Why Do We Praise God?
I read an article recently which talked about why we should praise God. Some of the reasons given were: (1) God is excited at praises, which moves Him to empty His heart towards us. (2) When we praise God, we are placed where we cannot be pulled down by circumstances. (3) Praise gives us freedom.
So many reasons were given but since they all imply that we praise God to get His favour, I picked just these three. The average believer today sees God as human, possessing the same weaknesses as humans. He feels God needs praise, needs adoration, needs worship and even thrives on these. This is very far from the truth. God does not need our praise or worship. Rather, we need Him and cannot exist without Him.
True Praise is usually spontaneous, resulting from a deep inner joy that comes from the recognition of the power and love of God. If, for instance, a good child always receives everything he needs from the mother, he would naturally have strong feelings of love for her. These feelings would always get stronger and if he had the opportunity of expressing them in words, he would praise his mother, he would even sing to her. This is also what happens in our relationship with God. You noticed I said good child.
Genuine praise therefore, comes from those persons who recognise that God is Almighty, and that he is love. Out of a happy and joyful heart they want to reach out to Him. They recognise His Power and experience His grace. They see that He is The Creator and they, the created. Their whole being bows down to Him in worship, and in words they burst out in praises. This is praise in the truest sense. It is not mechanical, but being quite natural, comes about spontaneously, and also during moments of quite contemplation and periods of worship. With such human beings there is the endeavour to adjust their lives to be in harmony with the Will of God. People that fall into this category are in the minority.
The man of today is selfish. Apart from indulging in every possible evil,with very little or no genuine attempt to change to a better person as willed by his Creator, he approaches Him with demands, and clothes these demands in words of praise. Such conceit!
He wants to believe that God is pleased with such empty praise words and so he deceitfully offers them in exchange for a better life, even while at the same time poisoning his surroundings with envy,jealousy, lust, hatred, avarice and all of such other evils that emanate from him.
You see why it is said in a holy book that “their praises are like filthy rags”. Again man fails to understand this simple statement. He thinks that man being a descendant of Abraham and coming into the world with sin can only offer unclean praise and therefore needs the grace of God for such praise to be transformed into an acceptable form. This is a very sad picture indeed.
To worship means to show respect. We therefore can not claim to worship God if we do not respect Him. We cannot also say we respect Him if we do not endeavour to keep His Will. It is as simple as that.
Hence those persons who possess the strong desire to live in accordance with the Will of God and translate this desire into deeds, such that, their thoughts, words and actions are in harmony with His will, already worship Him. In joyful or prayerful moments therefore, they would burst out in songs of praise, thanking the Lord for His grace and acknowledging His power and justice.
Their words therefore would only be an extension of their deepest or innermost feelings, not something thought out, or calculated to get some form of compensation. Their praise would then not be “like filthy rags”. They would be children of God in the real sense, who look upon Him in “awe and trembling”; and who “do unto their neighbour only that which they would wish their neighbour to do unto them”.
Where do you stand?
Oghenero Otite is a commentator and public speaker on religious issues who believes that the true worship of God has nothing to do with race or tribe or political affiliation, and that no religion can claim to be the one true religion. Two of his soon to be published works are “Road to heaven” and “The kingdom of Lucifer”. On his blog http://praisenworshipdalmightygod.blogspot.com/ he brings to mind the fact that true worship of God lies in living activity.
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