Welcome to a new week, the last week of the month of August. May the end of August be greater than the beginning of August in Jesus' name. Thanks to Mysses Lafunky who took over for the last two weeks. As always, there was a lot to learn from her and one of the learning points that stayed with me is that it’s not enough to just confess and confess, we also need to forsake! Make sure you read it again. Last week, I had the privilege of seeing Bishop T.D. Jakes at the House on the Rock Spirit Life Conference titled: "Emerge." It was powerful! May you emerge in every area of your life in Jesus' name.
"Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful." Psalms 147:1 NKJV
One of the key parts of the conference was that we spent a lot of time praising God. Praise is very key when we are trying to get into God’s presence or get Him to move in our situation. It is so important that God expects us to praise him regardless of the situation we are going through. There used to be this popular song when I was a child about how Paul and Silas prayed and sang and the prison they were kept in came tumbling down (Acts 16:25-26). Imagine these unruly fellows singing praises in prison. Little did they know that it would cause the prison to fall apart. I’d daresay that the prison fell apart because God was dancing to their praise and His movements caused the earthquake that destroyed the prison. When you want God to move and scatter your enemies, switch to praise. Why? When you praise a person, it causes their head to "swell". When you go for "owambes," on your way out, you meet bands that sing praises upon praises and if you’re not careful you’d drop your entire wallet for them. When human beings are praised, it causes them to move. Human beings were created in the likeness of God which means we also took that character trait from Him; the trait of loving praises. One man that understood the importance of praise was King David. Yup, that same David. The one known as the man after God’s heart. When you read the book of psalms, a lot of the chapters deal with Him praising God for His might and power. When you get to the end of the book of Psalms, the last set of chapters dealt with praising God and he ended the book of Psalms with this:
"Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament! Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!" Psalms 150:1-6 NKJV
I love how he ended the book of Psalms: “let everything that has breath praise the Lord”. He started the last chapter by listing where we should praise God, then moved to why we should praise God. He then told us how to praise God by basically calling all types of instruments and concluded the matter by saying as long as you have breath, praise the Lord!
For a man of war, you’d wonder why David spoke so much about praise. The last 5 chapters of the book of Psalms (NKJV) ended with Praise the Lord! There’s a reason Paul and Silas praised God in the prison. It is because they understood the foundational principle that every praise belongs to God regardless of where we find ourselves and when we get stuck, praise is the key to getting us out of that sticky situation. One key thing you must note is that Paul and Silas didn’t just pray, they also praised. The praise was listed after the prayer and it came as the second gear in their prison session. When the second gear kicked in, God started dancing and there was a great earthquake. I have also personally witnessed the power of praise in my life as there were many times I couldn’t even pray but thank God I’m such a music lover. I always made sure I praised Him regardless of how down I felt and I saw how walls were broken down for me. What is that situation you’ve been stuck in for so long? Praise your way out of it.
The charge therefore as we go into this week is to be praise machines and look for all sorts of reasons to praise the Lord! Praise the Lord for He is good and His Mercy endures forever (Ps. 106:1 NKJV). If you feel there’s no reason to praise God, I’ll assume you no longer have breath but as long as you have breath, praise Him for that fact alone.
P.S.: Visit www.bishopsvillage.com to get more access to Bishop T.D. Jakes and his teaching.
"You pushed me violently, that I might fall, But the LORD helped me. The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation." Psalms 118:13-14 NKJV.
Photo Credit: http://deborahsdescendants.com