Summary: Praising God can secure the breakthrough you need.
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.
I’m NOT talking about NOT PREACHING by the way. We’ll always give primary place to the Word of God. But I’m praying for and I’m expecting the glory of God in such a way that our prepared song lists get forgotten - announcements are completely left out (people have to read their newsletter), church runs over time and NOBODY CARES. Because the praise is electric, the preaching is anointed, the gifts of the Spirit are flowing, and NO-ONE knows quite what God’s going to do next.
The glory of God in His House! Now I can preach for that, and we can pray for that - but there comes a time when we’ve just got to BREAK THROUGH.
In this passage we read that the coming of the shekinah glory - GOD’S MANIFEST PRESENCE - is linked with His people praising Him.
Don’t you know PSALM 22:3 - “God dwells in the praises of His people.”
Praise secures God’s manifest presence.
2. PRAISE SECURES VICTORY.
READ: 2 CHRON. 20:15-22 (Jehoshaphat v Moab and Ammon).
On this occasion, “Praise became the song of the supernatural”.
You need a victory in some area of your life?! Instead of focussing all the time on that situation, on that mountain, START TO PRAISE HIM! God inhabits praise!
READ: Psalm 149:6-9. Here we see the PRAISE, coupled with the declaration of God’s Word, binds the enemy in chains.