July 25, 2021 by Kgalalelo
“With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord” Ezra 3:11
I woke up early this morning with my own agenda. My intention was to sit in front of the television after taking a bath at 7 a.m., connect to YouTube, search for a sermon on a topic that addressed my circumstances and feed on the Word of God. I knew that at 8:30, an intercessory prayer service would be taking place on a different channel and the idea was to join in as well for that meeting afterwards. I didn’t know what was on God’s agenda for me.
The challenge with most of believers is that we do things our own way without seeking the counsel of God for the day. Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails”. As I was about to watch, I felt an inkling to pray and therefore paused the programme. I began to pray and was filled with the Spirit of God and heard the word “praise” in my spirit. I knew that God was telling me that my way out of my circumstances was to praise Him, the same way He taught me about gratitude.
Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name”. Praise and gratitude go hand in hand. God showed me that when you want to turn things around in your life even when you are not too happy about certain people in your life, praise them, find something good about them and this will change how you feel about them. This will change your heart towards them. As soon as you praise, anger, resentment, and bitterness dissolves. Praise is a spiritual antidote; you have to go inside yourself and draw it out.
Galatians 5:21-22 says, “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God”. When you think, speak and act in this manner, you are in the flesh, you have moved away from God, your home, hence you can’t inherit the kingdom.
You are like the prodigal son who took his inheritance and squandered it, leaving his home, the people who love him, his father and relatives seeking the pleasures of this world (Luke 15:11-32). God is merciful and the Bible says, “His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 136). When the prodigal son went back home and repented, his father accepted him and slaughtered the fattened calf for him. He had a celebration for his son and Luke 15:7 says, “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent”.
Your heart becomes light when you praise, you are set free. Jesus says, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. Since praise is a requirement as seen in Psalm 100, it exists to help you and free you from the bondage of sin. Sometimes we don’t realise that it is our lack of praise that hinders our prayers but if we praise God and have a positive outlook on life and our fellow brothers, things begin to change.
Galatians 5: 22-26 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking, and envying each other”.
Praise gives you a single focus because even when things are difficult, you are attuned to God and He begins to work for you. You will be amazed how much you achieve and receive in your life because you refuse to look at life any other way but on what God has done for you. As a result, He does more.
“And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.” Ezra 3:11
Footnote: Scriptures taken from the The Holy Bible, New King James Version, 1982: Nashville, TN, Thomas Nelson, Inc. & The ESV Global Study Bible®, ESV® Bible, Copyright © 2012 by Crossway. All rights reserved & The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™ (2004). Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Wheaton, Ill: Tyndale House Publishers. The Holy Bible, Berean Study Bible, BSB Copyright ©2016, 2018 by Bible Hub Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2016 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved. The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Kgalalelo Saane Mphephuka
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