FIRST Thoughts

Consider that everything in this world, including what is above it and beneath its surface reveals the handiwork of Sovereignty. God's Word reinforces the truth that the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof (Psalm 24:1). In response, everything in creation declares praise to God in its own unique way except those created in God's image. A flower when it blooms declares praise to God through its beauty. A sunrise or sunset, none of which are identical, do the same each day. Who could deny that the seasons which come and go under God's control declare praise and the glory of God as one passes, and another begins? Each season reveals the beauty and bounty of God's person. An eagle in flight or a hummingbird hovering above a flower reveal the glory of God and in their natural order they declare praise to God.

I realize that you may not have associated such 'natural occurrences' as declarations of praise. I admit, I don't as much as I should. Whether seen or unseen, God's world contains much that responds with praise.

In a world that struggles for dominance through bureaucracy, bombs and bullets, think about the power of praise. Recall when God brought Israel into Canaan by way of the Jordan just east of Jericho, that great fortified city. Do you remember how God specifically instructed Joshua and His people to not arm themselves with clubs and swords but rather with obedience and praise. The Bible tells us that the nation of Israel walked around this great fortress one time for seven days in an orderly manner carrying the ark of the covenant--(that is the symbol of God's presence with His people). What may be even more strange to us is that nothing was heard but the sound of seven trumpets. In response to their obedience and giving a shout of praise to God, God did in a matter of moments what they couldn't have done in a hundred years. God caused the wall to crumble before them. Israel didn't cause this nor did Joshua or any number of their priests. God was in their midst and God did this in response to the obedience and praise of His people.

Have you ever considered the fact that praise can be an effective weapon for battling the wickedness that we encounter each and every day in this world? When you and I find ourselves facing a threat from a foe of God, based upon God's word and His faithfulness to His word could we not see the enemies of God defeated and destroyed today?

This is not the time to give in, give up or give out. This is the time to return to God the praise due His name. In so doing, His power is unleashed in protection of His people. That is the way it was then and that is the way it remains today. Nothing about that has changed because nothing about God has changed.

If that is not being experienced consistently in our lives, then we must acknowledge that we have changed. That we are not doing what God designed us to do-- that is declaring the beauty of praise to Him in the place He has planted us.

Dr. Alex Himaya comments that praise confuses the enemy. Think about the Jerichonians. They watched with bewilderment as these Jews marched in silence around their walled city for seven days with only the sound of trumpet being heard. The Jerichonians were even more taken back when they watched them do this seven times on the seventh day. When the people shouted praise to God things began to move around them and overcame them, Confusion reigned over their heart and the enemy of God and God's people was conquered through praise.

Remember Gideon, who with three hundred alert men observed God's power in taking out a camp of Midianites. In human terms, the Israelites were significantly outnumbered. However, with God, the enemy was-(never lose sight of that). All these volunteers had to do was go where they were directed, break a clay pot, shine a light and shout praise to the Lord. When they did, God did everything else in response to their obedience and praise. Everything!

What God did for them and has done for countless others throughout history, He will do for you and me today. It doesn't matter how little or large the opposition might be or how fortified the rampart. God delivers in response to the praise from His people.

So, the next time you feel threatened by the enemy of God, be aware of the power of praise that flows from obedience to His word.

Praise of God will alter the landscape of your life, and everything connected to it. As God gives you victory, He also gives you more reasons to respond with praise and thanksgiving.

What fortified structure or stronghold stands between you and God's promise? What 'wall' needs to come down in the power of praise today? God can cause it to crumble before you and deliver the enemy that taunts you in the process. He will do it! Will you permit Him through praise? Will you start today?


Pstr K

Psalm 27:1