When Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the Pharisees told Him to rebuke His disciples for praising Him openly. But Jesus said, I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out. (Luk 19:40) When it’s time to praise the Lord, nothing will hold it back.
The Spirit of God within you loves to praise and glorify Jesus. Have you ever been in church during worship and felt something rise up within you that you really wanted to let out? Is it praise that you can’t explain? Is it a joyful noise that threatens to bubble out uncontrolled? Is it an overwhelming feeling of worship and adoration to God that you want more than anything to express?
You probably didn’t let it out. You probably followed the normal pattern of the service. That’s too bad. When the Spirit of God stirs up praise and you enter into it, you join the angelic choirs that never cease to give Him glory. That kind of praise will fill you as you give it out. It will leave you shaken and changed.
Imagine the stones crying out in praise because no man would. God will be glorified. Join with the heavenly host and let His name be praised!
The strength in humility comes from understanding that the good that we do comes from the grace of God. No one is good but One, that is, God. (Mat 19:17) When we accomplish something significant, it’s easy to feel good about ourselves, but that accomplishment is done through God’s grace. Receive the praise that you get. That’s not a bad thing, but then turn and give what you have received to Jesus.
It’s not bad to acknowledge that you did something good. It was your work and effort. It’s false humility to say it wasn’t you, it was God. You did do it, so be happy about it. But when you are alone with God, give Him the praise He deserves.
When you do that, He smiles and says, You liked that? Want to see something even better? Then you can trust Him for the next great thing. The more you thank Him for, the more He can do for you. If you hold onto all the praise, you’re left to your own human efforts. That may take you to a certain level, but not nearly as far as true humility will.
Never hold onto the praise that you receive. Use it to offer a beautiful gem at the feet of Jesus and let Him bless your next efforts with even greater success.
There is an amazing story in the Bible about moving the ark into Solomon’s new temple. The temple was filled with priests and singers and musicians. It came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music…the house of the Lord was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God. (2Chr 5:13-14)
Now that’s a worship service I want to be in. I don’t think it would only happen with something as grand as moving the ark. God inhabits the praises of His people. When the trumpeters and the singers were as one, when everyone was in unity in praise, God came down.
Imagine if everyone joined in praise without any thought to anything else. No one standing around while other people sang. No one looking around to see who was watching. What if everyone’s heart was focused on God, full of praise and worship? Complete unity in praise is attractive to God. He can’t help Himself from filling the room with His presence. Wouldn’t you love to see that?
God’s version of praise is not nearly as sedate as ours. He likes things messy and loud. I’m not sure where we got the idea that praise was to be sung in a restrained and respectful manner. When the Lord said, be still and know that I am God, He wasn’t talking about times of praise. He wants to hear us shout. Continue reading →
We are told over and over in the Bible to praise the Lord. We praise Him because He is Lord, because He redeemed us, and He is worthy of all praise. When we really get that, we don’t need to be told. But sometimes we do need to be reminded when we are sick, when we are disappointed, when we are sad. Continue reading →