All throughout Scripture there are messages where we are compelled to give God our best. As a worship leader, I am often pulled towards Psalm 33:3. Here the psalmist is saying that he wants to play skillfully to God. Giving God a well crafted piece of praise, that has been well rehearsed. But this isn’t realistic for every week. What do we do, when no matter what, we utterly mess up a song during worship? How can we make mistakes and still be able to give it to God as praise? Continue reading “Oops! I Messed Up”
Isaiah continues his description of the Messiah. The Messiah would bring forth a time where Israel can be reunited, and bring a time without fear. He says “In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all … The baby will play safely near the hole of a cobra. Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes without harm. Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, for as the waters fill the sea, so the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord.” (11:6-9, NLT). Isaiah adds a song about salvation and giving praise to God. This song is given to continue the illustration of the coming Messiah. It’s a song from people who have found their salvation and thank God at all times for it.
Do we do this today? Unlike the Jews that Isaiah was speaking to, we know where and when our salvation comes. When Isaiah wrote, the people needed encouragement to get through the difficult times. Today, the scripture is still there to encourage, but instead to encourage us to praise Him. We no longer have to wait for Jesus to come, as I said yesterday. Yet since he has come, when we receive His gift we get a new purpose. “See, God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. The Lord God is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.” (12:2, NLT). Jesus gave us our victory over sin and death. What better of a reason for celebration is there? We have been made new and clean, so we should praise Him everyday and every opportunity we can. When we get up, praise! When we get in the car for work, praise! When we get to work, praise! When we do well, praise! When we don’t do well praise! Praise Him all the time! He has saved you from your sin and death, so He deserves our praise!
Here’s a song all about praise!!!!
Also in this Series
Today has been a great day so far! That’s not to say it hasn’t had it’s rough patches. I’ve had technology falling apart all around me, and some conflict with a coworker. I know that many of us would see this as the makings of a terrible day, and I would’ve have said the same if it had been any other day. But today during my prayer time, I prayed through a psalm that has impacted my day.
“I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul will make its boast in the Lord;
The humble will hear it and rejoice.
O magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.”
–Psalm 34:1-3, NASB
It has been my reminder to day to live a lifestyle of worship. “I will bless the Lord at all times”. This doesn’t say I will bless Him when I feel like it, or when He’s done good for me. It says, at all times! Today has been a rough one for me to keep up this mentality. But it has been my experience that when you are adamant that nothing will get in the way of you living for God, that’s when the Enemy works his hardest against you. I know it’s hard. So let’s “exalt His name together” today, and let’s see how it can change your day for the better.
Psalms to Pray: Psalm 33-36
I came across a video today (below posted as “The funny video”) that is poking fun at raising hands in church. He is talking about the difference between a “hand raising church” and a “non-hand raising church”. Don’t get me wrong, I thought it was hilarious, but it got me thinking about something. All churches should be hand raising churches! Paul wrote to Timothy, “In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy.” (1 Timothy 2:8 NLT). Lifting our hands is an expression of worship, not one that someone has lost their mind. Or on the other side, they did lose their mind and gave all of themselves in worship of their Heavenly Father!
I have to admit that hand raising was something that I never understood, even when I first started leading worship. Then I tried it. I will never judge someone who lifts their hands in worship again, or any other symbol of praise (shouting, clapping, dancing, etc). I would suggest, if you haven’t before, lift your hands in worship. You can do it right now. Praise God with your hands lifted high. It is truly an experience I wish everyone would have, and not sit there and think others are silly for doing it. I was that way, but never again. We were made for worship, so let’s give our all in worship.
The funny video:
On a more serious note (Louie Giglio from Symphony (I Lift My Hands):
Psalms to Pray: Psalms 3-4
For the past seven weeks, I have been doing a Bible study on worship with my church’s praise team. It has been a pretty great study so far, and I look forward to the last two weeks of it. The study, while going throughout the Bible, focuses on one story. It can be found in 2 Chronicles 20.
In this story, Judah is being threatened by 3 different invading armies. King Jehoshaphat orders a time of fasting and prayer. The prophet Jahaziel then delivers a message to the king and all Judah, “thus says that Lord to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel. You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the Lord is with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:15b-17, NASB).
After receiving this message, the people fast and pray. In the morning the army marched out to station itself for battle, but leading the charge were the priest and holy worshipers (a choir!!!!). These people lead the people of Judah is a praise song that went like this, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His lovingkindness is everlasting” (2 Chronicles 20:21, NASB). During the praise, God made the armies confused and they destroyed themselves!
Isn’t that a great story? But it has a point that I’d like to share with you.
Life gets hard. The people of Judah were experiencing this (3 armies at once!). But no matter how hard life can get, we should lead the charge with praise and worship. As we’ve been discussing this week, praise is important (especially when we are waiting on God’s promises). The people of Judah showed us what can happen when we place our trust in God. They didn’t have to lift a sword in order to defeat the three armies, all the did was sing. God did the rest of the work. The story goes on to show that they went on to plunder for three days! It must have been a massive gathering against them. But the listened and trusted in God. They went into battle praising Him, and He provided for them.
God wants to do the same for you. All you have to do is surrender your life completely to Him. Then, go into battle singing His praises. We can’t go into the “battle” of the day saying “Let me figure it out, then I’ll ask God.” Give it to God first! He can handle it.
I thought of a couple songs that would be appropriate for this post. So please take a listen, and give your battles over to God.
So I sat down to write the post for today and questioned what I should write about. I really didn’t have anything on my mind. So I did a Bible Study that I have been leading my praise team through, hoping that might trigger something. It didn’t. So I thought about it and went to Psalm 119. I knew that this was a long psalm (the longest in the Bible), so I figured I might be able to pull something out of there. But God drew me somewhere else because right on the other side I noticed another psalm. This psalm is quite the opposite of Psalm 119, in that it is a very short psalm. It reads:
“Praise the Lord, all you nations.
Praise him, all you people of the earth.
For he loves us with unfailing love;
the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever.
Praise the Lord!”
–Psalm 117, NLT
Two verses, and it says everything that I could ever say. It’s a good reminder that when you don’t know what else to do, give God praise and worship (not the music, the actions). So I’ll list a few things that I am praising God for today.
- That He loves me enough to come to this place to save me
- For the beautiful family He has blessed me with
- The job that He has given me, so that I may be able to care for my family
- The car that He has given me so I can get to my job
- That I live in a place where I can praise him openly without fear or persecution
- For my Bible (all 9 of them), and the fact that I have the ability to read it
- My loving friends and extended family that love and support me
The list goes on and on. I know that this sounds a little like an exercise in listing on thing you are thankful for as we lead up to Thanksgiving, but I encourage you to give this a try. Give God thanks and praise for the things He has blessed you with, even if you don’t understand why or how it’s a blessing.
Also, I just had to post a song!
So I was reading in Isaiah today and an important point came to mind. Before we get into Isaiah though, I wanted to start in Romans.
In the sixth chapter of Romans Paul writes, “For the wages of sin is death,” (Romans 6:23 NLT). Sound pretty straight forward, but do we really get the point. If we are in sin, we are DEAD! When we come to Christ, and give our lives over to him, we come to life. We are no longer held by death, and we can finally live. I’ve heard so many people say they never felt so alive before Christ. I believe that’s true. Being spiritually dead can feel just like being actually dead. But when we come alive in Christ, we feel great!
What I read in Isaiah drew this point home for me. “For the dead cannot praise you; they cannot raise their voices in praise” (Isaiah 38:18 NLT). I believe that the main purpose of the Creation is to give glory to God. The best way for us to do that is to join in worship. If we cannot worship God, and lift up His praises, we aren’t doing the very thing we were created to do. Being in sin causes us to be dead, and when we are dead, so is our worship.
So do you still live in sin? I’m not here to say it’s easy. It is a constant battle for anyone, myself included. But if you don’t have Christ, then your answer is yes. Your sin stays with you and makes you dead. But, if we finish the verse from Romans, “the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NLT), we see that God offers that opportunity to come to life. We simply have to recognize our need for salvation, and ask Him for it. When we do that, we are finally able to lift our voices and do the very thing we were created to do; Praise His holy name!!!!!
I promise guys. One day I will figure this whole blogging thing out and actually post stuff when their supposed to be posted.
Any way, this week I though I would post about O Praise Him by David Crowder* Band. The song often asks worshipers to turn towards heaven and praise Him. Praise is defined as the offering of grateful homage in words or song, as an act of worship. That’s all this song is asking of us, to simply turn and worship the Lord with praise. A good way to also look at this song is through the lens of Psalm 148:
“Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens!
Praise him from the skies!
Praise him, all his angels!
Praise him, all the armies of heaven!
Praise him, sun and moon!
Praise him, all you twinkling stars!
Praise him, skies above!
Praise him, vapors high above the clouds!
Let every created thing give praise to the Lord,
for He has issued his command, and they came
-Psalm 148:1-5, NLT
I love this song as a way to get worship started. Its a good way to get people to be thinking upwards, right from the beginning.
So have a listen below.
This Weeks Set
- Fill Me Up – Preston Howell
- O Praise Him – David Crowder* Band
- How Great Is Our God – Chris Tomlin
- You Alone Can Rescue – Matt Redman
- Always – Kristian Stanfill
- One Thing Remains (Your Love Never Fails) – performed by Kristian Stanfill