Two of the most faith-building things you can ever grasp hold of in your spirit is an understanding of how to use praise as a weapon of spiritual warfare and the realization of just how powerful the presence of God is when released through your praise. When people struggle to “feel” God or to experience the vital connection with His Spirit when worshipping Him, it can be discouraging and lead us to question if we’re “doing it right” or if there is some kind of spiritual barrier blocking the connection.
Certainly sin sets a wall between you and God because God is light and in Him is no darkness. If you insist on continuing forward in your life while operating in areas of darkness of any kind, you’ll experience the distance of a broken connection in worship. And if your praise and worship have strayed into idolatry, “vain repetitions” or become a comfortable routine, you’ll experience a disconnect and wonder where God is. Praise is an act of faith, every time. Praise is a sacrifice, every time. Praise is ministry to the Lord, every time. You’ll always have to push the “old man” down. You’ll always have to push past your feelings, inhibitions and experiences in order to minister to the Lord. And, no, you won’t always “feel” the emotions or tingles up your spine while you do it. That’s faith!
God is very aware of which of His names you need “near” the most in your life, and your heavenly Father has a “name” for Himself that He wants to reveal to you in your life, in your spirit and in your situation.
And God is faithful: “We give thanks to You, O God; we give thanks, and Your name is near; Your wondrous works declare it,” Asaph wrote. (Psalm 75:1) That is a promise you can bet everything on! Gratitude is the point of origin for all praise. You cannot fulfill what God has asked for in worship without thanking Him. (Psalm 50:14,23) But it gets better! “We give thanks and Your name is near.” Do you realize what that means? Have you ever stopped to actually count how many names of God there are in His Word? There are hundreds! We can never, ever, ever comprehend every facet of God, but His names give us a glimpse into who He is, His character, His power, what He will do and His true nature. “We give thanks and Your name is near.” Lift your hands as a sacrifice of praise to God. Worship Him with your body, your mind and your spirit and you’ll have access to open heaven’s gates (Psalm 100:4) where those names exist – within the place where He dwells – your praise. (Psalm 22:13)
Advocate, the Resurrection and the Life, Shepherd, Righteous Judge, Holy One, Lord of Lords, the Great King Above All Gods, Servant, Man of Sorrows, The Rock, Our Ever Present Help, High Priest, Living Water, Bread of Life, Messiah, Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Alpha and Omega, the Author and Perfector of our Faith, I AM, Master, Mediator, Beloved Son, Son of God, the Good Shepherd, the Rock of our Salvation, Light of the World, the Word, Chief Cornerstone, Bridegroom, Prophet, Deliverer, Rewarder, Redeemer, Restorer, Immanuel, Prophet, Lamb of God, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Way, the Truth and the Life…
Are any of these names of God ones you’d like to have near to you right now? Near in your situation? Near to you in your marriage or health or relationship or financial need? Do you need a Counselor near to you right now? Do you need a Mediator? Do you need Peace? Do you need an Ever Present Help? Do you need a Rock? GIVE THANKS. Worship the Lord from a grateful heart (Psalm 100:4) and HIS NAME IS NEAR.
Thought for today
God is very aware of which of His names you need “near” the most in your life, and your heavenly Father has a “name” for Himself that He wants to reveal to you in your life, in your spirit and in your situation. He has full knowledge of what brought you to this point, which choices were good and bad, and who has been part of making things better or worse. How do you access that divine knowledge? Close proximity to the Lord! Praise is what positions you to experience all that God holds within His presence. If you want to know more – get to where He is. Yes, He is always with you, as He promised. But there is a different spiritual dynamic between when He walks with you versus when you go into His “courts with praise”. They are two different spiritual locations. “We give thanks to you and Your name is near.” That is a powerful promise attached to ministering to the Lord in worship! God isn’t a genie in a lamp, however. You can’t wish for Him and He doesn’t pop up on command. You must intentionally enter into His courts with praise and His name is near. Minister to the Lord and let the rest go. HIS NAME IS NEAR. HIS NAME IS ABOVE EVERY NAME.