Two weeks ago I started playing Virtual Families on my phone. Those of you who might be familiar with the game should know that there are two gloves on the left side bar of the screen. Red and green gloves. Red for scolding and green for praising.
The characters were called little people and well, if you want to reinforce good, positive behavior you touch the green glove and touch the character while in the act of whatever it is, and the character will be ‘conditioned’ to do it on a regular basis. Just keep praising.
I thought I’d use this example and I know it’s only a game, but don’t we all use praising to reinforce good behavior? Sometimes, praise is used to manipulate someone in order to get something or to make them do something.
“So is it also the same with God? If we keep praising God, will He be conditioned to do something regularly without prompting?” Logic 101 says yeah makes sense, but God defies all human logic, and because God is not someone we put in the box, praising in a spiritual context is way different.
First of all, God cannot be manipulated. If someone believes that saying “Oh God, you are so good” while the subtext is “turn a blind eye on my sin”, that’s not praising, that is flattery and flattery is one of the oldest forms of manipulation. The old adage states that flattery will get you nowhere is very true of God and with God. Praising is deeper than that, it is admiration and love. Do you follow me so far?
Praise is the activity in Heaven, but we don’t have to wait until we are re-united with God to praise. In fact, our sins were forgiven so we can praise Him!
Why do we praise God?
- He counsels me.
- He heard my cry for mercy
- He showed me the wonders of His love
- He shields me, helps me and my heart leaps for joy!
How often do we need to praise God?
- Everyday (not just Sundays)
- At all times (not just when we’re happy or when prayers were answered)
- For as long as we live ( consider this our OJT for we we’ll be employed in Heaven doing praise and worship)
How do we praise Him?
- With all our hearts
- With rejoicing
- …and not just singing, but singing joyfully!
- Shout for joy
- With musical instruments
- Clapping our hands, shouting, crying
- Festive, pouring our soul.
How to make praising dynamic and exciting?
- Create a theme! (say God healed you, focus your praise on Him being the great physician, etc.)
Who can praise God?
Given the above reasons for praising God, it is sad to see people tired and dull in the middle of praise and worship. Some take this time to go to the bathroom, check text messages, some even look at their watches as if God is boring them to death. So we are overzealous and crazy, who cares? Speaking of crazy, King David even when he was pretending to be crazy didn’t use his time in vain. He praised God!
Some of you must be saying,” I am the CEO of my company, I am a well-respected, dignified member of my community no way will I praise shouting and dancing , won’t I even cry out my soul. I can do that in my bedroom.” Seriously? if you are embarrassed to do it publicly in the assembly of God’s children, I don’t think you’d be comfortable doing it in the comfort of your home especially if you are the only believer in that house. Talk about being crazy, right?
I am not saying you can’t praise God the way you prefer it, but praising should never be dull and tired. When we praise IT IS NEVER ABOUT US. IT IS ALWAYS ABOUT GOD. And stop being so vain thinking that people watch you. They are also busy getting themselves elevated in the presence of the Father. No one watches you as you dance. No one watches you as you sing. No one watches as you cry. No one watches you make a fool of yourself for God
. Only God sees you and He enjoys it immensely.
When we praise God, we give Him the opportunity to get though us and His power to operate in our lives. He manifests Himself in the dancing, clapping and singing of His people.
When you move, God moves. And don’t wait for your feelings to lead you to praise for praise is more meaningful when it is sacrificed. Praise all the more when you are down, beaten, discouraged and threatened. Look at Silas and Paul, they had valid reasons to be grumpy but they did not let their feelings stop them from praising God.
Praising disgusts Satan and sends him running. Therefore, praising blocks him from attacking us. If that is not reason enough to praise, then I don’t know what else to tell you. 🙂
*all pictures were taken off google