Thursday, March 31, 2016

Praise the Lord

Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God, for He is gracious and lovely; praise is becoming and appropriate.
Psalm 147:1 AMP

Over the past couple of days I have been asking God for a specific scripture for this season of our lives. This morning I believe He led me to Psalm 147:1-5. And it starts with 'praise'. It always starts with praise, taking us to a place of reverence for who God is. It may be praise in silence, it may be praise alone with God, it may be praise with song, it may be praise through the tears, but it must be praise.

Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!) Praise the Lord, O my soul! While I live will I praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have any being. Psalm 146:1-2 AMP

Praise opens our eyes further to who God us, what He has done, and what He is doing. We can see Him more clearly, rather than our circumstances. Psalm 147 goes on ...

The Lord is building up Jerusalem; He is gathering together the exiles of Israel. Psalm 147:2 AMP

We don't have to look around far, or listen long to see what is happening in here in our churches, our schools, our communities and in other parts of the world to know that the Lord is building, He is gathering. We are part of that building and gathering, praise God. And we have a part to play in the building and gathering. But we need to stay close to Him, constantly in His Word, to know His heart and hear what He wants us specifically to do. We must be aware of distractions.

Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless. Mark 4:19 AMP

Being free of distractions - a big challenge. The first step is often recognising what the distractions are in our lives. Thankfully the Holy Spirit is ready and willing to help us with that, if we ask Him.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds [curing their pains and their sorrows]. Psalm 147:3 AMP

He is the healer. I have been listening to some teaching CDs, and the preacher said, 'the greatest hindrance to faith is time.' I am not sure if I agree that time is the greatest hindrance, however it certainly is a hindrance. As time passes and you are yet to see healing manifest, it can be easy to waiver and wonder what God is doing. It is in those times, as this preacher says, that we need to stand on the scriptures God has given us and continually declare them.

But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgement shall show to be in the wrong. This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [those in whom the ideal Servant of the Lord is reproduced]; this is the righteousness or the vindication which they obtain from Me [this is that which I impart to them as their justification], says the Lord. Isaiah 54:17 AMP

His Word. His Promises for us. Do we know them? Psalm 147 goes on....

He determines and counts the number of the stars; He calls them by their names. Psalm 147:3 AMP

Majesty, real majesty. Not just 'His Majesty king of this country' etc here on earth. No, real majesty - the creator of all. Purposeful with every part of creation. Another reminder of just Who it is we call God.

Finally, this passage ends with

Great is our Lord and of great power; His understanding is inexhaustible and boundless. Psalm 147:5 AMP

Yes, our God is great and of great power. We read about it, we see it. But He isn't a distant God. No. He is here. He understands. He understands us, more than we understand ourselves. He understands our desires, our passions and our fears. He simply and wonderfully understands.

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not faint or grow weary; there is no searching of His understanding.  Isaiah 40:28 AMP

And then, look what He gives to us,

He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength [causing it to multiply and making it to abound]. Isaiah 40:29 AMP

And in return, what can we do? Praise Him.

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the heights! Praise Him, all His angels, praise Him, all His hosts! Praise Him, sun and moon, praise Him, all you stars of light! Praise Him, you highest heavens and you waters above the heavens! Psalm 148:1-4 AMP

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