I wonder. Since you came to know the Lord, do you ever think of praise as a weapon? It is indeed a most formidable weapon! Take Josh. 6:20 for example. The weapon of praise is most effective when wielded by obedient Sons of God (both male and female) – those who love and obey Jesus (John 14:23). 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”(NIV) If you are in Christ you are a “chosen people, royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.” Hallelujah! What a glorious honor! But the verse does not stop there. It gives the reason that we are so honored! It is so “you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” Praise is the purpose for our being “a chosen people.” It is the purpose for our being “a royal priesthood.” It is the purpose for us being called “a holy nation, God’s special possession.”
Judson Cornwall put praise in a positive light in his book “Let Us Praise”, chapter 10, quoting Isaiah 61:3, “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give them . . . the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” He said this verse “seems to picture a Divine exchange. He (God) offers a ‘garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.’ In order to be clothed with praise, we must be willing to relinquish the spirit of heaviness which has surrounded us. We must give up our self-pity, our enjoyment of our misery, and our mournful, negative attitude. Praise cannot be an addition to a negative life; it is a replacement for it! The joy replaces the sorrow. Triumphing replaces the tears. Shouting replaces the sobbing, and praise replaces the heaviness. If we have learned to be comfortable with the negatives, it may take a while to get comfortable with praise. But if you have had all of that negative, gloomy, mournful way of life you want, just hand it to the Lord, and receive, in exchange, a glorious garment of praise!”
For, you see, we Christians fight daily against spiritual powers in the heavenlies (Eph 6:12). But God said He inhabits the praise of his people (Psalm 22:3 KJV). See, too, the NASB translation: “Yet You (God) are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel” (His people – see my article “ The Elect of God ”). One very good reason for using praise as a weapon in our arsenal is that God lives there! By praising God and directing our praise against our enemies (Satan, the world and our own lusts) we are actually invoking the power of God in the situation like Israel did in 2 Chronicles 20. Praise drives away our enemies and goes before us in our fight.
Praise can be expressed in many ways. The means of praise can vary from person-to-person and situation-to-situation. The following list is 7 means of praise I thought of as I worked on this article. You may come up with even more thoughts as you study and apply God’s Word. Here is what I thought of: (1) We are to use our voices. That is pretty obvious, but we should raise our voices or shout our praise, too. (We should shout and cheer far louder for the Lord than for shows or sports). Look up these verses: 1Sam. 4:5, Ezr. 3:11, Psa. 5:11, Psa.32:11, Psa. 132:9. So, you see, it is a command to shout to the Lord – not an option. The reason God wants us to shout is that Man needs that outlet. God doesn’t need it. It is a way for God to bless Man (women included). It is far better to shout to God than for a sports event! (2) We are to sing to the Lord. Here are a couple examples: Psa. 65:13, Isa. 44:23. (3) We are to play musical instruments for the Lord. The following are examples: Psa. 33:2, Psa. 47:5, Psa. 92:3, Psa. 144:9. (4) We are to clap our hands to God as an offering of praise (Psa. 47:1). (5) We are to raise our hands in praise to God. The following are examples: Psa. 28:2, Psa. 63:4, Psa. 119:48, Psa. 134:2. (6) We are to praise God in tongues. Tongues is speaking in a language that we do not know “as the Spirit (gives us) utterance” (Acts 2:4). It is used to magnify God (Act 10:46). Even when we do not know what to say or what to praise the Lord for the Holy Spirit will help us to praise the Lord. (7) We are to dance before the Lord. Dance is an expression of joy before the Lord. Do you want an example? Look at David – he danced before the Lord with all his might (2Sam. 6:14). These are more examples: Psa. 149:3, Psa. 150:4, Ecc. 3:4, Jer. 31:13.
Praise strengthens the saints – not only those who do the praise, but those who see and hear it. It encourages the weak. It testifies of the victory we have in Jesus. When we praise the Lord we let the entire world know that we have that victory. It is a testimony that scorns seeming defeats. We can stand up in the midst of what looks like defeat and praise the Lord, knowing full well that God is in complete control.
Praise also lets the world and the Devil know the eternal quality of God’s character and God’s purposes. We are to praise the Lord at all times here on earth because that is what we are going to be doing in heaven. You see, the object of our praise (and of those who are in heaven) is the one who is and was and is to come – Jesus! He is the creator of the heavens and the earth (John1:1-5). He created everything for His pleasure (Rev. 4:11). Praising Jesus in every situation – good times and bad – brings Him pleasure! And, if you truly think about it, brings us pleasure, too.
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