THE IMPORTANCE OF PRAISE AND WORSHIP Part 2

     "Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens"(Lam.3:41)  Again we cite David as an example in striving to please God, we see him doing things with all his might. An all out effort with continued faithfulness can't help but get results in the Kingdom of God. The words of Charles Wesley beautifully reflect what I'm talking about; "O for a thousand tongues to sing my great redeemers praise". Praise expands our awareness of who Jesus is. Praise begins to recognize different aspects of His divine nature and wants to appreciate Him for these and begin to conform to them. In short, praise lifts our perspective out of the earthly into the heavenly, then goes on to take us from an individual mind set into Corporate Worship!  The "anointing" of the body is greater than the "anointing" of  an individual!
     
      Most of us know something of what it means to give sacrifice of praise. "Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward"(II Jn.verse 8). I have an idea a full reward comes when we have pursued the things of God with our whole heart! Whether young or old it is easy to lose focus, especially  if you're being tried and tested. I feel it is these kinds of times we must praise and worship even if we must sacrifice to enter in.  Keep an attitude of praise at all times regardless of circumstance!  "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name"(Heb. 13:15).  When I see this word continually, I'm reminded of the O.T. word "perpetual".  "And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations"(Exo. 30:8). IT'S A FULL TIME JOB!  So it is with our sacrifice of praise, we do it whether we feel it or not! Joel 3:14 says: Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision". Literally, this valley is called "the valley of Jehoshaphat" (Joel 3:12) "for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about".
 
     Let me speak by the Spirit: Jehoshaphat's name in Hebrew means; Jehovah Judges. As long as we stay in this valley we are out of range of "pure worship". Worship is as powerful as ever, and can meet all our needs even without the preacher laying hands on us! Worship dwells on Mt. Zion, all those who remain in the valley of half-hearted thanks and praise are still at war with the Spirit! The command in the valley is to "beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks  into spears" Other translations use the word "nations" instead of "heathen". The truth remains, the multitudes want nothing to do with "anointing"! So in this valley they withstand Jesus! In a relationship of worship in Zion's Spirit situations are reversed! We're truly submerged in Mercy and kissed by Grace! "And many people shall go up and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem"(Isa.2:3). This is the "new Jerusalem" from above which has now been "made a Praise to His Chosen"! Also a brand new law called "the law of the Spirit of Life"! Here's the revelation: on Mt. Zion we learn war no more, but our swords become plowshares, and our spears become pruninghooks! (Isa.2:4)  When we master "worship" we will have the only weapon we need, and no weapon of the enemy will by no means can harm God's Chosen!

In-Christ Always Elmer Hart

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