Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Practicing Spiritual Praise and Worship!

Jesus said, “Now is the hour when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.”

The New Priesthood

The priestly ministry of Christ fulfilled all of the ritual and ceremonial ceremonies that were under the Old Testament priesthood. All of the Old Testament symbolism and types were fulfilled and have been replaced by a new priesthood. (Hebrews 7:11-28)

We do not offer animal sacrifices, as did the Old Covenant priests. But we are called to be a “holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 2:5)

One of the spiritual sacrifices is praise. “By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His Name.” (Hebrews 13:15) To “offer” means to bring, raise up, offer up.

What is Praise?

There are some Old Testament words that are used for the translation of “praise.” One is “Hallal” from which we get the word “Halleluiah.” It means “to boast, to celebrate, to rave about, and to glory in.” Praise then, is a note of celebration and a boasting in the Lord.

Another word for “praise” is “Shabach.” This means to shout with a loud voice, a shout of triumph, glorying in the victory. There are occasions when a triumphant shout is the only fitting manner in which to praise our God. Psalms 47:1 “...shout unto God with a voice of triumph.”

Another word for “praise” is “Yadah.” It means “to give forth a confession of thanks.” It also conveys the thought of “extending forth the hands”; giving thanks with the hands extended towards God.

One more word for praise is “Barak” which means “to kneel in adoration.” To kneel before someone is to manifest humility, and to demonstrate their superior worth and position.

Praising God is not an emotional exercise; it is a spiritual activity. However, it does necessitate some emotional release. We should not be frightened of emotional expression. To suppress praise by believing it to be carnal or fleshly is a negative and unhealthy viewpoint. God gave us emotions, and they are meant to glorify Him. King David wrote to “Bless the Lord with all that is within us.” (Psalm 103:1) Praising God is the healthiest way to release your emotions. It is the God-ordained way:

To offer up “sacrifices of praise” suggests that it is not always easy or convenient to give praises to God. To praise the Lord at all times means even when it is not easy to do so. Our “sacrifice of praise” is the “fruit of our lips” which is praise that is verbalized, and spoken forth audibly.