How many would like to see . . .
A. Breakthrough in some circumstance/situation?
B. Breakthrough in your own Christian experience/life of faith? [Either: (i) feeling dry; (ii) seems to be a ceiling over your level of renewal.
C. Breakthrough in our church’s corporate expression of praise and worship? (Ps. 71:14)
Tonight I want to share with you about the breakthrough power of praise. Let me read to you, to launch out with tonight, from Psalm 150.
READ: Psalm 150. (Then paraphrase as follows . . .
v1 Praise Him if you’re here, praise Him if you’re there.
v2 Praise Him if He’s done this for you, praise Him if He’s done that for you.
v3-5 Praise Him if you can play any kind of instrument, praise Him if you can just crash a cymbal.
v6 FINALLY - if you don’t fall into any of the above categories - IF YOU’RE BREATHING WILL YOU PRAISE HIM?! He’s worthy of it!)
The Bible encourages us, and exhorts us, and even COMMANDS us to “PRAISE” the Lord. What is praise? “Oh, that’s easy. Praise is the three fast choruses we sing to start the meeting, and then worship is the three slow ones we sing after that!” Is that right? No it’s not. Did you realise that in the New Testament the words praise, worship, glory, and honour are ALL translated from the same one Greek word?! It’s true; the word is “doxa”, and its base meaning is GLORY. How it is translated depends solely on the context.
If there is any difference between praise and worship it is simply that WORSHIP is how we esteem God - it’s the attitude of adoration in the heart. You can worship God without a sound. PRAISE, however, is the articulation of that adoring heart. When we praise God we give vent and voice to our heart of worship.
So, worship has to do with ESTIMATION. Praise has to do with ARTICULATION. But both mean to give God esteem - to commend Him highly.
So, when the Bible tells us to “PRAISE” Him, it’s calling us to give vent to our adoring heart. Worship can be silent, but praise NEVER is. Whether the song is slow or fast, or even if it’s not a song at all but perhaps a shout or an applause, it’s irrelevant, but we are called to ARTICULATE the adoration of our hearts.
“MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE TO THE LORD!”
So don’t say: “I’m praising silently”. You can’t “praise” silently. You may be worshipful - you may be adoring - but “PRAISE” requires action or voice!
And what I want to tell you tonight is that there is power in praise. There is power in lifting your voice in a song or a shout or a prayer of praise. Something happens when we applaud and magnify God.
I’m going to jump around the Bible a little tonight to talk about “BREAKTHROUGH PRAISE”. Here are four things that happen when we begin to praise the Lord. Firstly:
1. PRAISE SECURES GOD’S MANIFEST PRESENCE.
READ: 2 CHRON. 5:13-14 (opening of Solomon’s Temple).
When was the last time you saw the glory of God in such an awesome way that people were simply UNABLE to proceed with the business of doing “church stuff”? The last time God took over the order of service?
I’ve ben in those meetings, and I’m hungry for them, when all sense of time is lost, and God orchestrates His own meeting.