A least performed act by believers is praising God. It is not about the praise on Sundays. And those who do it just on that day are mechanical believers; they are nonchalant for true praise and do not pocket the understanding and strength it brings. Praising God in Sunday worship is good and necessary. But it really means little to nothing if believers do not practice or have in them the most important deed. The psalmist explains it. “I will praise the LORD while I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being” (Ps. 146:2). It does not refer to a onetime act in the week, but daily. If believers do not have it, it indicates their praise in worship too is unproven. Realistically, it happens by a person’s daily relationship with God and by how God is interacting with him in return.
The Holy Spirit indwells us perpetually and not just on some days. If a person realizes this, he can actually praise God every day; it can even end up becoming natural. The Spirit assists us in praising God by thrilling us for Him. As a rule, it happens when God works in and for us to enthrall us. This means we must daily interact with Him for a daily supernatural effect. This should not seem farfetched and beyond reality. If one is willing to be intimate with Him every day, he or she can see its possibility. It is not always His miracles and wonders, but guidance, comfort, peace, strength, deliverances, solutions, promises, instilling of faith, the fearless stance and so on. Once a person begins to interact with Him he or she will record glorious experiences of Him. And through all these experiences praise becomes. This is what David referred to. Though thoroughly praising Him is viable only behind closed doors, we must also marshal the idea of praising Him quietly in heart at different times of the day. It does not require a set pattern, but zeal to remember His kindness. Then the Spirit helps us praise Him with apt songs and words. This in return gives us delight, because God in the Spirit is thrilled in us. By this we get immense understanding of His ways and strength for them.
David did not want to waste a single minute to praise God. He says he wants to do it while he is still alive in the sense that he wants to praise Him “now.” Literally, he wants to boastfully praise Him. But, he speaks with the full knowledge of God’s wonderfulness toward him. Praise for God comes from within. It is an emotional response to His kindness and mercy to us. It is no pretense, but a natural reply to Almighty’s compassion. The prophet Jeremiah said His compassions are new every morning. So, it is a fact that if we interact with Him daily, we experience His supernatural ability. David also said elsewhere “I saw the Lord always in my presence.” It is a remarkable feeling to always have Him by our side. It is this remarkableness that seizes us to praise Him.
Praising God has an extraordinary benefit. It keeps us holy. So, we can avoid all forms of disobedience. Since it gives understanding and strength, Satan and sin are kept at bay. It can be a very powerful tool, because of why and how it happens and what it does and gives. The devil finds it very difficult to penetrate our mind. If one wants to get absolutely close to God, know great things, receive more blessings and honor, walk through the murkiness of life and serve Him, praising Him altruistically and unambiguously is a mighty resource. On the contrary, praising God from feelings spurred by the flesh is dismissive. It is not by what is earned from God. Its effect is as follows. “Sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling has seized the godless. ‘Who among us can live with the consuming fire? Who among us can live with continual burning?’” (Isa. 33:14).
Praise by feelings spurred on by the flesh does not give deliverance, peace, joy, and comfort. You can test it by simply reversing it – If you do not find none of the above even after praising Him, it is because your praise of Him is of the flesh. It is characterized by an unfounded hope seeking good. One can do it for as long as he can, but it only yields in tiredness without reprieve; for the foundation needed for praising God is not present. The thought of impending consequences, dangers or uncertainties that cause terror and trembling still remains. The thing is God is not helping, for He is not enthralled by it. His holiness, when absent in men, restricts Him from participating alongside ungodliness. The solution is to first clear the heart and mind before Him. As He pardons, praise happens.
Praising God daily helps revere Him and averts great losses. It safeguards everything we acquired in life, both the spiritual and the physical. The acquisition of not praising God is pride. It is devastating. God will question us. “Son of man, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his hordes, ‘Whom are you like in your greatness?’” (Ezek. 31:2). The point is God supplies everything in Christ for our peace and comfort. All He expects of us is gratitude. He is our creator and desires we acknowledge His way with us. He provides when we ask and when we don’t and makes us important to Him. So, to not praise Him is ungrateful.
As mentioned earlier, praising God gives immense understanding. It starts with the following. “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘I am exceedingly jealous for Zion, yes, with great wrath I am jealous for her’” (Zech. 8:2). We understand that God is exceedingly for us; we see His jealousy prevailing. As our creator we realize Him taking the task of maneuvering us in this world. We realize He is causing possibilities in our path so that we are richly satisfied. If a time appears that we must turn back to Him, and we do it by the ensuing praise of Him, we realize He is recovering all our losses. He will not let our enemies overcome us. He may allow them to come at us only to perpetually make them fall under us. Faith actually works in us like it should! “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God’” (John 3:3). We see His working nature with all His enduring capabilities, since He elected us. There is not a thing He does not perform for us. For this reason, it is only a shame not to be with the spirit of praising Him.
It is quite absurd to receive from God or expect Him to be jealous for us at all times and not have the mind to praise Him. It is unkind to take Him and His capabilities for granted. If He has done something good for us or promised to do so, it must be responded by praise. We can’t say “God is awesome, does great things and has done for me,” and have an ungrateful heart just as it is imprudent to praise Him with unfound hope. It is unreasonable. It is then like this: “For it seems absurd to me in sending a prisoner, not to indicate also the charges against him” (Acts 25:27). So, have zeal to praise God because He tirelessly works for us.
I would like for us to consider the words of Paul. “Look at the nation Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices sharers in the altar?” (1 Cor. 10:18). God has made us partakers in the altar where Christ was offered as a perpetual sacrifice. It is that sacrifice that endures us for eternity. Everything we receive comes from that altar. Thus, we are indebted to God. And in this festive time let us make the decision to praise Him every day by earning from Him.