05/06

My Expression

“… the reverent fear [respect] and worship of the Lord is your treasure and His.” Isaiah 33:6 Amplified

Praise is an expression from our hearts to our Father about our love for Him. It is an expression of our choice of surrender to be in relationship with Him. Praise is also a declaration and exaltation of who God is to us. Our praise comes from what God has done in us, an outward demonstration of an inward reformation. God takes notice of our expression, and He receives our communication of love to Him. While God delights in our expression, He is after our hearts.

God wants our praise to be authentic and transparent, from the heart. Not everyone’s expression is always the same. If someone is more demonstrative in their praise, it doesn’t mean that they love God more than the one who is less demonstrative. Expression may differ because of culture or personality. Expression will vary based on what the Holy Spirit is doing in a person. However our praise is expressed, God treasures it because He values us.

What God doesn’t want to see in our praise is fake expression. In Mark 7:6 Jesus quotes Isaiah 29:13, “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths, and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men.” Jesus was referring to Jewish religious leaders that would worship, but would not yield their hearts to the Lord. Their praise was a religious act, but not a faith surrender.

Our relationship with God is one of dependency. God is God, and we are not. He is the Creator; we are the creation. He is the loving Father; we are the child. He gives life; we receive life. Our relationship with God is a beautiful one of love, trust and reliance. Our relationship with God is an intimate one, where God comes near to us when we come near to Him. Our relationship with God is a personal one, where we not only know our salvation, but we know our Savior. We praise Him because of the position He has over us. God doesn’t need our praise to stroke His ego. God doesn’t need our praise because He wants to be in charge. Our praise acknowledges the beautiful, life-giving, intimate, personal relationship that we have in reliance with a good God, a caring God, a powerful God, a gracious God, a holy God.

Application: When we praise God, it isn’t a one-way street. When we share our love, our trust, our surrender in praise, God Himself comes to meet with us, receiving our surrender and honor of who He is.

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