Thursday, June 26, 2014

JUNE 26 "LET'S CUT THIS PRAISE THING SHORT!"

  David can’t help but Praise God with the heart of gratitude that he has. We get a glimpse of where some of his gratitude comes from in the Psalm, “Praise the Lord, who is my rock, He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle.”  How many times did David go into battle for Israel, risking his life but yet God supernaturally enabled him. A life of leisure, a life where we just live in our “comfort zone” may be a little better for our blood pressure, but it is not something that is going to cause exuberant Praise to come out of your mouth on Sunday mornings. As a matter of a fact, you may be one of the individuals that yawns during Praise & Worship on Sunday mornings. You may say, “I’m into the Word, just give me the Word, we can skip all that Praise non-sense and just get to the good stuff”. David would have disagreed with you; and David was a man’s man, but yet David had exuberant Praise in him, that just had to come out. So much so that it vexed his wife to see him act like such a fool (at least in her opinion, but surely not God’s opinion) before the Lord. She obviously could not relate and when we cannot relate we judge and of course we judge in our favor and condemn the other. A nominal Christianity will never exude much praise or appreciation and gratitude to God. Had David not known war, had David not encountered the bear & the lion (who wants that!) he would not have had this immense gratitude stored up in him for God. I can tell by someone’s praise pretty much what level, at what pace, that person is serving God. I know, there’s always exceptions to the rule (we all have bad days, weeks, months) but, for the most part, it is pretty proven and tried, over the years. Someone who has no relationship with God, comes in to the service and their praise is just 100% flat;  during the song service there is ZERO praise coming out of them. And that’s what you would expect; it only goes along to prove the theory, or perhaps, hypothesis, that our praise indicates what level we are on with God. “Don’t judge me!!!, we say.  “If that’s what’s happening, I’m coming to church and people are just judging me by my praise, then I will just stay home!” you cry out.  I say, “go ahead, that’s probably what you’ve been wanting to do in the first place anyway”. We hate to be judged. We hate yearly evaluations by our employers, we hate any kind of judgment, any kind of assessment of our character and God forbid anyone judge us in our walk with God. Nobody should say anything about how bored we are during praise. Nobody should say anything about how that’s the most convenient time for us to go to the restroom, 3 times and spend 5 minutes there each time. Nobody should say anything about our acute interest in the dirt under our finger nails during praise and worship, nobody should say anything about your acute attention to all the type-0’s in the power point, about how the song leader is off-key, anything is more interesting during praise, then the actual praise and perhaps that’s because there’s no praise in you? David cannot help but praise God, he cannot help but sing and dance to his God. David is the one who gives us our prescription for praise, “ I will sing a new song, I will praise with a ten-stringed harp” Let’s get loud, let’s get exuberant, let’s get excited, how amazing is God, He’s incredible, I just got back from War, He saved me, He helped me, what a victory He brought, He is so amazing, aren’t you just amazed and in wonder of how good God is, how much He cares about us, mere mortal men?” Our reply, “how long does this Praise Worship thing last, because I really have somewhere I have to be this afternoon and David, I appreciate your enthusiasm, and I’m really there with you, in spirit, but if we can just cut this short and get to the preaching, I would really appreciate it!” And what’s even more amazing, is we can say that with a straight face and not even for a moment, think, there’s anything wrong with us or our apathy towards Praise, which is really an apathy towards God.