Tuesday, March 24, 2009, "Praise Him"
Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
By: Teresa Criswell
“ …Jesus replied, “If they kept quiet, the
stones along the road would burst into cheers!”
‘Praise Me!’ These two profound words are constantly in the forefront of my mind. Hmmm…I think The Lord God is trying to teach me something; especially when I have a thought to speak things out of my mouth that are not pleasing to the Lord.
I was drawn to find out the definition of the word, ‘praise’ which is defined by an expression of approval, commendation or admiration. I realize that as I get to praise God in the name of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit that I express my admiration for Almighty God.
Just look at it from this way with the things we ‘praise’ as we give voice to it and rehash it over and over again; we may not approve of it, but we sure do express our words in declaration over something that deserves no praise at all…it’s ‘misdirected’ praise.
I think of the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ that Jesus gave as an example of how to pray. “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed beYour name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven...” He said, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Something is done in heaven that God wants us to desire so it can be done on the earth. I only have a tiny, miniscule of a glimpse of some degree for which this could pertain to. The residents of heaven constantly join with the angels, I would presume in shouting, declaring and singing praises every moment of eternity unto God. If this is done in heaven, I realize that this is something that God desires and wants His people to declare unto Him on this earth as even His own creation on this earth declares His glory.
That brings me to the moment in history as the Bible reveals Jesus triumphal entry during the time of the Passover as He sent his two disciples to retrieve a colt in a village where He was sending them. He gave them specific instructions as to what to do when they saw the colt tied up; which is very important to know that this colt had never been ridden. He then warned them that if anyone were to ask what they were doing; to just say, “The Lord needs it and will return it soon.” As they brought the colt to Jesus, he sat and rode on this colt. As he approached the crowd, they spread their coats on the road ahead of Jesus, and others cut leafy branches in the fields and spread them along the way. Jesus was in the center of the procession, the crowds all around Him were shouting,
Bless the One who comes in the name of the Lord!
Bless the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Praise God in highest heaven!
The people were shouting, crying out,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest.”
Before going any further, it is powerful to see that ‘Hosanna’ is also used to express praise or adoration of God; a shout of fervent and worshipful praise. The people cried out in triumph over Him. However, the leading priests and teachers of religious law ridiculed Jesus as the people expressed their worship towards Him. At this point, I realize how “jealousy tells on itself” as the enemy was influencing these leaders to try to shut the people up.
After they praise Him and the religious “elite” observe what they would consider an “outrage”, as some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!” He [Jesus] replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!” (Luke 19:28-40).
Wow! That is a reminder to me; to NEVER allow the ‘stones’ to replace what I am called to speak forth unto God Almighty. This is what I try to remind myself many times, as I shout and preach to myself, “ ‘Stones’! You are not replacing my voice to praise God, no way!”
It is so hard, isn’t it? I love it however that the Holy Spirit is able to remind me when a ‘surprise’ situation occurs, or something devastating, we are still called to Praise Him. It is a weapon that He has provided, but is sadly rarely used.
This is something that is much easier ‘said’ than ‘done’. Our human nature, which is influenced by so many things: what we see, what we don’t see yet, our present circumstances which we start to believe is our final result, versus looking at that circumstance as a stepping stone to get to praise God even more, to bless Him, because He is Who He Says He IS! The results many times from not praising God in the midst of our ‘storms’ in life is we then misdirect our blame on Him. I am reminded of James 1:17, when I am tempted to blame God or ask him, “Why?” The passage says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” This verse instantly reminds me to not blame Him.
However, the times we have done it, the weapon of praise is so powerful. It guards, protects and immediately the grace of God rules and reigns in our hearts. This isn’t something that occurs by an outside source. The Source is God revealed by Christ as he spoke this and now through the power of the Holy Spirit what Jesus spoke is revealed in our own lives, when we allow Him to reveal it. This responsibility ultimately at the end of the day is up to us. He has provided. Will we accept His provision even in the praise?
It reminds me of a quote from a friend of ours who said, “You are trying to fix an inside problem with an outside source.” It’s a great cliché, yet very true, and it covers most any situation we will encounter. God will prove to us over and over again that He will direct our paths only when we do something…that is TRUST in HIM with all our hearts (Proverbs 3:5-6). But, what does that look like? For me personally, it has looked like this... “Someone says something insulting or may try to get a “rise” out of me, I identify it as a “trap”. As I can identify it for what it truly is and that it is trying to taunt me to confront it, that is when I need to turn from it. When I turn, I realize that this mighty tool called trust is coming over me and now I take that trust and place it on the only One who is to be trusted which is Almighty God. He sees that we have taken that obedient step and reveals the path that He has before me.
We are so moved by tangible things. When will we start exercising our faith to see more of the intangible things that will soon become tangible IF we believe and do not doubt.
Sometimes, it takes preaching to ourselves the Word of God, because everyday is a battlefield. I must say, that when something happens now that is out of our control, it has been FUN to see God come through in ways we could never imagine, plan, hope for or dream of in our wildest dreams. I’m not saying the problem goes away right away, but the peace of God guards our hearts and surpasses my mind’s capacity to understand. (Philippians 4:7).
May we be a blessing to God as we praise Him!