They were two ordinary ladies–I can’t remember their names. I can barely remember what they looked like, but I will never forget their message given almost thirty years ago. No other sermon has affected me as theirs.
Their words were revolutionary. Freeing. Empowering.
No, they weren’t preaching about women’s rights. Their message was freeing to all man and womankind. It was a message on worship.
They lifted their hands (something I’d not grown up doing in the little Methodist church where my family attended). But that night I took the baby step of turning my palms up toward heaven, my hands still waist level, but in a position of praise (for me), and looking back, I realize for the first time in my life my hands were literally open to receive whatever God had to give. Now I can’t worship without my hands raised.
They taught us to praise God 24/7 whether we felt like it or not. They spoke of singing to Him washing the dishes and changing dirty diapers or mowing the lawn. Worship on cloudy days as well as sunny ones. All. The. Time. This was what changed my life.
They spoke of the power of praise. They taught that it is a weapon against our spiritual enemies. It redirects our focus from our problems to God’s power, goodness, kindness, wisdom, provision, healing, and strength.
Focus is key.
There is a new song on the radio by Casting Crowns called Just Be Held. The chorus continues to play in my mind over and over. I think it’s fitting:
So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your worlds not falling apart, its falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held
If your eyes are on the storm
You’ll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross
You’ll know I always have and I always will
When we give God our praise, we place Him on the throne. When He’s on the throne, rather than trying to hold on through the storm, we can rest in His power. We go from striving to trusting–from a white-knuckle grip on God to His hand holding us.
Do you remember how Jesus slept in the boat during the storm while the disciples freaked out? Jesus slept because He knew the Father held them. He knew the goodness and power of the One on the throne.
[tweetability]If you want greater faith, practice worship.[/tweetability]
How do we worship God 24/7? How do we practice praise?
- Listen to Christian radio stations/music.
- Read and pray Psalms of praise out loud.
- Give God random popcorn prayers of praise though out the day.
- Journal prayers of praise and verses of scripture that praise Him.
One of my favorite Psalms of praise is Psalm 63. This week, we will be using the Bite of Bread to help us worship the Lord all day by chewing on each bite.
I’m reading with you.
Jesus loves you,
ps. I give a little message focused on the bite for the day every morning at 8:30 ET on Periscope. I’d love to have you join us live, but if you can’t, you can find my taped broadcasts on https://katch.me/wordsbyandylee.