Today my family begins to show up here at our home. All my children will be here over the weekend to celebrate the upcoming birth of my daughter Amy’s baby boy with a shower. A busy weekend but I would not trade it for all the money in the world. Despite my awesome life, not everything was always like this. I came into the Kingdom broken. Oh, I had a business, but I had things that just kept me from what God was wanting to do. And over the years I have experienced pretty much every aspect of life a parent or spouse could encounter. Whether it was destructive accidents, sickness, major life changes, I have experienced them. It does not make me better and frankly I could have done without a handful of them. But here I am. And here you are. And what we have in common is a God who loves us. Cares about us.
Yesterday, my wife was gone to do errands in preparation of my daughter’s shower this weekend, as well as general errands. It left me here alone. I was writing, working on resume submissions, talking to people and just thinking, “Oh how He loves me”. I made the decision to turn on the praise. To bring me to a place where I was magnifying Him. Not my current inability to find work, or the need for more money or anything else.
I began to praise Him. Over the years Psalm 150 has become my mantra, my get out of the dumps thinking. (I am a drummer and LOTS of cymbals making noise appeals to me! I have a friend who made this a song and let me tell you there were cymbals!)
Praise the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.
Realistically, praise isn’t always the easiest thing to muster up. Sometimes you don’t feel like it, think about it or even want to. But praise IS one of the “easiest enforcement” techniques of the Kingdom there is. (And besides I know it makes the devil mad!)
So, I began to seek out PRAISE. The kind of praise that lifts the rooftops, opens the windows and causes the angels to cry “HOLY”! The kind that clears the cobwebs, sweeps out the negativity and rattles the windows. And I did that ALL day! (Even while walking around Keene I was praising God and believing I could walk on water. Probably looked more like puddle parkour to watchers!)
Worry is a domestic terrorist that is removed by praise and thanksgiving. While I was praising God, I felt a shift that your “impossible situation” has just come to the court of appeals and has been ruled down and possibilities are here. The very lifting of His name, brings revelation and recognition, causes those impossibles to be broken through. Your thankfulness is a highway to the King.
Praise is more than just upbeat or uptempo, for it is a fire starter of kingdom’s dynamic! It is the beginning of circumstantial change. Of Kingdom Come!
I began to seek over the internet for music that “changed” me. Changed me? Yes! Because praise is emotional! Oh, I have heard all the stories and teachings about feelings and emotions, but the reality of it is, is as supernatural beings we have emotions and feelings and though sometimes they are in need of renewal, we cry, we laugh, we hurt. BUT we do not have to live there in the depths of despair!
I found myself turning on some Little Richard and his version of SHOUT! Here was a guy brought up in the realms of Pentacostal and Baptist church. He sang and played in church. I thought about others from the church like Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis (Who is related to Mickey Gilley & Jimmy Swaggart-all from the same church!), Johnny Cash and where the church “pushed” them to. (As Charles Wesley said, “Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of its being heard, than when you sung the songs of Satan.” Now that we understand grace and Jesus as grace we see that He is less concerned with your “lifestyle” and more concerned with your relationship with Him.) Little Richard was told his voice was “too high” for church. Add a limp and they deemed him “effeminate”. Where to go? Out to the world.
I want life! Last night while hanging out with friends, I encouraged them to begin laughing at the lies of the enemy. Let’s get past the selfish introspection and magnify the Lord!
If you are struggling with things, turn on the praise. (Only this morning I went to a few friends and told them “get a CD player and make the windows shake! Nothing can hold you down. Nothing can hold you back.)
When we are on the “edge of breakthrough” and we feel the pressure on one side and the freedom on the other, it is easy to want to “hang in there” and “tough” it out. But sometimes letting go of what was for the freedom of what is, is the answer. Going up is not “giving up”. Can I simply encourage you to lift up your voice with a shout of triumph? As a young friend texted me, “I would definitely be able to throw down some praise!” Maybe you can too!