What exactly is praise? Praise is the expression of approval or admiration for someone of something. For Christians God is the object of our praise. Christian praise is the joyful thankfulness and adoration of God, the celebration of His goodness and grace. Here’s a definition from the Holman Bible Dictionary; Praise comes from a Latin word meaning “value” or “price.” so to give praise to God is to proclaim His merit or worth. Many terms are used to express this in the Bible, including “glory,” “blessing,” “thanksgiving,” and “hallelujah,”
The enemy, Satan and his demons, despise our praise of God so much that he cannot even be in the presence of anyone who is actively doing that. Praise is our correct response to God for all He has done and is doing in our lives. So whenever you want the enemy to flee, praise God. It is one of our greatest weapons in the war against him.
Praise is not the thing that comes when everything's going right in our lives; it is the driving force of our lives. When we start praising God in the middle of our problems, our problems become so small that we hardly remember them at all, they become an afterthought in the wake of our praise.
What do you do in times of trials and tribulations? Do you become angry at God and ask why or do you praise your way through the storm? Praise is a powerful weapon that the children of God possess and it confuses the enemy of our soul. You have a choice- you can choose to keep quiet in the trials or you can choose to use your voice to get your praise on and experience victory as the King of glory comes to your defense.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV)16 Rejoice always,17 pray without ceasing,18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
You Have A Weapon
Every day in life we are faced with challenges: be it in our homes, the job, in our relationships, health or finances. Every one of us is subject to battles in one form or another but the way we chose to deal with our challenges will make the difference in the outcome. I find it very difficult to stay focused on God when my body is plagued with pain, or when my kids are failing a class, or even when my finances are running low. Perhaps you can identify with the struggle because we all know the struggle is real. Unfortunately, believers often get caught in the trap of the enemy by choosing the wrong point of focus which is the size of the problem. I have heard it said time and time again, "the battle is won or lost in the mind" and I believe this to be very true because the apostle Paul admonishes us to renew our minds daily
Romans 12:2 (NLT)2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Our thought life is so very precious and important and if we do not renew the mind we are subject to give in to every desire and walk in fear and failure.
Our minds never seem to be blank at any time even when we are asleep, we still have sweet dreams and nightmares. According to an article by Carolyn Gregoire on "5 Amazing Things Your Brain Does While You Sleep" she stated,
"Research has identified a number of reasons sleep is critical to our health. When we're sleeping, the brain is anything but inactive. In fact, during sleep, neurons in the brain fire nearly as much as they do during waking hours — so it should come as no surprise that what happens during our resting hours is extremely important to a number brain and cognitive functions." (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/28/)
Imagine our mind is always at work so we can then reason that we are becoming what we spend our time thinking on. I remember seeing a teaching by Joyce Meyer, "Where the mind goes, the man follows" now that is very powerful, scary, and freeing all at the same time. I trust that as you are reading this plan revelation will come to you and you will be able to take stock and identify what has been occupying your mind. Do you spend most of your time focusing on the problems in your life? Do you spend a lot of time talking about your problems, pain, past hurts, and frustrations? Well from the information above, whatever you spend your time thinking about actually make its way even into your sleep time. God designed us to be consumed with Him, but the enemy infiltrated and now we find ourselves constantly thinking about us, our needs, our problems, our trials, our tribulations and a way out. While we may not have control of all the thoughts that run through our minds, we do have the control to decide what stays, and our point of focus will determine where we end up. The good news is, God has not left us stranded but has empowered us with a weapon to combat every lie of the enemy and it's called PRAISE!
"Satan so hates the genuine praise of Christ that his fiery darts of discouragement are not effective against us when we respond in praise." - William Thrasher
God's promises are true. He never disappoints on His promises. Disappointments come when we assume God should fulfill His promises to us on our timetable, and when it doesn't happen the way and time we want it to, that breeds hopelessness. One of the most heart-breaking situations in life is to have someone promise you something and then never follow through. But God will always bring to pass what He has promised. In the bible there are promises for every obstacle and situation you may face in your life, the Apostle Paul tells us,
2 Corinthians 1:20 (NLT)20 For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.
A promise from God gives us hope to carry on even when the answer is delayed, or the enemy seems to be making headway in destroying our lives.
One of my favorite stories in the bible is about King Jehoshaphat, I know his name is long but his story is amazing and encouraging. King Jehoshaphat found himself on the brink of war against an army that was way bigger than his. How often the fight that comes to us is always way bigger than we can handle, sometimes the mountains of problems seem so big, or the ocean of fears can be so deep, or the furnace can seem seven times hotter than usual. Perhaps your mountain is a divorce, your ocean is debt or your furnace is cancer or some other impossible situation but take heart because God has a promise for your situation. It is remarkable to me how people expect God to do something for them and yet, they have no idea if God promised it or not because they have not searched out His word. Remember, without a promise, there can be no real praise. We praise God because He is good and He does good.
When King Jehoshaphat got word of the impending battle he purposed to hear from God, and he called all the people to gather together and fast and pray so they could seek an answer. When things seem hopeless it's time to call a few close friends and ask for prayer, maybe even fast a day and just seek God for an answer rather than worry yourself in fear in isolation. As the people gathered, the Spirit of the Lord spoke through Jahaziel, a priest, and God gave them a promise that day. God said,
2 Chronicles 20:14-15 (NLT)14 the Spirit of the LORD came upon one of the men standing there. His name was Jahaziel son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite who was a descendant of Asaph.15 He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
The King got a promise from God and now he could face the war at hand because he knew this was a battle only God could win. I pray you would seek out a promise for your situation today.
A promise from God is as good as it gets, there is no shortfall, no reneging, no changing His mind; God is just looking for someone who will take Him at His word, and praise their way through because God will bring you out of your trouble, and He will lead you into all His goodness. The problem many of us face is the fight to believe God will come through. We read His word, we repeat and declare His promises but we don't really believe what we are saying. The Apostle James calls a person who prays but does not believe a double-minded man
James 1:6-8 (NLT)6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. I know when the situation seems bigger than us it is very difficult to stay in faith, that is why God gives us a promise so that we can recognize the answer forthcoming is dependent on Him alone.
The bible teaches us that God inhabits the praises of His people
Psalm 22:3 (ASV)3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
God is with us all the time in the person of the Holy Spirit but when we praise God based on His goodness, faithfulness, and love for us, we experience a manifested presence of God where miracles can happen. So the more we believe God is who he says He is, the more faith we can express in His promises, and so those promises will fuel our praise.
King Jehoshaphat got the promise from God and he believed. So he set out to do exactly what God had told him. He gathered the people the next day and gave them a pep talk based on the promise he got from God, and they got ready to take their positions for war.
2 Chronicles 20:21-24 (NLT)21 After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the LORD and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang: “Give thanks to the LORD; his faithful love endures forever!”22 At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the LORD caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves.23 The armies of Moab and Ammon turned against their allies from Mount Seir and killed every one of them. After they had destroyed the army of Seir, they began attacking each other.24 So when the army of Judah arrived at the lookout point in the wilderness, all they saw were dead bodies lying on the ground as far as they could see. Not a single one of the enemy had escaped.
It is marvelous the way God calls us to war, and it definitely is not the way of the world. The Apostle Paul tells us our weapons are not carnal but mighty through God.
2 Corinthians 10:4 (ASV)4 (for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds),
In every battle, we must learn to stand in faith believing God's promise, praise Him, and by all means He will show up and fight for you.
Armed with priests and singers, they were ready for battle. To the army on the other side this might have looked ridiculous on every level, they must have thought "We have the victory in this one" and probably laughed at the current situation. But little did they know that this army was not about to fight this battle in their own strength, but the God of the universe would show up and defend them. So too, you must know that God never changes and if He did it back then for King Jehoshaphat, He will do it again for you. When all else is lost, when it looks impossible, as long as you have a promise from God, you are positioned for the victory as you stand and declare the goodness of your God. King Jehoshaphat did not do a war chant, but they stood and gave thanks to the Lord. They focused their praise on their God and how good, faithful, kind and loving He was, establishing that His qualities would last forever.
"When you need God to answer a prayer you ask God for a promise; and when God gives you a promise, having prayed for the promise, then you start to praise from the promise – pray for the promise and then praise from the promise." - George Muller
Do you know the enemy cannot stand praise and worship? He hates a joyful believer, and if we persist on praising God instead of complaining about our problems, it drives the enemy mad and he gets very confused. If only we could catch a glimpse of what really happens in the kingdom of darkness I think we would start praising more and complaining less. But if we look at the natural realm we can surely understand what praise does to the enemy. Have you ever hurt someone to the core? I mean that hurt should have taken a lifetime to get over but during the time of anger and pain, the person seems to rise above it, they seem to dress better, they seem to be getting more attention than before and all of a sudden you find yourself getting upset, jealous, and even confused. Well multiply that feeling a million times over and that is how the enemy gets when in spite of all you have been through you can still throw your hands up and give God a praise.
Too many times when we go to pray or praise, we focus our words on the enemy instead of our great God; thereby diluting the warfare and that leaves us exhausted, frustrated, and defeated. If you have gotten hold of a promise from God, then it is time to stop shouting at the enemy. It is time to zone in on that promise and declare who your God is. Go to your secret place of prayer and stand on that promise, and focus your praise on God and see him come into your situation and give you the victory. King David was also a man who faced many trials and tribulations in his life, being anointed to be king in his teenage years, yet never took his throne until he was thirty, in all his troubles he said, "I will bless the Lord at all time; His praise shall continually be in my mouth." (Psalm 34:1)
When King Jehoshaphat and his army went out to battle they began to sing and praise. Their focus was on their God and this caused God to show up. The story tells us, "As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated." (2 Chronicles 20:22). How powerful is that? Many times we think we are fighting the enemy but the truth is we are not; we invite God into our battle and He fights for us. When I got hold of this revelation it took a huge burden off my shoulders and today I pray that your burden will be lifted also. Not only did praise bring the people of Judah the victory, but it also brought them into great material blessings. My friends, everything we need is wrapped up in the person and presence of Jesus. I encourage you to turn your focus away from the enemy, and invite God into your situation, turn your gaze upon Him, get your praise on, and watch him decimate the plans and purposes of the enemy.
"If the devil has ever troubled you, let me tell you this: you can trouble him a lot more than he troubles you when you learn to praise and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ in his presence. He hates it. It embarrasses him, he'll go somewhere else." - Derek Prince
*For more information, please visit: Pastor Lisa Singh Heavenly Grace Ministries