th!s honou ha%e all h!s sa!nts& P a!se ye the )ORD& Psal- 125/645 Praise and the Word o7 'od coup1ed to3ether is ho: :e e>ecute 2en3eance and =ud38ent upon our ene85; the de2i1. #hese :arriors had t:o<ed3ed s:ords in their hands; :hich is the Word; 6ut the5 had hi3h praises o7
'od on their 1ips. #o3ether; the5 :ere a 7orce to 6e rec?oned :ith. #his is a2ai1a61e to a11 6e1ie2ers. Don@t :ait 7or 5our circu8stances to chan3e 6e7ore 5ou praise 'od. Praisin3 'od :i11 8a?e 5our circu8stances chan3e. Your praise terroriAes the ene85. It para15Aes Satan. It neutra1iAes his po:er in 5our 1i7e*
CHAPTER 5 HOW PRAISE A;;ECTS *OD
We@2e 1oo?ed at ho: praise a77ects us and ho: praise a77ects Satan; 6ut I 6e1ie2e the :a5 praise a77ects 'od is the 8ost i8portant. I ?no: that@s a re1ati2e15 su6=ecti2e state8ent; 6ecause it depends on :here 5ou are. I7 5ou@re in hand<to<hand co86at :ith the de2i1; it 8i3ht 6e 8ore i8portant 7or 5ou to 1earn ho: praise is stren3th a3ainst the ene85. I7 5ou@re tor8ented in 5our 8ind and 5ou@re stru331in3 :ith di77erent issues; 5ou 8i3ht 7ee1 that it@s 8ore i8portant to ?no: ho: praise a77ects the indi2idua1. Fut as 7ar as ta?in3 a11 o7 these thin3s and 1istin3 the8 accordin3 to si3ni7icance; I 6e1ie2e ho: praise a77ects 'od 8a?es the top o7 the 1ist.
C!n!ste !n" To *od
No# the e #e e !n the (hu (h that #as at Ant!o(h (e ta!n p ophets and tea(he s, as 'a nabas$ and S!-eon that #as (alled N!"e $ and )u(!us of Cy ene$ and Canaen$ #h!(h had been b ou"ht up #!th He od the tet a (h$ and Saul& As they -!n!ste ed to the )o d$ and fasted$ the Holy *host sa!d$ Sepa ate -e 'a nabas and Saul fo the #o . #he eunto I ha%e (alled the-& A(ts 19/140 $an5 ti8es; :e s?i8 this 2erse and 7ocus on the resu1ts.
We ta1? a6out ho: this :as the 6e3innin3 o7 Pau1@s 8inistr5 and ho: 1itera115 hundreds o7 thousands o7 peop1e :ere a77ected in his 1i7eti8e. #hen :e 1oo? to his 1eadership and at the 6oo?s he 1e7t 6ehind. He :rote a6out ha17 o7 the "e: #esta8ent* Pau1 a77ected the :or1d 7ore2er. When the Ho15 Spirit ca11ed Farna6as and Sau1; this :as a 2er5 pi2ota1 ti8e in the histor5 o7 the church. Ho:e2er; here is an a:eso8e state8ent :e usua115 don@t noticeC DAs the5 8inistered to the LordE HActs 1!C2I. "o: the 7irst ti8e I rea115 read this; that :ord 8inistered =u8ped out at 8e. I =ust sat 6ac? and :as a8aAed. I thou3ht; Ho: do :e 8inister to the Lord I thou3ht 8inisterin3 8eant preachin3 or teachin3; or it cou1d 6e ser2in3 or doin3 so8ethin3 7or others. Fut ho: can :e 8inister to the Lord Ho: are :e to ser2e Hi8 in that :a5 I ?ne: one :a5 o7 8inisterin3 to the Lord :as 65 8inisterin3 to other peop1e. Peter@s 8other<in<1a: had a 7e2er H$att. /C1%I. 4esus :ent into their house; touched her hand; and the 7e2er 1e7t her. It sa5s then that she D8inistered unto the8E H$att. /C1(I. It@s 2er5 c1ear that she did so8e o7 the househo1d duties the :o8en o7 those da5s :ou1d doC she too? their coats; :ashed their 7eet; 7i>ed 7ood 7or the8; etc. #hat@s 8inistr5. I@8 not 8ini8iAin3 that at a11; 6ut that :as the on15 concept o7 8inistr5 to others I had. In Acts 1!C1<2; it@s 2er5 c1ear that these peop1e :ere 7astin3 and pra5in3 and 8inisterin3 to the Lord. #he5 :eren@t out ser2in3 other peop1e; pra5in3 7or the sic?; or :itnessin3 to the 1ost. #he5 had co8e to3ether 7or the purpose o7 separatin3 the8se12es and see?in3 'od. #he5 :ere there :orshipin3 the Lord. #he5 :ere 31ori75in3
'od. As I 6e3an to see this; a11 o7 a sudden I rea1iAed that 'od desires 8inistr5. P1ease don@t 8isunderstand 8e. I@8 not sa5in3 there is 1ac? or inadeJuac5 in 'od. 'od is co8p1ete. He is se17< contained. I7 none o7 us e>isted; He :ou1d sti11 6e a11< su77icient. He that lo%eth not .no#eth not *od, fo *od !s lo%e& 1 =ohn 2/1 We 8ust 1oo? at it throu3h the perspecti2e that 'od is 1o2e. An5 peop1e :ho 1o2e not on15 ha2e a desire to sho: that 1o2e; 6ut the5 a1so ha2e a desire to ha2e 1o2e returned unto the8. 'od not on15 1o2es us; 6ut He has a need in the sense that He desires us to 1o2e Hi8. #hat is the :a5 it@s supposed to 6e. It isn@t inconcei2a61e that So8eone :ho 1o2ed us enou3h to send His Son to su77er sha8e and die 7or us cou1d a1so 3et 61essed :hen :e te11 Hi8 that :e 1o2e Hi8. An o1d re1i3ious attitude te11s us :e@re so un:orth5 that :e can@t 61ess 'od; and the on15 thin3 :e can do is ser2e Hi8 as an un:orth5 s1a2e. #hat@s not so* 'od chan3ed us. We are no: the ri3hteousness o7 'od in Christ; and He desires our 1o2e. To the p a!se of the "lo y of h!s " a(e$ #he e!n he hath -ade us a((epted !n the belo%ed& Ephes!ans 1/6 #his is :hat :as 6ehind the creation o7 8an in the 7irst p1ace. Ear1ier in the 6oo?; :e 6rou3ht out the point that
praise and :orship are 7i11in3 hea2en ri3ht no:. #he Fi61e a1so sa5s that 'od has created a11 thin3s 7or His p1easure HRe2. %C1G<11I. #he ori3ina1 purpose 7or creation and sti11 His purpose 7or creation toda5 is that9His p1easure. E2er5thin3 :as created 7or His p1easure. Fut :e 3et so ser2ice oriented; thin?in3 What does this acco8p1ish Who is this 3oin3 to touch that 8an5 ti8es :e 7or3et that i7 it 61esses 'od and 8inisters unto Hi8; it doesn@t necessari15 ha2e to 6e touchin3 so8eone e1se. An e>a8p1e o7 this ca8e :hen I :ent on 2acation :ith 85 7a8i15 in the Co1orado 8ountains. We 1i?e to 3o :here other peop1e don@t 3o. We don@t 1i?e to 3o to the 6i3 cities. ,or 8e; a 2acation 8eans 3ettin3 a:a5 and ha2in3 ti8e :ith =ust 85 7a8i15. We dro2e as 7ar as :e cou1d on this dirt road. #hen :e 3ot out and :a1?ed as 7ar as the trai1 :ent. #hen :e =ust too? out on our o:n. We :ere up so8e:here around 12;GGG 7eet; and as :e ca8e o2er one o7 the 8ountains; :e 1oo?ed do:n and sa: this 1a?e. It :as a 6eauti7u1 1a?e; :ith the 8ountains a11 around; and 6eside this 1a?e :as a 8eado:. "o:; in the 8ountains; the 3ro:in3 season is short; 6ut :e happened to hit it =ust per7ect15. We sa: so8e o7 the 8ost 6eauti7u1 :i1d71o:ers I@d e2er seen9so8e o7 the8 7our and 7i2e 7eet ta11. I had ne2er seen an5thin3 1i?e the8 6e7ore; and as I :as standin3 there 1oo?in3 at a11 o7 this; I :as =ust a8aAed. I 6e3an to thin? a6out 'od. I thou3ht; #his is a8aAin3* #his is a:eso8e* #he e77ort You put into this 1itt1e spot9a11 o7 these 71o:ers. $an; in a11 o7 his 3reat :isdo8 and techno1o35; cou1dn@t reproduce one o7 these 71o:ers9 e2en i7 a11 the scientists co86ined their e77orts9and there :ere thousands and thousands o7 these 71o:ers. #he
thou3ht a1so occurred to 8e that in =ust a :ee? or so; the5 :ou1d a11 6e 3one. #here :as a 2er5 3ood possi6i1it5 that no one 6ut us :ou1d see these 71o:ers; 6ecause I didn@t ?no: i7 an5one e1se had e2er 6een up there. As I :as thin?in3 a6out a11 this; I said to 4a8ie; DIsn@t this a:eso8e; that the Lord :ent to a11 o7 this e77ort As 7ar as :e ?no:; :e@re the on15 peop1e :ho ha2e co8e this direction and ha2e seen this. 'od :ent to a11 o7 that e77ort =ust 7or us.E And I 6e1ie2e that 'od :ou1d do so8ethin3 1i?e that* 4a8ie then Juoted Re2e1ation %C11 to 8e; D,or th5 p1easure the5 are and :ere created.E She said; DIt :ou1dn@t ha2e 8attered i7 an56od5 :ou1d ha2e seen it. 'od 3ot p1easure out o7 these thin3s that He@s 8ade.E And a11 o7 a sudden; it rea115 san? in. #his :as the sa8e thin3 the Lord had 6een sho:in3 8e9'od 3ets 61essed 7ro8 His creation* 'od desires to recei2e p1easure 7ro8 the thin3s He created and 8ade. In 85 8ind; I thou3ht; Who did He do this 7or #here has to 6e so8e person this :ou1d 8inister to. #here has to 6e so8e 2a1ue to it. 'od :ou1dn@t put a11 o7 this e77ort into so8ethin3 7or no one to see. Fut that@s :ron3 thin?in3; 6ecause 'od 3ot p1easure out o7 it. $an5 ti8es; :hen it co8es to our re1ationship :ith the Lord; :e do the sa8e thin3. We thin? the on15 :a5 :e can 8inister unto 'od is 65 ser2in3 Hi8 throu3h touchin3 other peop1e@s 1i2es; 65 :or?in3 in a church; :itnessin3 to peop1e; or pra5in3 and intercedin3 on 6eha17 o7 others. "o:; that does 8inister unto the Lord; and I a8 not 8ini8iAin3 that. I a8 sa5in3 that another area o7 8inisterin3 unto the Lord 8ost Christians ha2e not seen
is that 'od created us 7or His p1easure.
'e!n" Int!-ate W!th *od
'od 1o2es us. He :ants our praise and :orship. Praise 8inisters unto Hi8. Praise 61esses 'od. I7 praise had no other 6ene7it; then that :ou1d 6e reason enou3h to praise Hi8. 'od has 3i2en us e2er5thin3. He 1itera115 6an?rupted hea2en. He too? the 8ost precious thin3 hea2en had; the Lord 4esus; and sent Hi8 to this earth to redee8 us. He did a11 o7 these thin3s 7or us; and 'od 1on3s and desires 7or us to praise and :orship Hi8. I 8arried 85 :i7e; 4a8ie; 6ecause I 1o2ed her. When I proposed to her; I said; D4a8ie; I :ant 5ou to share the rest o7 85 1i7e :ith 8e.E I :anted her to share e2er5thin3 :ith 8e. 4a8ie is an e>ce11ent :i7e. She coo?s; c1eans the house; :ashes the c1othes; and does a 1ot to ta?e care o7 our ho8e. She runs a ti3ht ship around our house. She is a per7ectionist at or3aniAation. She e2en a1pha6etiAes her spices* Fut she 6a1ances 8e; 6ecause I@8 not that :a5 at a11. I7 an5thin3 is 8isp1aced in our house; a11 I ha2e to do is sit do:n and thin?; "o: :hat is the 1o3ica1 thin3 to do Where :ou1d this 6e i7 it :as in its proper p1ace I thin? a6out :hat 4a8ie :ou1d do :ith it and 3o 7ind it. She is =ust as predicta61e as she can 6e. We 1i2e :a5 up on a 8ountain; and our shoes 3et rea115 dirt5B :e ha2e an entr5:a5 in the house :here she as?s us to ta?e our shoes o77. I ha2e to 6e honest and ad8it I don@t a1:a5s do it; 6ut I appreciate the 7act that she is tr5in3 to ?eep our house c1ean and 8a?e it a co87orta61e p1ace to 1i2e. #hat adds to our 8arria3e*
Ho:e2er; i7 it e2er 3ot to a p1ace :here she :as 8ore concerned a6out e>terna1 thin3s than our persona1 re1ationship; those 2er5 thin3s she does :ou1d cease to 8inister and 6e a 61essin3 to 8e. It :ou1d 3et to :here I :ou1d hate the8. I7 she 5e11ed; D#a?e o77 5our shoes or don@t co8e into this house*E e2er5 ti8e I 7or3ot; and :as 8ore concerned a6out the carpet than she :as a6out 8e; that :ou1d not 61ess 8e. It :ou1dn@t 8inister unto 8e. I can 3o out and hire a coo?. I can hire so8eone to c1ean 85 house. I7 a11 I :anted :as ser2ice; I cou1d ha2e done it :ithout 3ettin3 8arried. #hat@s not :hat 8arria3e is a11 a6out. #hat is not the 7ocus o7 8arria3e. You cannot 6ui1d a 8arria3e 6ased on a c1ean house; c1ean dishes; and c1ean c1othes. $arria3e is a6out re1ationship; and praise 'od; 4a8ie is a tre8endous 61essin3 to 8e. Fecause her 7irst priorit5 is inti8ac5 :ith 8e; e2er5thin3 e1se she does 7or 8e 6eco8es a 61essin3. It@s the sa8e thin3 in our re1ationship :ith the Lord. Yes; 'od :ants us to ser2e Hi8 throu3h 8inisterin3 to other peop1e; throu3h pra5in3 7or the8; and doin3 3ood thin3s 7or others. Fut that is not a su6stitute 7or our persona1 re1ationship :ith 'od. I 7ee1 that in 8ost cases; Christians don@t thin? the5 rea115 ha2e an5thin3 persona1 to 3i2e to 'od e>cept their ser2ice. When 8ost peop1e co8e to the Lord; the5 ha2e the attitude; D'od; I@8 the one in need. You ha2e no need :hatsoe2er.E It@s a 8enta1it5 o7 6ein3 tota115 need5. We do ha2e needs. We are the ones :ith a11 the 7ai1ures and 7au1ts in our 1i2es. Fut it is not tota115 accurate to see 'od as ha2in3 no need; thin?in3 there is nothin3 :e can do 7or Hi8 e>cept ser2e. 'od needs us. He desires us. And
:e can 8inister unto Hi89not throu3h preachin3 at Hi8; not throu3h =ust doin3 so8ethin3 7or Hi8; 6ut throu3h 1o2in3 Hi8 direct15. #hat 8inisters unto 'od. #o thin? that 85 net :orth to 'od is :hat I can do 7or Hi8 or ho: :e11 I per7or8 is 8issin3 :hat sa12ation is a11 a6out. 'od isn@t =ust usin3 us as too1s to reach others; to reconci1e the :or1d to Hi8se17; or to a8ass 3reat nu86ers o7 7o11o:ers. I 6e1ie2e that the Lord :ou1d ha2e died 7or 8e i7 I :as the on15 person on the 7ace o7 the earth. I 6e1ie2e He :ou1d ha2e 8ade an atone8ent 7or 8e i7 I had no one e1se to 8inister to and nothin3 to acco8p1ish 7or Hi8. 'od =ust 1o2es 8e; and He :ants 85 praise and :orship in return. What *od Really Wants ; o- Us I thin? so8e peop1e 6e1ie2e 'od 7e1t o61i3ated to sa2e usC He :as our Creator; and thin3s 3ot so 8essed up that He had to pro2ide a :a5 out 7or us. #he5 ca11 that o61i3ation 1o2e. #he5 Juote 4ohn !C1+; D'od so 1o2ed the :or1d;E and :hen it co8es to app15in3 it to their 1i2es; the5 don@t see it as 'od@s passionate 1o2e 7or the8. #he5 see it 8ore as pit5. And no: that their sins are 7or3i2en; the on15 thin3 the5 can do is pa5 their de6t. #he5@2e 3ot to 3o out and ser2e 'od; do this and do that; and o77er 'od a11 o7 the thin3s the5@2e done. #he5 thin? that p1eases Hi8. O7 course; I@8 not sa5in3 it doesn@t p1ease 'od to ser2e Hi8; 6ut it doesn@t p1ease 'od i7 :e su6stitute thin3s 7or ourse12es. 'od :ants us. Praise is 3i2in3 o7 ourse12es to 'od9e>pressin3 our 1o2e and :orship to Hi8. #hat 8inisters to 'od. We can do thin3s 7or the Lord; 6ut :e can do nothin3 7or Hi8 unti1 :e ha2e 7irst 3i2en ourse12es unto Hi8. We ha2e 3i2en 'od e2er5thin3 6ut ourse12es.
Fut 'od :ants us. He 1on3s 7or us to 1o2e Hi8. #his is rea115 the 8ost i8portant aspect o7 praise. As :e 3i2e o7 ourse12es; e2er5thin3 e1se :i11 7a11 into p1ace. 'oin3 6ac? to the co8parison I 3a2e a6out 85 :i7e and her ser2in3 8e; that@s not the reason I 8arried her. I 8arried her 7or a re1ationship. I7 she 3ot to :here she e>a1ted the ser2ice o2er 8e; the 2er5 thin3s that no: 61ess 8e :ou1d actua115 repu1se 8e. #hat@s e>act15 :hat 'od e>pressed in the O1d #esta8ent. 'od co88anded that sacri7ices 6e o77ered. He co88anded the peop1e to 7o11o: Hi8 throu3h a11 o7 the so1e8n 7easts; the 7east o7 ta6ernac1es; the da5 o7 atone8ent; and a11 o7 the di77erent ritua1s. Yet; in Isaiah 1; :e 7ind that 'od@s peop1e had 6eco8e re6e11ious9their hearts had turned a:a5 7ro8 the Lord; and a11 the5 o77ered :as =ust a ritua1. #he5 had no heart 7or 'od. #he5 :ere =ust 3oin3 throu3h the 8otions; and their hearts :ere separated 7ro8 'od. DThe -ult!tude of you sa( !f!(esK#hat a e they to -e>F says the )ORD& DI ha%e -o e than enou"h of bu nt offe !n"s$ of a-s and the fat of fattened an!-als, I ha%e no pleasu e !n the blood of bulls and la-bs and "oats& When you (o-e to appea befo e -e$ #ho has as.ed th!s of you$ th!s t a-pl!n" of -y (ou ts> Stop b !n"!n" -ean!n"less offe !n"sIF Isa!ah 1/11419$ NIB
#hose :ere thin3s that 'od co88anded. #he5 :ere ri3ht thin3s to do; 6ut the Lord :as sa5in3; DI don@t :ant 5our ser2ice. #hose :ere =ust e>pressions; pictures; t5pes; and e>a8p1es o7 :hat shou1d 6e re71ected in 5our hearts. I7 5ou aren@t 3oin3 to 3i2e $e 5our hearts; then a:a5 :ith this other stu77.E I 6e1ie2e 'od cou1d 1oo? do:n at 8uch o7 our re1i3ious o6ser2ance toda5 and see a si8i1ar picture. Peop1e are 3oin3 to church; pa5in3 their tithes; 1i2in3 ho15; and doin3 a11 o7 these thin3s; 5et 'od is not p1eased 6ecause He doesn@t ha2e their hearts. 'od 1o2es 5ou; persona115. 'od 1on3s 7or 5ou to ha2e persona1; inti8ate co88union :ith Hi8. I #!ll bless the )ORD at all t!-es/ h!s p a!se shall (ont!nually be !n -y -outh& Psal- 92/1 $ost peop1e don@t ?no: :hat the :ord 61ess 8eans :hen the5 see it in Scripture. It has 6eco8e a re1i3ious :ord that the5 don@t rea115 thin? a6out. I@2e heard peop1e sa5; DF1ess the Lord; 61ess the Lord; 61ess the Lord.E #he5 thin? that 65 repeatin3 those :ords the5 are 61essin3 the Lord. "ot necessari15. When the Scripture sa5s to 61ess the Lord; it isn@t sa5in3 to recite those :ords. E>pressin3 our 1o2e and :orship to 'od 61esses Hi8. #his is a radica1 concept to 8ost peop1e; 6ecause it doesn@t in2o12e an5 ?ind o7 ser2ice. We@re so D:or?sE oriented that :e 7ee1 :e 8ust do so8ethin3 7or 'od in order to p1ease Hi8. We@2e 6eco8e hu8an doin3s instead o7 hu8an 6ein3s. We hear it preached so 8uchC DDo a :or? 7or 'od* Do
so8ethin3 7or 'od* I7 5ou aren@t doin3 so8ethin3; 5ou@re :orth nothin3 to 'od. Your net :orth to 'od is direct15 proportiona1 to ho: 8uch 5ou can do.E #his e8phasis 1ea2es an i8pression in peop1e that 'od 1o2es the8 on15 7or :hat the5 can do. It re8inds 8e o7 a 8i1?sha?eC You stic? the stra: do:n in the cup and suc? out e2er5thin3 that@s in there. ,ina115; :hen 5ou 3et to the end and hear it 3o sh???????; 5ou thro: it a:a5. #hat@s the :a5 so8e o7 us are. We thin?; 'od; I@2e ceased to 6e a61e to 61ess peop1e. I@8 not doin3 an5thin3. I ?no: You cou1dn@t 1o2e 8e. #here@s no point in 8e e>istin3. $an5 6e1ie2ers ha2e a rea1 sense o7 o61i3ation to do so8ethin3 7or 'od; 6ut it@s a11 e>terior. It@s a11 :hat the5 can do 7or 'od. It@s not direct co88unication :ith 'od. I@8 tr5in3 to e8phasiAe this and sa5 that one o7 the purposes o7 praise9actua115; the nu86er one purpose o7 praise9is to 8inister unto 'od. #hat has to 6e the priorit5 in e2er5 6e1ie2er@s 1i7e. Sad to sa5; it isn@t. We usua115 on15 co8e to 'od :hen :e 3et into trou61e; and :hen :e@re in trou61e; usua115 the 2er5 7irst thin3 :e Juit doin3 is praisin3 'od. I :ent throu3h a ti8e 1i?e that :hen I :as in &ietna8. I =ust didn@t 7ee1 2er5 producti2e; and I thou3ht; 'od; there@s no point in 8e 1i2in3. I ?ne: that I :as sti11 sa2ed and that I@d 3o to 6e :ith the Lord; 6ut I as?ed the Lord to ?i11 8e and ta?e 8e ho8e 6ecause I 7e1t 1i?e I :as =ust occup5in3 space. I actua115 used those e>act :ords. D'od; I@8 =ust not 6ene7itin3 an56od5. I ha2e nothin3 to contri6ute9there@s no point in 8e e>istin3.E Fut 'od 3ets 61essed 65 our persona1 1o2e 6ein3 e>pressed to Hi8. We need to reco3niAe that. When 85 son Peter to1d 8e DDad; 5ou@re a 3ood dad;E it 8ade 8e :ant to 3et
hi8 out o7 6ed; ta?e hi8 horse6ac? ridin3; and 3o throu3h the :ho1e da5 a11 o2er a3ain; =ust so I cou1d hear; DDad; 5ou@re a 3ood dad.E #hat@s the reason :e do thin3s 7or our chi1dren9:e 1o2e the8 and :ant to see the8 61essed. I don@t 6e1ie2e 'od is se17ish. I don@t 6e1ie2e He 3a2e His Son 7or us on15 so :e cou1d 3i2e 6ac? to Hi8. I7 there :as e2er an e>a8p1e o7 unse17ish 1o2e; it is 'od. So I@8 not sa5in3 that 'od is on15 61essin3 us so He can 6e 61essed in return. When I 3i2e so8ethin3 to 85 chi1dren; I@8 3i2in3 to 61ess the8 6ecause I 1o2e the8. I don@t de8and it; 6ut I :ou1d 1o2e 7or the8 to 1o2e 8e in return and to 6e appreciati2e. #hat@s part o7 us. We :ere 8ade in 'od@s i8a3e; and 'od 7ee1s that :a5. I 6e1ie2e that :e ha2e spirits that :ere created in His i8a3e. #here are re71ections o7 'od@s i8a3e in our persona1ities; and the desire that :e ha2e not on15 to 3i2e 6ut to recei2e 1o2e is a 3od15 trait. I 6e1ie2e it re71ects the heart o7 'od. I7 5ou ha2e had this 8enta1it5 that a11 'od :anted 7ro8 5ou :as doin3 this and doin3 that; I@8 here to te11 5ou that He :ou1d 1i?e 5ou =ust to stop a:hi1e e2er5 da5 and praise and :orship Hi8. Spend ti8e :ith Hi8 the :a5 5ou :ou1d 5our c1osest 7riend96ecause that@s :hat He :ants*
P a!se ye the )ORD& P a!se *od !n h!s san(tua y/ p a!se h!- !n the f! -a-ent of h!s po#e & P a!se h!- fo h!s -!"hty a(ts/ p a!se h!- a((o d!n" to h!s e?(ellent " eatness& P a!se h!- #!th the sound of the t u-pet/ p a!se h!#!th the psalte y and ha p& P a!se h!- #!th the t!-b el and dan(e/ p a!se h!#!th st !n"ed !nst u-ents and o "ans& P a!se h!- upon the loud (y-bals/ p a!se h!- upon the h!"h sound!n" (y-bals& )et e%e y th!n" that hath b eath p a!se the )ORD& P a!se ye the )ORD& Psal- 138 'od deser2es e2er5thin3 :e ha2e* Our 3oa1 shou1d 6e to 31ori75 'od the :a5 He deser2es to 6e 31ori7ied. E2er5 person readin3 this 6oo? has 6reath. As 1on3 as :e ha2e 6reath; :e shou1d 6e praisin3 'od; 7or i7 :e don@t; the 2er5 roc?s :i11 cr5 out HLu?e 10C%GI. When :e 8o2e into the rea18 o7 praise; :e 8o2e into the hea2en15 rea18. We are operatin3 in the sa8e praise and :orship that is 3oin3 on in hea2en at this e>act 8o8ent. $a?e praise a part o7 5our dai15 1i7e. )eep 5our 8ind set
on thin3s a6o2e. Don@t 1et the cares o7 this :or1d pu11 5ou do:n; 6ecause Di7 'od 6e 7or us; :ho can 6e a3ainst us E HRo8. /C!1I. When :e praise 'od; :e ha2e e2er5 area co2ered9:e are 8inisterin3 direct15 unto 'od and p1easin3 Hi8; :e are 6ui1din3 ourse12es up; :e are tor8entin3 the de2i1; and :e are i88uniAin3 ourse12es a3ainst a11 o7 the thin3s Satan is 6rin3in3 a3ainst us. #hat is e>citin3*
RECEIBIN* =ESUS AS YOUR SABIOR
Choosin3 to recei2e 4esus Christ as 5our Lord and Sa2ior is the 8ost i8portant decision 5ou@11 e2er 8a?e* 'od@s Word pro8ises Dthat i7 thou sha1t con7ess :ith th5 8outh the Lord 4esus; and sha1t 6e1ie2e in thine heart that 'od hath raised hi8 7ro8 the dead; thou sha1t 6e sa2ed. ,or :ith the heart 8an 6e1ie2eth unto ri3hteousnessB and :ith the 8outh con7ession is 8ade unto sa12ationE HRo8. 1GC0<1GI. D,or :hosoe2er sha11 ca11 upon the na8e o7 the Lord sha11 6e sa2edE HRo8. 1GC1!I. F5 His 3race; 'od has a1read5 done e2er5thin3 to pro2ide sa12ation. Your part is si8p15 to 6e1ie2e and recei2e. Pra5 out 1oud; “Jesus, I confess that You are my Lord and Savior. I believe in my heart that God raised You from the dead. By faith in Your Word, I receive salvation now. han! You for savin" me#$ #he 2er5 8o8ent 5ou co88it 5our 1i7e to 4esus Christ; the truth o7 His Word instant15 co8es to pass in 5our spirit. "o: that 5ou@re 6orn a3ain; there@s a 6rand<ne: 5ou*
RECEIBIN* THE HO)Y SPIRIT
As His chi1d; 5our 1o2in3 hea2en15 ,ather :ants to 3i2e 5ou the supernatura1 po:er 5ou need to 1i2e this ne: 1i7e. D;o e%e y one that as.eth e(e!%eth, and he that see.eth f!ndeth, and to h!- that .no(.eth !t shall be opened&&&ho# -u(h -o e shall you hea%enly ;athe "!%e the Holy Sp! !t to the- that as. h!->F )u.e 11/18 and 19 A11 5ou ha2e to do is as?; 6e1ie2e; and recei2e* Pra5; “%ather, I reco"ni&e my need for Your 'ower to live this new life. (lease fill me with Your )oly S'irit. By faith, I receive it ri"ht now# han! You for ba'ti&in" me# )oly S'irit, You are welcome in my life#$ Con3ratu1ations9no: 5ou@re 7i11ed :ith 'od@s supernatura1 po:er* So8e s511a61es 7ro8 a 1an3ua3e 5ou don@t reco3niAe :i11 rise up 7ro8 5our heart to 5our 8outh H1 Cor. 1%C1%I. As 5ou spea? the8 out 1oud 65 7aith; 5ou@re re1easin3 'od@s po:er 7ro8 :ithin and 6ui1din3 5ourse17 up in the spirit H1 Cor. 1%C%I. You can do this :hene2er and :here2er 5ou 1i?e*
A'OUT THE AUTHOR
Andre: Wo88ac? :as 6rou3ht up in a Christian ho8e in Ar1in3ton; #e>as; and 8ade a tota1 co88it8ent o7 his 1i7e to the Lord at a 2er5 ear15 a3e. Fut it :as not unti1 he recei2ed the 6aptis8 o7 the Ho15 Spirit as a teena3er that he 6e3an to e>perience the po:er o7 'od in his 1i7e. ,or o2er three decades; he has tra2e1ed A8erica and the :or1d teachin3 the truth o7 the 'ospe1. His pro7ound re2e1ation o7 the Word o7 'od is tau3ht :ith c1arit5 and si8p1icit5; e8phasiAin3 'od@s unconditiona1 1o2e and the 6a1ance 6et:een 3race and 7aith. He reaches 8i11ions o7 peop1e throu3h the dai15 'ospe1 #ruth radio and te1e2ision pro3ra8s; 6roadcast 6oth do8estica115 and internationa115. He 7ounded Charis Fi61e Co11e3e in 100% and has since esta61ished CFC e>tension schoo1s in other 8a=or cities o7 A8erica and around the :or1d. Andre: has produced a 1i6rar5 o7 teachin3 8ateria1s; a2ai1a61e in print; audio; and 2isua1 7or8ats. And; as it has 6een 7ro8 the 6e3innin3; his 8inistr5 continues to distri6ute 7ree audio 8ateria1s to those :ho cannot a77ord the8.
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