He Is

Over the last few months my body has been under attack. The constant assault beat me down and strained all the other areas of my life. All I wanted to do was sleep. It has been similar to getting a physical beating. Imagine being beaten and kicked by a gang of people. Down on the ground in a fetal position, arms covering your head. There is a point when the will to survive gives in to the will to let go. There is a moment when you think that if only you could pass out. When you become totally defeated and escape is the only option left.That is the way I have been feeling.

A couple of weeks ago I went to an evening praise service at the church. Even getting there was a feat.But while I sat listening to the others praise God (I didn’t feel like it), He spoke to me, “Don’t I deserve your praise?” I was stunned. He knows all about the way things have been and how I was feeling. That didn’t matter. The circumstances of my life did not change who He is.And He is worthy of praise. I realized that from the time that this began I had stopped praising Him. I would pray and beg for something to change.I would read my Bible hoping for something profound. But I stopped praising. I stopped looking at Him for who He is.

Hebrews 11:6 says, “…, for He who comes to God must believe that He is, …” And we know who He is: out provider, deliverer, healer, ruler, redeemer, Lord, and King. And we know as it says in Ps 22:3 , “But You are holy; Enthroned in the praises of Isreal.” If we know that God is present in the praises of His people and that He is all that we need, doesn’t it make sense that what we need must begin in praise? Is it any surprise that Jesus taught us to pray by first praising the Father? If I really recognize who He is, then my first response will be the same as the elders around the throne in Revelation (4:11a) declaring, “You are worthy Oh Lord, to receive glory and honor and power…” ┬áIsn’t it here, in the presence of God that we find our healing and deliverance and provision?

I found myself repenting of the sin of holding back praise from the One who is worthy. I recognized Him as God. My God. I lifted my hands and cried out in praise. Not because He had healed me, but because He is the healer; not because He had delivered me, but because He is the deliverer. He is worthy. And in the process of giving honor where it is due, healing and deliverance came.

Praise the Lord!

The Power of Praise

I was sitting outside this morning trying not to feel sick. I have been particularly ill this week and I was hoping to forget about it for a while so I sat outside watching the wind blowing the trees. It reminded me of the power of the wind to move the large trees around and how much like God it is. Unseen, yet powerful. I started to praise God for the wind, the trees and His power to move them all. As I praised, I started to feel better. God reminded me of the power of praise. I don’t simply have to be an observer of God’s power as I watch Him work. I can participate by tapping into His power. The gateway to God’s power is through praise. Jesus taught us that in the Lord’s Prayer. As we lift our hearts in praise we step into the presence of God. Here anything is possible. What do you need today? Healing? Comfort? Joy? Strength? Love? Encouragement? Lift your heart in praise. You will find everything you need. Here is my most favorite song to help you step into the presence of the Lord. He is all you need!