Friday, January 6, 2017

holy, holy, holy

Last Sunday, I was privileged to get to teach the toddler class. I know many think this is just babysitting or maybe even unimportant, but I see it as a chance to teach them some foundation and truths about who God is. The lesson in the curriculum was about heaven and how amazing it will be. After getting snacks and some playtime, I started the lesson and began describing heaven to these little ones.  I began describing how the angels cry, "Holy, Holy, Holy!"  I demonstrated how we will all join in and began raising my arms and saying, "Holy, Holy Holy!"  I began to feel the presence of God sweep through the room. Those little faces were just looking and and watching. One raised her little hands as well. It was a sweet moment in the presence of God.  Even at a small age, they recognized a moment when God was present. I was reminded that when we take the time to worship unabashedly before God, He takes notice.

How often do I take time to just worship God?  I have asked myself that question a few times this week.  Not enough, is my answer. I take time to pray and pour out my many needs and requests. I tell him that I love him and I do tell him how amazing He is.  But to just pour out praise?  No, I do not do that enough.  For years, we have heard that God inhabits the praises of his people.  While the Bible does not directly state that, In Psalms 22:3  King James Version, it says, "But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel."   Other translations translate that as (NIV) Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises.  and (NASB) Yet You are holy, O You who [e]are enthroned upon the praises of Israel.  So while only the KJV implies that God inhabits our praises,  the idea behind it is still there.  God does want us to praise him.  In Isaiah 6:3, the Seraphim that Isaiah saw were crying out "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts." They were before the throne of God. This was also reported by John in Revelations 4:12 as he saw the throne room and the four creatures who cried out day and night, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, The Almighty, who was and is and is to come."   The word 'praise' is in the Bible 259 times.  Psalm 150 is all about singing praise to God. 

150 Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.
Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.

Praise is important to God. It is important for his children to praise Him and I believe that praise gets His attention. I know from experience, that when I praise Him, start my prayer time with praise, true praise, His presence sweeps in.  It is palpable and almost like waves of joy washing over my soul.  It is precious and awesome. I love to bring praise before Him and experience His presence.   Praise is so important, that God does not want it given away. The three Hebrew children refused to praise and worship before the statue of King Nebuchadnezzar. He demanded that bow and worship his statue. When they refused, he had them thrown into the super-heated fiery furnace. God's presence showed up and protected them.  The king saw four men walking around in the fire and one was like the Son of God. He recognized that God was there protecting these three men.  When they came out, they didn't even have the smell of smoke on them.  God took notice of three men who refused to give their praise to anyone but Him.  
We can also see in Acts 16 when Paul and Silas were thrown in prison, they sang praises at midnight.  They chose to worship and praise even in the worst of circumstances and God honored that praise with an earthquake that shook the chains right off the prisoners.  This situation that looked dire, became a moment of praise and lives were changed. They were able to witness and baptize the jailer's entire family and a great testimony was formed as they were delivered from prison. God heard their praises and honored them with his presence. He moved and changed their circumstances.  

Praise is heard by God and He will honor those who praise Him with His presence. He moves and acts when he hears praise. His throne room is filled with praise from the seraphim or angels that stand day and night to cry "Holy, holy, holy!"  But when one of his children begins to cry out, "Holy, holy, holy!"  He hears it above the angels. He hears it and moves to be in that moment. How awesome it is when the presence of God sweeps in to hear his precious child sing, "Holy, holy, holy!"  He is there in that moment. Does that make him egotistical?  No, makes him faithful.  He promises to hear us and he has set a precedent in the Word, that praise gets his attention. He is holy and righteous. When a child of God understands that and brings it forth in praise, the Holy and Righteous God, moves and brings forth the holy and righteous acts that need to be done.  He will keep His Word and he will hear our praise. He is present and knows what we need before we even say it.  Just like Paul and Silas, they did not ask God for an earthquake to get them out of prison, they simply praised Him. God took care of the circumstances.  
Sometimes, we talk so much about our circumstances rather than the greatness of God. Maybe we are giving too much 'praise' to the circumstances.  Maybe our talk needs to change to the holiness of God and to praise of Him who made us.  Maybe the words we speak are more powerful than we realized. Maybe when we spend so much time speaking about the troubles, we are actually 'praising' those troubles.  Maybe our words need to change to "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God, Almighty!"  Maybe the words we speak will bring the attention of God and His presence will sweep into the circumstances of our lives.  Maybe he will take care of the circumstances in ways we don't expect when we just begin to speak His praises rather than dwell on our circumstances. 

Proverbs 18:21
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

If death and life are in the power of the tongue, the words we speak have great power. We should carefully consider our words.  Praise is words we speak to God. Like Psalm 150 tells us that we are to praise God everywhere.  We are to praise God and everything that has breath can praise God.  I really think I need to take more time to praise God and quit worrying over everything else.  I can make requests known  to him when I pray, but the most important thing I can do is praise.  "Holy, Holy Holy!"

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for sharing your thoughts