THE MISSING INGREDIENT
by paul hoffmaster
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When is the last time we stopped in the middle of our problems and simply began to praise the Lord? Ignorantly, we have limited our praises to only times of jubilation and victory. When an answer to prayer or an unexpected blessing is experienced, we are quick to express an internal joy and celebration. If we were not so concerned with how others would respond to our emotional outbreak, we could easily express our emotions outwardly. Have you noticed how some Christians act at a sporting event? There is no hesitation to have an “out-of-body” experience of controlled insanity when our team scores the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Where is that joyous expression when someone walks down the aisle to surrender his life to the King of Kings? Should we not jump to our feet and extend our hands in praise and adoration to God who has drawn that lost soul to Him through His Son? Why is it that during an invitation the instruction is for everyone to bow their heads and close their eyes: someone is about to sneak into the Kingdom? When someone is on their way to a new life, should we not run with them to the waiting Savior? In the churches that still have invitations, should we not shout encouragement as people join the army of the Lord? Should we not high-five each other as they round their last hesitation and head for home? Should we not surround the “prodigal” and have a celebration, for he that was lost is now found? Christians have a tendency to get excited about sensual things, but show little emotion about the spiritual. We need to fine tune our priorities, and then learn to correctly express our adoration through praise.
Some people say they are not wired to be emotionally expressive when it comes to spiritual things. Yet, when a problem comes, there is a large range of outward emotions that are displayed through their countenance. Anger, sadness, depression, pouting, doubting, temper, blame throwing, and an out-of-control tongue are all expressions that come out of people who claim they can’t express themselves. All of us have a choice as to how we will respond to life’s situations. Praise is as natural as breathing. Take the “P” off praise and you have “raise;” we are called to raise our hands, voices, and countenance unto Him who has so gloriously saved us. When we are in difficult situations, we need to praise our way to the victory. When we praise Him in the trials, we are acknowledging that God is in control and will not let us go it alone, but will be there with us all the way! The next time Satan attacks begin praising God, knowing that Satan can only do what God allows. Many of our challenging situations can bring glory to God if we just understand what praise is. God and you make a majority. When we are not praisers, we become grazers that walk around with our heads down, looking for some crumbs so we can survive.
Why not start right now and lift your hands and face toward Heaven and just begin to praise Him? No one is looking, go ahead! Once you start, you won’t want to stop. When you feel comfortable, ask someone else to join you; like your wife, husband, and kids. How about in church next Sunday? Some say they don’t “feel” the presence of the Lord in their church service. Praise is the answer. The Bible says God inhabits the praises of His people. (Ps. 22:3 KJV) Praise Him and you will never be the same again! Praise Him and you will never doubt His presence again!
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