Stand Up and Praise God

Nehemiah 9:5   (KJV)   5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, Stand up and bless the Lord your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.

The leaders of the congregation of Israel, in an important time of national commitment to God found it in their hearts to lead their people in praise and adoration to God

Nehemiah 9.5 - Stand Up and Praise GodI’m grateful that I got introduced to this important facet of Christian life very early in my walk with the Lord. I enjoy it. I enjoy it when I’m alone, when we’re praying as a family, or when we’re lifting up our voices altogether as one of His particular assemblies.

It’s interesting; when asked to volunteer for specific prayer “categories,” there are those who quickly chose to lead in repentance, in thanksgiving, or in requests, but many believers still don’t feel comfortable leading in praise. It can be learned. In fact, it’s tremendously comforting and uplifting praising our great God and Father.

I remember the song “Praise the Lord” popularized by Russ Taff or the group Imperials; it’s worth recalling repeatedly:

When you’re up against a struggle that shatters all your dreams
And your hopes have been cruelly crushed by Satan’s manifested schemes
And you feel the urge within you to submit to earthly fears
Don’t let the faith you’re standing in seem to disappear

Praise the Lord, He can work through those who praise Him
Praise the Lord, for our God inhabits praise
Praise the Lord, for the chains that seems to bind you
Serve only to remind you that they drop powerless behind you
When you praise Him

Now Satan is a liar and he wants to make us think
That we are paupers when he knows himself we’re children of the King
So lift up the mighty shield of faith for the battle must be won
We know that Jesus Christ has risen so the work’s already done

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Listen Intently

Luke 8:18   (KJV)   18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.

Our precious Lord wants us to be as productive as we can be. He doesn’t want our time Luke 8.18 - Listen Intentlyand our lives wasted. He cares even for the way we listen. He wants us to gain more knowledge, more understanding, and more wisdom.

We’re sincere in the way we listen to our Lord. He has graciously given us His Word so we would know our way, so we would know truth, so we can see, so we can really live. We pay sincere and careful attention to His Word. The more we do, the more He gives us wisdom.

It can be tempting to read the Scriptures and pray out of obligation—just to go through the motions. I pray you don’t get me wrong. I believe and understand the need to spend time with the Lord. But we don’t take them lightly and superficially. Not heeding how we hear is to lessen the understanding we already have. We don’t understand the divine mechanics regarding this, but we know what He says happens.

He speaks, we listen. As His sheep, we know His voice. He always guides and leads us to the right path. He wants to commune with us more than we commune with Him. He’s never too busy for us; we don’t have to wait to make an appointment with Him. And He wants to pour out more of His Word and His wisdom to us. So we sincerely seek; we intently listen, and we keep growing.

For His Glory

Psalm 79:9   (KJV)   9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake.

Our salvation, deliverance and forgiveness are of indescribably glorious benefits and blessings to us, but it’s first and foremost for the glory of His Name. He’s the One Who’s Psalm 79.9 - For His Gloryable help and He’s always willing to.

We often find ourselves in need of His intervention. We make decisions that cause us to find ourselves in very unpleasant situations. Many times, it’s not because of our careless actions and decisions but because of the recklessness of others. But in all circumstances, we have hope.

Our God is closer to us than we can imagine or describe. We can call on Him anytime; we don’t have to wait for an appointment; His schedule is always open for us. And that’s very good; there are things and situations that can’t wait—life emergencies are real.

So we pray. It just makes sense. And for us His children, our prayers are faith-filled. We know that we know: He will always come through for us. And as assuring and comforting as that may be, us receiving His help isn’t our end desire; our ultimate purpose is to glorify our God and Dad through our experiences.

Mercy, Blessings, Pleasure

Psalm 67:1   (KJV)   67 God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.

Psalm 67.1 - Mercy, Blessing, PleasurePraise God, He’s willing to grant us mercy, to bless us, to delight in us. We come to Him humbly and boldly and pray for those things knowing that our loving God and Father desires to give them to us.

To live in His mercy, blessings, and pleasure is to live an incomparably and indescribably wonderful life. We don’t live under God’s judgment, lack, and rejection. He ably spares us from continuous pain-filled tears and utter restlessness. We don’t fear destruction, displacement, and disaster.

Those of us who fully trust in God fully rest in Him, surrounded with comforting and encouraging songs of deliverance, we bravely face every situation in life; we don’t cower from our enemies; in fact, we love them. The threat of terror may abound, but because God is within us, those who insidiously plan evil against us are the ones caught in their own snares.

Because of God’s mercy, we don’t have to fear a nation’s or even this world’s impending doom. The slowest among us run swiftly, the weakest among us are infused with divine strength. Because of God’s blessings, we are not in want. We don’t fear famine or plague. We may be laid-off from our jobs, our businesses may not pick-up, our friends may turn their backs from us, but our God provides us all our needs. Because of His pleasure, we live above pressure. We don’t live for the pleasure of people. We can’t please everybody all the time anyway. We don’t need to please everyone, we just please One, and that One is more and greater than everyone.

Through us, others see the beauty and wonders of God, His handiwork, His ways, His salvation.

Father, In Jesus’ Name

John 16:23   (KJV)   23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.

A day was prophesied and that day is now that we pray directly to the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus. When we, do God grants our prayers. The veil between us and God has been torn apart. We now boldly come before the throne of God. We do so not John 16.23 - Father, In Jesus' Namebecause of our own righteousness or accomplishment; it’s because of our Lord Jesus. Because of Him, there no longer remains anything that separates us from the Father.

We maintain a healthy balance of sincere humility and lion-like boldness. We’re not deserving of being in the presence of the greatest and perfectly holy Being; we can’t help but approach His awesome presence with utter lowliness of heart. At the same time, we don’t cower away, knowing that we have an advocate to our Father. He is worthy.  It’s because of Him and in His Name that we have access to our heavenly Father.

In the lighter side of things, some people ask, “Do we pray to the Father, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit?”. As expected, answers vary. Here’s one passage telling us to pray directly to the Father—in Jesus’ Name. Of course, this is not the only Scripture though that addresses the issue. For now, we just pray the best we know how, and it’s been an awesome experience so far.

Persistent Pursuit

Mark 10:48   (KJV)   48 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.

There are those who are physically blind but who see with the eyes of faith. Bartimaeus recognized Jesus as the “Son of David”—a then-known title for the awaited Messiah.

mark-10-48-persistent-pursuitOppositions can arise in our pursuit of the Lord; pursue Him nonetheless.

Presence of oppositions and obstructions doesn’t necessarily mean being out of God’s will. In fact, hindrances and attacks may be positive indicators that we are on the right track.

Persistence is a virtue—if it’s for the good, right, and godly.

We’re not obligated to always listen to what the crowd says. Praise God we know Who to always listen to. He’s always right.

The majority isn’t always right. Remember, there are a lot more people who prefer to enter the wide gate and walk the broad way.

There are desperate times when we need to push harder and raise our voices louder.

God’s mercy covers not only our deep spiritual needs but more than all our needs.

It’s Okay When We Can’t

Mark 9:28   (KJV)   28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?

With all the intimacy the disciples had with the Lord Jesus, there were still some things they did not know and some things they could not do.

mark-9-28-its-okay-when-we-cantEven in a saints’ most spiritual state, Jesus is still set apart so highly from us, we will be in continuous process of learning from Him.

Just because we’re unable to accomplish what we need to accomplish doesn’t mean we’re not living up to our call and duty as believers; we’re just presented with new opportunities of learning, higher levels to attain, more understanding of our Lord’s words, will, and ways.

It’s okay to ask the Lord questions; many times, the most spiritual thing we can do is to ask questions.

There’s a huge difference between asking the Lord questions and questioning Him.

When we succeed in something other believers don’t succeed in; it doesn’t mean we’re more spiritual than them; it may just be because we cover the area needed to succeed in a specific situation, and they cover another area where they succeed in and we won’t.

We’re not disappointed when there are some things we haven’t yet learned or areas we’re not gifted with because we have already been taught many things and we’ve been given gifts in many areas.