Praise is Spirit of Testimony. Praise is the language of the kingdom of God and the sound of the church of Jesus Christ. When there is no sound of praise our testimony is muted.
I know that every success I don’t give back to God in praise will become pride, and God opposes pride. Praise is the expression of a humble heart and brings the favour of God.
When I read Ephesians 1:15-23 I usually focus on verses 17 to 19. A few days ago as I read these verses intending to refresh my spirit on “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation that enables me to know Him better” the phrase “I have not stopped giving thanks for you” spoke to my heart. Conviction came saying: Come on Paul you can do better at giving thanks. The Spirit’s words were a command to give thanks for every little expression of grace I see. This was a rebuke as I often see what is not happening, where people seem to be missing the grace of God, and look stuck; and what I don’t see begins to hold my attention and shape the words I speak. Those words are curses and complaints not praise.
Ephesians 1:16 “I have not stopped giving thanks for you”
The Holy Spirit is encouraging me to grow my praise. He is leading me to train myself to never stop giving thanks. To look for the grace of God, even the tiniest touch and expression, and give thanks and praise for this.
This is how the Holy Spirit often works with me. He is patient and persistent. He is a great coach and teacher. He is not negative or condemning. But he knows I can do better, that there is more in me than I have seen, and because I have given him full permission to lead and change me, he does. So he will give me a thought like I mentioned above, usually when I am reading and meditating on scripture. And then he will draw my attention to it again and again over the days that follow. This is why journaling these things has become so integral to my faith journey with Jesus Christ. As the Spirit draws my attention to a thought I can go back and track the journey of how he leads me.
Praise is Spirit of Testimony
As I read John 15:26 he is inviting me to give myself to truth and testimony; and that the truth and testimony of Jesus is praise and thanksgiving. My challenge is to set myself to grow as a person of praise. Praise towards God and people.
I know this, I have been on this journey before. I have learnt and practiced the discipline of daily giving thanks in all circumstances for everything in the name of Jesus Christ. And I have experienced the benefit in my faith, my feelings, and I have seen God’s favour and blessing flow into my praise. But I cannot rest on what I know and have experienced yesterday.
Today the Holy Spirit is leading me to deeper rest in praise, and giving thanks naturally and continually in every circumstance. I am learning to see the smallest hint of God’s grace at work in a person or situation and wholeheartedly give thanks to God. And when I can’t see anything in the natural, I look prophetically and see the blessing and goodness God has for that person, for that situation; and give thanks. This is where God is leading me.
How will I grow this seed of truth the Holy Spirit is sowing in my heart and soul?
I will give myself to Praise. I will write this in my journal and reflect on it daily reminding myself I am praise. I have the Spirit of praise within me, and praise is the beginning of my testimony of Jesus Christ.
As I daily sit with the Holy Spirit and the scriptures he will continue to tell me I am a man of praise. He is alive in me and makes me alive. He is the praise that I am. Do you get what I mean? I am not trying to become a person who praises better to please Him. I am working to rest in who he is, and to become who he says I am, and to express this in day to day conversation. I am praise, I give thanks continually because I am continually thankful for God’s goodness and grace and see it everywhere. And when I don’t see God’s grace happening, I look for the promise and give thanks for what is coming.
This is not just for me, this is for all God’s children. Our Father in heaven knows that as we praise Him we position ourselves to receive the blessing he has for us. He cannot bless cursing and complaining. He will honour the confession of our hearts, our future will be our words whether they are cursing, complaining, or praising. So his encouragement to grow deeper in praise and giving thanks is for our good.
Hebrews 13:15 Let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
Will you join in me and grow as person of praise? Let’s cooperate with the Holy Spirit in freeing our hearts and conversation from cursing and complaining replacing them with praise and giving thanks? We can do this. Set a few moments every morning to reflect on God’s goodness and praise Him for who he is, and thank Him for what he does.
My prayer for you is the Spirit of praise will come alive and grow in your spirit; in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.
Some scriptures for mediation: 2 Chronicles 20:20-24, Psalms 8:2, James 3:9-10, Acts 12:22-23, Matthew 21:16, Philippians 4:4-7, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.