Path to Praise

Psalms 32:8I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.”

Psalms 51:10-11Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.”

Psalms 86:11-12I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.”

There is a great feeling of accomplishment when you can step back and look at a clean house, a clean car, a clean room and feel that sense of satisfaction. You worked to scrub, polish, and cleanse all the minute details that others do not see.

Once clean, you are adamant about keeping it clean. When you drive, you avoid puddles. WHen a room or a house is clean, you get after others who drop something carelessly or leave something mindlessly. You put a lot of effort into making it clean; you become diligent to want to keep it clean.

Oh, that we would be that way with our own hearts! The work of confession and repentance is not easy – simple, but not easy. Realizing that God wants us to come; desires us to come, we do so out of a heartfelt urging to be clean once again.

You remember that feeling, don’t you? That feeling of being clean on the inside? That calm assurance of knowing that you are right with God and there is nothing between. The nagging of the Holy Spirit to confess is gone. It may have been with tears, with crying out or with a deep sense of regret. But you came.

You honestly told God all. You poured out your heart and told Him everything. Even the deep, dark stuff that no one else knows. You let Him into places that even you fear to go. You opened doors to your heart that allowed a cleansing and a healing so thorough and so total that your heart became light; your mind was clear and everything seemed right.

His presence felt closer than it has in a long time. You actually felt as if the love that you knew was there was yours and it wasn’t just a truth to know, it was a reality that possessed you. Words of thanksgiving began to come – slowly at first, but continued to flow as you thought about how wonderful God was to forgive and cleanse your soul.

Given time, those words may have found a melody and a song came to your lips. Verses came to mind that reflected the raise you felt and you thanked Him for truth of them.

“Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,

Because He lives, all fear is gone.

Because I know He holds the future.

And life is worth the living, just because He lives.”

Praise. Heartfelt, Spirit-led praise. Not empty words recited to work up a  feeling. But emotion that is a result from the act of God washing and cleansing your soul.

Once the sin that was in the way was removed, David’s praise flowed from His lips. Songs came easily as hands were raised, voices lifted and God was glorified.

Yesterday in our church, souls were saved. Folks came forward to be baptised. The altars were full at invitation and there was a movement among God’s people. The evidence or fruit of it was worthy of praise.

Hands cleansed, hearts pure and lips willing to praise are sweet in the ears of our God. But it is not just for Sunday. It is an everyday thing.

Psalms 147:1Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.”

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