Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Secret of Praise, Prayer, and Worship

Sometimes words are very easy to put together -
but it is very difficult to fully transmit what is meant....

The secret to Praise, Prayer and Worship is simply in knowing God.
     A life will reflect what it knows,
          and express what it knows -
               it can do no more,
                    and it will do no less.
The question is do I really know Him?

What do we call "praise?"
As I listen to what passes for Praise today, 
I see in the leaders, and in the led, a total unawareness of the spiritual dimension of the activity.

God speaks to Israel in the book of Amos (5-23) saying of Israel's praise,
"Take thou away from Me the noise of thy songs,
for I will not hear..."
As Amos says again (6. 5) they "chant to the sound of the viol..."
another translation says "at the bidding of..."
     It is the music that calls - not God.
          How much singing is born of human flesh ?
               How few...sing from their spirit to a God they know in spirit?
Romans 8.8 ... "They that are in the flesh cannot please God."

Or, yet again, Luke 16.15 ..."But God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God."

How much of the church's activity is useless and contrary to God's intention?

What is it we call "prayer?"
"Praying in the Holy Ghost" ...
Do we know the meaning of the phrase,
or is our prayer the mere exercise of our mind and lips? 

Some day in heaven God will gather all in a perfect kingdom.
Can we see God's consummation?
Are our activities born of ourselves, or are they born of God? 
Does our praise reach heaven?
And can our faith reach to heaven for an answer to our prayer?

God longs to reveal Himself -
and when we see God in the depths of our spirits 
     everything takes place a different dimension -
the limitations of earthly reasoning are overwhelmed with a greater knowledge,
          the enchainment of all human thoughts and fears is vanquished.
The realm of freedom which stretches before us is as vast as God.

Like Lazarus coming from the grave, there is a tremendous frustration when the child of God is not free.
Jesus' word on that occasion was "loose him, and let him go" (Jn. 11.44)
I wonder how many have not yet heard those words,
and yet think they are free because they are no longer in the grave?

We live in a day of superficiality, 
     where life has been made easy,
          and there is a rebellion against anything which demands effort.
This mentality has invaded pulpits and pews,
     and we embrace the easy, 
          and prefer not to look at the commission given to Paul,
"I will show him how great things he must suffer for My sake." (Acts 19.17)

The measure of love, is the measure of love's giving.
Giving is the price love pays to the one loved.
If we could only understand this how different our lives would be.

As we give to God we find the measure of His giving to us.
Without this giving there is only an eternal babyhood; -
     "an infant crying in the night,
          an infant crying for the light."

Leaving all we know, and all we are,
     and beholding Him,
          we "are changed into the same image from glory to glory,
               even as by the Spirit of the Lord."  (2Cor. 3.18)

In this place Praise and Prayer and Worship flow in a spontaneity as effortless and natural as the air we breathe.


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