There is a cost to following Jesus Christ – you have probably already figured that out! Following Jesus may cost your reputation, your career, your relationships, your money, your dreams, your plans and almost anything else that has been comprised of your own making or design. Sometimes it may seem like the benefits of praising God aren’t enough to carry you. BUT. God is faithful to not only walk with you through each journey of surrender with love, compassion and mercy, but to replace those things you gave up with the the things that He has made and designed for you – things of greater beauty and eternal value. For all that He has done, God asks for one thing in return – YOU. Never forget this: We worship God for a reason, not for a result.
You surrendered your life to Him at the moment of your salvation, but the journey was just beginning! Daily you will find yourself in need of surrender and that becomes one of the benefits of praising God – it is the purpose of praise! Praise is exclusively God-focused and God-centered, not “self”-centered. Praise is how you lay yourself, your flesh, your “old man” and the old desires, dreams, emotions and everything else before the Lord in surrender so you can walk that day out in the freedom of being a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Praise is the essence of what Paul meant when he wrote this in Romans 12:1, “I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service of worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
You surrendered your life to Him at the moment of your salvation, but the journey was just beginning! Daily you will find yourself in need of surrender and that is the purpose of praise!
The true “price” of your redemption is praise. Seeking the benefits of praising God is the wrong perspective. Of course there are “benefits” and blessings – the Word of God is clear on that, but that is not the WHY of worship! “You are not your own,” Paul wrote – so then why do you struggle in worship? Why the fear? Why do you care so much about what other people think? Did they die for you? Do they fight for you? Do they hold all the power in heaven and on earth? Of course not! If “you are not your own”, then why do you act like you still are your own? Or that anyone else “owns” you with their sour opinions or criticisms or input or eye rolling or gossip? “Glorify God in your body and in your spirit which are God’s,” Paul said. If God has saved you, pay the price, the only one He asked for: YOU.
Thought for today
Praise is the first thing Satan will attack in you. He’ll get you all wrapped up in focusing more on seeking the benefits of praising God than on God Himself!! You may experience fear and anxiety about what other people are thinking, what they’d do if you broke free from the crowd and expressed yourself in spirit and body, as Paul said to do. When life gets hard, Satan will distract you, lead you toward depression, despair and everything else, so that you don’t “feel” like praising. Your enemy knows that your worship and praise are what God wants and deserves. He is still trying to rob God, and he’s trying to use you to do it! Recognize the hand of Satan- and the hand of God in your life and push past your own thinking today. “You were bought with a price”! “You are not your own” – you are God’s and He is ready and waiting for you at the place where your spirit and His Holy Spirit connect – and that is praise!