Keep in mind that in the Lord God's Constitution, the expression of praise often includes the word will. Throughout the book of Psalm, King David said much concerning his praise to the Lord God. I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High. NKJV David acknowledged the goodness that the Lord God had shown him. It was to the extent that he began to sing His praises in a song. But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me...The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him. NKJV The word will can imply a future time. It can also speak of a conscious choice. In essence, you are determined to praise the King. It is a choice that you make. That is what the scripture in God's Constitution calls a sacrifice or offering of praise. King David was always grateful to his Father God. Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is with those who uphold my life. He will repay my enemies for their evil. Cut them off in Your truth. I will freely sacrifice to You; I will praise Your name, O Lord, for it is good. NKJV
Praise becomes a sacrifice when you offer it to the Lord God for no other reason than He deserves it and asks you to do it. To be honest, there are times when we may not feel like praising Him, we are drowning in the emotion of the moment, but we shouldn't go by our feelings. In his letter to the Hebrew citizens, ambassador Paul made this statement: Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to His name. And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. Keep this in the forefront of your mind: the first thing that should come out of your mouth when you wake up in the morning is a praise to your Lord and King! When I was a young boy, I used to help my maternal grandfather harvest their fruits and vegetables. Let me tell you, that was hard work! Sometimes praising the Lord requires the same effort. We don't "feel" like it. But that is why it is imperative that we learn to live above our momentary "feelings" and grow our self-control fruit!
Try this: The next time you are having a difficult time or going through a crisis, instead of calling on your spiritual leaders to minister to you and help you through it, offer up some sacrificial praise. Yes! Have a praise service right where you are. Sacrifice your hurt feelings, anxiety, your financial crisis, and begin to praise the Lord God for what He has already done. No matter how bad things look, there is always something to praise Him for! Anyone can praise Him when everything is going well. It is no sacrifice. But if you've just lost your job and don't know what to do or where to even start, praise Him. Praise Him for the way He's always taken care of you...for an opportunity to get a better job...praise Him because there's food in the pantry...praise Him because you know with all that is in you that He has already worked it out in your favor...praise Him because you have learned to trust Him with all your heart and you feel God's peace in Your spirit!
Learn to make a conscious choice to lay aside all that pulls you down and brings fear and anxiety, depression or hopelessness. Open your mouth and talk to the Lord God. In those times, give Him your sacrifice of praise. Tell Him how wonderful and great He is to you! Tell the Father that He is worth more to you than everything else in this world. Tell Him there is nothing this world can offer that is worth more than Him.
Remember, the sacrifice of praise won't cost you anything financially, but it will cost you your self-centeredness and your natural tendency to dwell on whatever is wrong in your life. Stop focusing on problems and praise the One who has the answers. Giving the Lord God your praise means that you choose to dwell on Him instead of yourself. He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.”
One more thing I must say for clarity. This sacrifice can never be forced from you by someone else. You may sing or raise your hands because someone may tell you to, but an outward show isn't an inward praise. A sacrifice of praise comes from within and bubble over! Read what the Lord God told Moses: And when you offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Lord, offer it of your own free will. NKJV
Remember, your greatest asset is your faith in the Word of God.
Exodus 15:1-2 Psalm 7:17; 13:5-6; 28:7; 54:4-6 Hebrews 13:15-16
Psalm 91:1-2 Leviticus 22:29 All NLT unless noted
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