By LuAnn Edwards
If you attend Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church, you may have seen me singing in the choir or with the Praise Team. You may have asked yourself the question, “Why does she raise her hands?” There are several reasons why I praise my Lord. A few of them include: (1) The truth has set me free (John 8:32); (2) He inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3); and (3) Praise makes the enemy flee (2 Chronicles 20:1-24).
Christ set me free; I am so thankful to Him for this.
I was heading the wrong way in life and have a pretty good idea of what my life would be like without Him. He rescued me from a miserable existence. Had I continued on the path I was taking, I would be living without hope, trying to fulfill myself with meaningless relationships and material things. How can I not praise Him for all He has done for me?
The Lord desires my worship, and praise is an expression of that worship. Praise brings me into God’s presence and fills me with His joy and peace. To sincerely praise Him, we must do so in humility and true devotion; how can we truly praise Him and have animosity in our hearts toward others? Praise allows me to lift up the Lord and glorify Him. Do I only praise Him in church? No! I praise Him at home and in my car and even when I am alone at work. At times, I praise him loudly with singing; or I may worship Him quietly while listening for His still, small voice. I believe He desires this of me, and I totally enjoy honoring Him in this way. (Psalm 34:1; Psalm 98:4; Psalm 134:2; Psalm 150:4; Eph. 5:19-20.)
Praise sends the enemy running! The story of Jehoshaphat (found in 2 Chronicles 20) crying out to God for the people of Judah shares a wonderful truth from God’s Word. Jehoshaphat heard that armies were coming to attack them, and he knew they did not have the power to fight back. He prayed and looked to the Lord for help. The Lord spoke through one of the men saying, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s” (v 15). God told them they were to march down against the enemy, but they would not have to fight. Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah bowed before the Lord and began to worship Him. Some stood and offered praise to the Lord with a very loud voice. The next morning they went out to face their enemies. Jehoshaphat stood and told the people to have faith in the Lord. He then appointed men to sing to the Lord and praise Him saying, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever” (v 21). As the people began to sing praises, the Lord set ambushes against their enemies causing them to kill one another, and they were defeated! Judah did not have to fight!
What battle are you facing today? Try giving thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever. He will inhabit your praises, and His truth will set you free!