The Gateway of Praise

An Englishmans Castle
(FreeImages.com/jamiebrelsford)

A lot of my friends have been posting this very verse on their Facebook pages:

Psalm 100:4-5: “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
5 For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.”

The above verse made me think of this verse:

Isaiah 60:18: “Violence shall no longer be heard in your land,
Neither [a]wasting nor destruction within your borders;
But you shall call your walls Salvation,
And your gates Praise.”

There is so much significance to both of these verses! Jesus came through the tribe of Judah. The name Judah means “Praise.”

So, how do we enter into His gates and into a sanctuary where the walls are salvation? We enter through the gate “Praise.” Whom does this gate represent? Jesus! It is through the Gate “Praise” (Jesus) that we find a sanctuary of salvation.

There is more meaning to this as well. Does not this “sanctuary” represent Jesus Himself — what He is and offers? It is through praise that we enter into the sanctuary of His Presence. Praise is a gateway into the inner “sanctuary” of God’s Presence. This is where intimacy with God is found.

Why praise? Why is praise so significant for entering into this sanctuary of God’s Presence?

Praise is none other than us acknowledging the character (goodness) of God, the truth of Who He is, and His faithfulness. As we acknowledge the truth of Who God is, our wills become surrendered to Him, we become aligned with the truth (rather than the false messages of our circumstances), and God is “revealed” to us in a greater measure through “seeing” Him for Who He is.

You can’t see God for who He is when you are believing lies about Him. The work of praise is that it begins to bring our thoughts, hearts, and wills into alignment with the reality of Who God is. It causes all else to submit to the truth of God.

Let praise be our gateway into the heart of God today!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

How Our Worship Might Change…

(http://www.freeimages.com/photo/enlightened-praise-1409297)

I have been considering the concept of worship a lot lately.

True worship is incredibly beautiful!

Worship is also a very important part of our relationship with God.

Worship fulfills our purpose in life, which is to worship God.

Worship helps to “re-align” ourselves with God (brings us into submission/surrender to Him).

Worship brings us into fellowship with God.

For all of its significance in the Christian’s life, it is amazing how little we really practice true worship.

I believe that a lot of what we think is worshipping God is more our own words, formats, and programs.  Let me explain…

A couple of weeks ago this so struck me.  I was pondering how we come to “worship meetings” with our “cups” already filled with our own thoughts concerning God.  In other words, we look at Scripture from our perspectives and pull out of it what we think “worship” should sound like or look like.  We then bring our thoughts and present it as worship to God.

I believe we often come to “worship” God with our “vessels” already filled with ourselves — what we think sounds “worshipful”?

What if instead, we spent quiet time alone with God, simply “resting” in His Presence, listening to Him, seeking Him in His Word, and waiting for Him to fill us with His thoughts, desires, and Presence?

What if we, from the outpouring of abiding in His Presence and His filling us with His Words and excellencies, then proclaimed this in heart-felt response to Who He is?  Wouldn’t the “flavor” or “tone” of our worship be more authentic and be what truly glorifies God — rather glorifying our own words?

Matthew 15:9

And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”[a]

Mark 7:7

And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’[a]

John 4:23

23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.

John 4:24

24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

 

Good Job!

Before we eat, our family likes to pray to thank the Lord for our good food He provides. The boys also like to pray. Normally after the boys pray, we praise them for wanting to pray by saying, “Good job!” Today after I finished praying, Will said, “Good job, Mommy!” Not to be outdone, Drew immediately copied his brother by saying his own rendition of “Good job!”