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

LORD Our Shepherd

Psalm 23:1  (KJV)   23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

The Lord God is the Great Shepherd. With Him as the Shepherd, there is sufficiency. As a Shepherd, He cares for His flock – sufficiently; He feeds His flock – sufficiently; He provides for His flock – sufficiently; He watches over His flock – sufficiently; He guides His flock – sufficiently; He protects His flock – sufficiently. That explains why His flock can find themselves contently not wanting. 

God cares; He cares both for the righteous and the unrighteous. But there is a special, and I would say, awesome relationship believers enjoy with Him. They have the Shepherd – flock relationship, and oh boy, that carries a lot of great benefits. Just imagine having the most loving, most powerful, unchanging Entity as our Shepherd. He’s a Shepherd Who will never leave us and will never do us wrong. That’s totally reassuring. That’s the reason our Lord Jesus can exhort us to not worry and mean it literally – not just as a figure of speech. With a Shepherd Who can supply all our needs – in all areas of our lives – at all times – in all places, we definitely have more than enough reasons to enjoy our days and sleep well at nights. We don’t have to worry about dangers, about troubles, about trials, about toils, about snares, about attacks, about our enemies, about our direction in life, about our provision, about our relationships, about our future, etc., etc.. We are really in a position of not wanting. We have more than enough of what we need.

Our God, our Great Shepherd. Thank You. Knowing we are well cared for. Many advertise their companies as giving the best care, but in You and in You alone do we really find it. In You we can rest in peace, and we can enjoy that wonderful restful existence here – now – in the land of the living. In You we can find refreshing for our tired, weary, and even faulty souls. In You we don’t have to wander aimlessly lost. In You we find calm courage to face even the most life-threatening challenges. In you we can celebrate life even when our enemies wish us death. In You we can rest assured that we will live out Your plans: good, not evil; prosperity, not harm; hope, not hopelessness; future and not rot. Praise You, our YHWH-Rohi. – in Jesus’ Name, amen.