Within the heart of every believer is the ability to exercise the expression of praise as an integral part of a lifestyle of worship.
Worship is at the very heart of the Christian faith; if God is not worshipped then what we have is a man-made religion. Faith in our hearts must be released towards God who has created us and blessed us with every good gift. Faith in our hearts links us in spirit to God who is Spirit. For us to worship God we must know Him and know who we are. We have an intimate relationship with God which must be expressed through praise in our lives. Praise may also be expressed in as many different ways as the heart is able to express itself.
Have you ever wondered "Who am I? What is life all about? What is the purpose of my life?" I asked myself this question,
and the answer shook me to my very core. I had been pondering the question; who is God? I knew He was the
creator of heaven and earth and all things in it. I knew He loved me and died for my sins. "But who is He?" I asked
myself, so I asked "Lord,
who are you?" His reply was simply "I AM". In other words, God was saying:
"I am the one who was and is and always will be. I am not only the creator of life,
but I am life. I am everything you need for life."
(2 Pet 1:3 NASB) seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
So, my next question was "Who am I?" The response I got was:
"You are the expression of the 'I AM'".
Principle: "I am the expression of all God is!"
Please take some time to ponder on this until you get the revelation of what this means for your life! I was created to be the expression of all God is. What a phenomenal realisation. The creator of heaven and earth, the lover of my soul, wants to express all that He is through me!
(Col 3:9-10 NASB) Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him.
(1 Pet 2:9 NASB) But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD,
A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, that you
may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness
into His marvellous light;
We have been called to be the sons of God, expressing and being the
expression of all that He is; proclaiming His Excellencies. As royal priests
we offer up spiritual sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving as a continual and
pleasing offering to our Father, proclaiming His great and everlasting love.
Principle: If we are to be the expression of all God is, then our praise must
also express and declare all that God is.
This means we must know God intimately; our ministry and our worship are
borne out of intimacy with God. His Word will reveal Him to me, but I must
draw near to Him in spirit. Knowledge of the word alone will not suffice! I
must draw near and worship Him in spirit and truth.
It is only as I draw near to God that I will see Him for who He really is, then
will I praise Him and my praise will express all that God is! It will be a bold
declaration of all He is because I have seen Him as I have drawn near to
Praise becomes the overflow of what I have seen and experienced in God and cannot be contained. My heart attitude is one of love, gratitude and awe in His presence.
Praise is the expression of my heart in worship as ministry to my Father and reveals the Father to a dying world. Do you remember the basic definition for worship?
Worship = My heart attitude expressed in the presence of God.
The life of a worshipper must revolve around the abiding presence of God in
our lives and not just the knowledge of His Word.
Since praise is such an important part of our ministry to God, we must both know
what praise is, and how we are to express our praise to God? We have
seen what praise is; the expression and declaration of all God is.
Praise is the English word used to describe the expression of our hearts to
God in worship. Unfortunately, the English language does not do us any
justice in describing the expression of our hearts, which can vary greatly. The
Hebrew language thankfully helps us to better understand praise, showing us
a variety of ways with which we can express our feelings of adoration and
love for God. In subsequent modules we will look at praise from the eyes of a
Hebrew person, and what praise meant to a Hebrew using the original
Hebrew names for praise.
To a Hebrew praise was a time of rejoicing and expressing himself to God by
whatever means were at his disposal, this meant using his all to express his
heart to God in an unashamed manner. The three principal methods of
expression used were song, music and dance. Our human bodies are
instruments of praise to God. If it could have been possible to cause the
stones to rise up and praise Jesus whilst on His way to Jerusalem (Lk 19:37-40),
then how much more are we able to praise Him with our entire being?
Salvation has given us the freedom to freely express ourselves to God, as we
are now the expression of all that God is!
Principle: Praise is the perfect response to all that God is within me as He reveals Himself to me.
Please consider your own life; have you allowed yourself the freedom to
freely express your love before God with an open heart on a regular basis,
or do you hold yourself back?
Should God only be praised on Sundays in church and has this been your own experience?
Praise is not a song you sing, it's your heart expressed in song.
Do you praise God with joy in your heart for your salvation in Christ, or do you praise God out of duty?
God is looking for those who will draw near to Him through His son Jesus and praise Him from their hearts.
Will you draw near to God, your heavenly Father, open your heart to Him and express your love for Him?
I have found from my own experience that praise not only ministers to my Father's heart, but it also brings great release and blessings to my own life. I earnestly encourage you to open your heart to God and praise Him on a regular basis, the more you praise the greater the freedom you will experience in your own life.