Praise On Purpose
Psalm 100:3-5 (KJV)
by Shanette Smith
3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Imagine this. The heart of God is before us with a target on it, and on the bull’s-eye are these words: “Your Praises Go Here!” That’s a simple image to help us remember that our praises go straight to God’s heart. He longs for us to praise Him, and when we praise, He is pleased. Our praises may seem to be a small repayment for all that our God does for us daily, but to Him, our praises are an immense reward!
When we praise God, we connect with Him on a personal level. Your praise is likely different from my praise, and that’s okay. He wants us to give Him our best praises from our most authentic places. Our praises should reflect who we are. God already knows us through and through anyway, and to make sure we deliver our best praises, we should remember three key words: (1) deliberate, (2) direct, and (3) dance.
1) Be deliberate. When we praise, we should know why we’re praising. Our intentions should be pure, so God can see through to our hearts and souls. Don’t block His access to our most glorious praises by performing (praising because you want all eyes on you), by falling in line (praising because everyone else is doing it), or by manipulation (praising only because you want quick-fix blessing). Our praises must demonstrate to God that we are fully aware and appreciative of His presence in our lives. Our praises must communicate to Him that we love Him and are grateful for all He does.
2) Be direct. Going back to the target reference, our praises should be aimed at God’s heart. He doesn’t require much from us, so when we do anything for Him, we should give of ourselves completely. Our praises are a priceless offering to our God. When praising, we should focus on who He is in our lives, what He’s done, is doing, and will do. Hallelujah! When I think about God’s goodness…!
3) Just dance! I almost didn’t finish this posting because the praise in my spirit swelled up so much that I started typing a little harder and swaying in my seat! Yes, our God is amazing! When we rise each morning, we should dance. Before lying down to sleep each evening, we should dance. During the day, after taking a deep breath, we should dance. There’s so much that we have to be thankful for, so we should just dance whenever. It doesn’t matter if we know how to dance, we have to just dance! How we look is not the focus; praising God is the goal! Dancing for God is putting movement to our praises, and it is so freeing. Trust me; the shackles fall easily when we dance.
Every day, we must praise purposefully. When we praise, we show our God that His work in us and for us is not in vain. Our praises confirm that we are His wonderful creation, and we acknowledge His grace, mercy, and favor. With our praises, we uplift God and are pleasing in His sight.