3 Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. 4 So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.
Often I think of what praise will be like in Heaven… When the earthly life passes and they bury my body, what will my soul and thoughts be experiencing in the realm of Christ sitting on the throne in Heaven?
As I ponder on this impossible imagination, which i believe it is impossible, that is… we cannot truly comprehend the joy level, the praise level, and the perfection level that heaven will consist of… but as I ponder this it causes me to look at my present day praises:
Is there a perfect praise? Here in the Psalms we read the author has “lips that praise” and in addition, the author “raises his hands”. This may be descriptive of the believer’s posture in church during worship or even an example of “continual prayer”, but is this all praise is?
When we question praise, when we ask ourselves what praise REALLY looks like, there are a few points that I believe are crucial :
1. PRAISE is consistent.
– Consistent. Steady. Ongoing. Not ceasing. Perfect praise is a continual effort on our part to bring this praise to God. That means despite our situation, despite our mood, despite our current condition, despite all of this our praise should go on. Our attitude, both inside and outside, should reflect those that have been rescued, those who’s lives have been interrupted by the Great I AM. Our lips should be echoing the truth of God’s redemptive love over us and you would think this would alleviate ALL OTHER TONES. It is not to say that a “bad mood” won’t exist but surely, if we are in consistent praise mode – how long can a bad mood really last?
Is this tough for you? Is it hard to see yourself becoming PRAISE-FILLED even during a rough patch of life or a difficult situation?
2. PRAISE is vocal.
– Although prayer and petitioning to Christ can be private, our PRAISE should sound aloud. Our voices can bring great encouragement to those around us yet how often are we pointing that strength towards the Lord?
Praise that is vocal can come in many forms. It can be taking the high road when a co-worker is hitting below the belt, it can mean speaking positive to ourselves when a spouse or friend is hurtful. Vocal praise is forgiveness lived out in front of others, and it is lending help to a neighbor that needs a hand. Vocal praise is not only to glorify GOD but it reminds OURSELVES of who gets the glory. I’ll be raising my hand here to admit I LIKE WHEN PEOPLE PRAISE ME… it’s selfish, it’s prideful, it’s NOT GOOD for my soul when i dwell on it… So becoming consistent and vocal with our praise brings humility back in front of us and corrects our direction. It points us to the King and places our hearts back into servant-hood.
3. Praise is empowering.
– Have you felt the power of praise? When you are looking left and right for answers, but then just can’t help but to look up to God and something UNLEASHES within you to go the NEXT STEP and DO THE THING?
It may not be something you’ve been familiar with then even more the reason to begin today! You can count on it, you can trust it! You can believe that with dedication to consistent & vocal PRAISE that you will get POWER. Not human gifts and power but the divine!! Spiritual and divine power placed directly into your life! It is hard to describe but every believer has had it happen at one time or another. Calling and counting on Christ for deliverance, for insight, for answers, for the solution… and time and time again He comes through. Praise is empowering! Praise to God unlocks doors that were otherwise “off-limits” to our hearts, minds, and lives.
These praise components are only pieces of the PERFECT PRAISE. I will offer to your this morning that the PERFECT PRAISE is a combination of these efforts that is all wrapped up in you! YES YOU!!!
You are the perfect praise. I am the perfect praise. Exactly where you are, exactly how you sit.. with all the imperfection and all the problems…. Your praise in this moment makes it perfect.. Your praise despite your circumstances makes this that much more special.
Thank you to Christ and His work and conquering on the cross, we have been brought into a just and right relationship with the King. Thank you to Christ and His redemption of our sin stained lives we have been brought to the temple to participate WITH THE ANGELS in praise.
Today is the day it is OK for you to believe in your Christ-likeness and PRAISE him for your eternity Kingdom directed life. TODAY can be the start of NEW PRAISE habits and practices that produce divine expectations and results. Oh come, let us PRAISE HIM.