Happy New Year! Praise is my word for 2014. Praise and worship are sometimes used interchangeably. I am not a theologian, so I’m not here to tell you that they are or aren’t synonymous. In the grand scheme of things, your belief or knowledge of the definition of these words will not get you into or keep you out of heaven. So, let’s not get caught up on that. Let’s just talk about praise.
Ok. Now, when we hear the word praise, we often think of music or the praise and worship portion of worship service. But, God doesn’t mean for us to reserve our priase for church. If that were the case…well you get the point. Praise should be a lifestyle. And, going forward, my praise will be:
- focused on God and his goodness (Hebrews 13:15)
- fueled by faith (Hebrews 11:1)
- fulfilled in my life and my future (Psalm 61:8)
MY DEFINITION — Praise (verb): any activity (thought, word, song or action) that comes from a heart consumed with and focused on expressing thanks, honor, adoration, and glory for our AWESOME God.
In 2014 (and thereafter), as I seek and purpose to praise God in the good
and the bad (because of Romans 8:28, I know that God works ALL things together for my good because I love him), I will live with an attitude of gratitude. Psalm 22:3 tells us that God inhabits the praises of his people. Because of that, God is not attracted to our problems. He is attracted to our praise! This is also why praise precedes any and every breakthrough. When we focus on God and his greatness, we reflect his glory back to him. You see, I have decided to praise him for who He is and what he has already done. I will also praise him in advance for the things I am expecting (and the things that aren’t on my radar that he is going to surprise me with 🙂 ) Him to do in my life.
Today, I praise God because he is worthy of ALL of my praise. He is alpha and omega. He is mighty. He is my creator, my strong tower, my way-maker, my peace, my provider, my healer, my comforter, and the list goes on and on.
Praise is not an event that takes place only at church or in an environment with other believers. Praise not only comes forth from our lips in a sway inducing song that causes arms to be outstretched (like the photo above 🙂 ). Praise manifests itself in our faith, in our actions and our thoughts (a.k.a. our lifestyle). Praise is necessary because it refocuses our attention from our present circumstances to the awe inspiring nature, character and goodness of God.
I am striving for a sincere lifestyle of praise, which I believe will increase and release more faith, allow for a more intimate relationship with God, and develop contentment.
Will you join me in a lifestyle of praising God?
P.S. This song (It Could Be Worse — James Fortune and FIYA, featuring Le’Andria Johnson and Zacardi Cortez) came on as I was finishing this post, so I thought it fitting to share it with you.