Thanks for your comments, encouragement and support of my last post. Parenting (and living in, but not of, the world) is no easy task. In today's morally muddied waters, it's often a challenge to discern Truth from foolishness. I'm thankful we're in this together.
- to express approval or admiration of; commend; extol.
- to offer grateful homage to (God or a deity), with words or song as an act of worship:
The Psalmists knew a thing or two about praise. In fact, in Psalms alone, the word "praise" appears 175 times! The Jewish people praised the LORD for His love, protection, mercy, blessings, goodness, teachings, strength and more. They praised God just because He was—and is—the great I Am.
Using words like "exhalt," "extol," "delight," "glofiry," and "rejoice," the Psalmists describe praise as a full-body experience. They shouted, sang, danced, played instruments, lifted hands, cried out. To them praise was continual, passionate, and an essential part of their being.
Even though, our culture and customs little resemble that of King David's day, God created us ALL to praise Him with our bodies. To delight in his presence. To partake of his wonders. To exalt His name.
"My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long." (Psalm 71:8)
In theory I completely agree with this. But, I'm a reserved person. I clap and occasionally raise my hands during worship, but the idea of physically praising God makes me pretty darn uncomfortable. Dancing, shouting, crying out...in public (even in private)? No, sir. Not me!
I praise God in my own way—usually in the quiet of my heart. While my body may not show it, my spirit rejoices, delights and extols. I pray God finds these offerings acceptable. I remind myself that He did, after all, create me and my personality.
However, there came a moment this weekend as I rode on the training bike in my basement. I worked through my newly created "Sweat Set with God" playlist on my iPod, letting each song dictate my ride and its tempo. As I wrote before, my workout session became a sweaty, out-of-breath prayer. Then a song came on that invited—no dared—I go further. It was Take My Life by Jeremy Camp. Guitar-driven, hard-hitting and aggressive.
I cranked up the volume and became one with the music. I pushed myself as hard as I could and for the duration of the song, I gave God an an all-out, heart racing, sweat pouring, muscle burning offering of praise.
I discovered that although I may be quiet and reserved, sometimes letting go and giving God my all is good. Really good.
It's why He created us in the first place. We were made for praise.
In what exuberant or passionate ways have you praised God?