Faith to praise, praise to faith
Common sense tells us that if Jesus could do only a few miracles in His hometown because of their lack of faith (Matt 13:58, Mark 6:5), then with an abundance of faith we position Him in His rightful place at the right hand of the Father with the ability to move, rule and reign. The heart of God is moved by our faith. This is where praise and the power of a song comes in.
In our humanity we don’t always feel like singing praise, we forget that God is able. But the power of declaring songs of truth can catapult us into His presence.
We have access to His presence by our praise.
I love how Eugene Peterson puts it:
On your feet now—applaud God!
Bring a gift of laughter,
sing yourselves into his presence.
Know this: God is God, and God, God.
He made us; we didn’t make him.
We’re his people, his well-tended sheep.
Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
Thank him. Worship him.
For God is sheer beauty,
all-generous in love,
loyal always and ever.
Psalm 100:1-5 The Message (MSG)
There is power in a song.
This is why our praise is so important.
Have you ever heard a song you haven’t head for years and suddenly all the lyrics, melody and all the emotion of that time come flooding back? Melody and rhythm enable us to recall words. That’s why the Israelites sang songs as they walked through the wilderness. They put the story of God into song so they wouldn’t forget all that God had done for them.
One of humanity’s greatest struggles is forgetting the great things that have happened. We so quickly forget what God has said, what He has done for us, the miraculous things that we have witnessed and our faith dwindles because of it.
Songs filled with scripture and the promises of God remind us who He is and focus our attention on the miraculous. These types of songs engage our faith and set the atmosphere to be one where God reigns. We are reminded of the power of the name of Jesus and what that means for us.
One truth we can never hear enough is the grace that we have obtained because of Jesus. Nothing can keep us from the presence of God. However, human emotion can cause us to forget this fact and focus on ourselves too much. This, in turn, keeps us from looking to Jesus.
Hebrews 4:14, says
Because of Jesus our compassionate High Priest we can boldly enter the throne of grace, obtaining mercy and finding grace to help in time of need.
This changes everything.
The Old Testament, stated rules, regulations, orders, methods and practices for entering the presence of God. Only the High Priest could enter in and only providing he was pure or he’d be struck dead. Humanity needed to provide a yearly sacrifice for their sin to receive forgiveness and have their hearts washed clean.
Can you imagine carrying the weight of your sins for a whole year? On the day of atonement, you are forgiven, feel the sense of freedom only to begin the process of accumulating guilt all over again until you wait another year.
Guilt and condemnation keep people from the presence of God, not sin. God has already dealt with our sin once and for all. We just need to have faith to believe that it is so.
Once Jesus entered the equation He fulfilled the Old Testament practise once and for all. He was the spotless lamb, sacrificed for us. He was the High priest who entered, and He did it for us that we would have full access to God’s presence forever after.
Even typing this I feel the need for a little praise break. It’s just so incredible.
And to think, this truth doesn’t just affect us, but those around us because we take His presence with us, AND when we lift up His name and extend our faith others are caught up in the miracle of His presence.
If we put more energy in ensuring that this truth was alive and in full focus in our lives then the evidence of this would overflow in the faith atmosphere in our churches. We’d do less ‘convincing’ people of Christ and see God revealed to others more readily.
For the Kingdom of God is not talk but of Power.
Luke 17v21 Amplified When Jesus was asked about the Kingdom of God
Nor will people say, Look! Here it is! Or see, it is there! For behold, the Kingdom of God is within you, in your hearts and among you, surrounding you.
So yes, it is within us, but corporate worship is our chance to enlarge the Kingdom within us.
I wasn’t searching for Jesus as a young teen, yet in His presence, He revealed Himself to my much needful heart. There was no point in denying His existence, I personally experienced Him through the faith of those around me.
As a church, as a people, we need a revelation, a lift in our faith to believe for what is available in His presence.
When we think about the presence of God encountering people we should be thinking tangibly Who is God? What is His character, His nature? What does He provide? What does Heaven represent? Then we take that image and allow it to collide with our present reality. Light and darkness cannot coexist. The moment you turn on the light the darkness is dispelled. The moment you engage your faith you are creating an atmosphere for miracles.
Worship is a moment to draw from the presence of God. As His presence encounters our reality there is a divine exchange. We exchange our present circumstance for His. We are bringing heaven to earth as we worship Him and enthrone Him in praise, giving Him the glory, He is worthy of.
Through our songs, we are declaring Heaven on earth. With our faith, we are speaking out those things which are not yet as though they are. Whether for ourselves or for others, by declaring the attributes of God we are speaking out humanity’s need for a saviour. Whatever we need, He is able.
Imagine God in all His glory, face to face show up and revealing Himself next time you lift up His name. It’s free access to hear His voice, sense His heart for whatever your circumstance.
Here’s the clincher.
We can’t declare what we don’t know. And if we don’t know Him we cannot share Him and allow others to know Him.
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? Romans 10:14
We need to know Him intimately and personally. It’s not enough for me to tell you about my revelation of Jesus. True worship flows from personal revelation. When each person brings their faith and personal revelation of Christ to congregational worship this is where that sense of the tangible presence of God is magnified. We each see Him differently and therefore our faith to believe in certain aspects of His nature is stronger in certain areas. We need each other’s faith to be encouraged and uplifted.
Take a moment right now and ask Him to show you what it looks like when the full measure of His presence is revealed.
Do you see it? Do you feel it?
Wanna know your part?
To know Him. To know Him better today than you did last week. It’s an ever-unfolding revelation.
Carly is a writer living on the Gold Coast, Australia with her husband Joe and their two girls: Beni and Selah. She is a passionate follower of Jesus Christ, a lover of His Church, His people, His Word and life in general. Daughter Wait! is the first of many books she hopes to write.
Her first book Daughter Wait! is an engaging conversation on dating and relationships as well as a memoir where she shares her heartbreaking experience of unplanned pregnancy, abortion and the road to restoration.
Daughter Wait! is an invitation to consider a different approach to dating and relationships. If you have ever wondered:
How do I have a Godly relationship?
How do I know if he is the one?
What are realistic boundaries in a Christian relationship?
How do I move on from a broken heart?
Then this book is for you.
Written in Carly’s unique conversational style, you’ll cry, laugh and cheer as you follow her story of love and loss. Daughter Wait is a timeless reminder that regardless of your past, God has the best for your future