Selfish praises

Last month, we arranged a 7-day praise and worship meeting in our church. For seven days, we would assemble for one hour a day, just to praise the Lord and worship His name. This was besides the regular prayer meetings, and hence we announced that there would be no other prayer pointers during this one hour – just one hour of praise and worship.

But what happened was something exactly opposite. Before the praise and worship every day, the believers were told of three blessings they would be receiving if they praise and worship; how whatever their prayers are, will be answered if only they raise their volume and praise the Lord. And the three blessings are:

1. The walls that are blocking your progress will be brought down. The Scripture quoted was, of course, Joshua 6:20 – how the walls of Jericho came tumbling down when the Israelites praised the Lord for seven days, and on the seventh day, they shouted. So let us praise for seven days with loud voices and shout, and all the walls against us will come tumbling down.Joshua 6_20

Now, my problem is, that Joshua explicitly commanded the Israelites not to shout or make any noise with their voices, nor to utter any words (Joshua 6:10). Only on the seventh day, they were to shout, that too only when Joshua told them to. This was done because the Lord told Joshua to do so.

But we are not keeping mum for six days. We were shouting and praising through all the days. So, how would Joshua 6:20 applicable? You must not take only a part of Scripture and fit into your purpose, ignoring the other relevant parts.

2. The enemies will destroy each other if we praise and worship the Lord. The verse that formed the basis for this is 2 Chronicles 20:21-22 – when Jehoshaphat and his army started to sing, “Praise the LORD, for His mercy endures forever”, their enemies started fighting with each other and destroyed each other.

2 Chronicles 20_22

It is true that it was when they started to sing and praise the Lord, the enemies started to fight with each other and were destroyed. But the command to sing the praises of the Lord were not giving by our God. In distress, Jehoshaphat and his men cried unto the Lord and they received a prophetic word: this: “this battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chron. 20:15). And they believed the prophetic word (v. 20) and in faith, kept the singers in the forefront of the battlefield to sing the praises of the LORD.

If we have prayed for a particular problem and the Lord has spoken to us through the Word or sent us a prophetic word, then in faith, that the LORD has spoken and hence we are delivered, let us raise our voices and praise the Lord. But here we are assembled to praise the Lord and we must not change that into something about us – what will I gain from this?Acts 16_25-26

3. The chains and the yoke will be broken if we praise the Lord. And the Scripture quoted is from the Book of Acts 16:25-26. Paul and Silas were praying and then singing hymns to God and at midnight, there was an earthquake which loosened their chains. So, let us praise and sing to the Lord, all our chains would be loosed and all our bondages would be broken.

IMHO, I don’t believe (and I may be totally wrong here) that Paul and Silas started to sing hymns, because they thought that it would break their bonds. They prayed and they believed their prayers were heard; the great apostle took pride in suffering for Christ. If he wanted to be delivered, he could have used the “Roman” card (see v. 37) right there and no one would have touched them. Being set free was not in their minds. They were praising the Lord because He deserves to be praised.

Anyway, every single day, these three blessings were mentioned and the believers started to come in throngs and the volume went higher and higher. So, why am I grouchy about this whole thing?

I went online and gave a search about praising the Lord. Almost all the top hits were about the kind of blessings we will receive when we praise the Lord. It is really sad that we would praise the Lord only if we would receive some blessings in return.

Why must everything about “me, me, me”? Why must there be some gain in everything we do for God? Why can’t we praise Him, because He deserves to be praised/ “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised”, sang the psalmist (Psalm 145:3).

Psalm 145_3

The LORD needs to be praised. Even if we do not receive one more blessing in our life, we must praise Him forever. For “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power; for You created all things”, declare the twenty-four elders (Rev. 4:11). All the creation sings in unison, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honour and glory and blessing!” (Rev. 5:12). Yes, our Lord deserves all our praises. Jesus Christ does not need to bless us to be praised.

Revelation 5_12

And most importantly, let us not forget why we are created. In Isaiah 43:21, the LORD tells us why we are formed: This people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare My praise.

Isaiah 43_21

Yes, let us praise the Lord for He deserves to be praised and we are created for that one purpose.

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Posted on December 14, 2016, in Christian Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Amen! Psalm 150
    God Bless

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