Monday, February 24, 2014

Why I Praise...

We went to a worship service last night and I asked my husband to sit on the front row. Not because I wanted to "show off" how we worship and praise but because my children love sitting up there. My two little ones usually run up that way to "dance" so it just makes it easier. I know that we lift our hands, dance, and sing loud. I like sitting up front because we have sat in so many services in a church (not this one) where it looked like no one ever praised. I want them to know that it's okay to worship and I don't want to discourage them in any way. I want my children to never be ashamed to truly worship. I have heard this question before: "Why do you raise your hands?". To raise your hands means to surrender. I surrender. I surrender my week. My day. I surrender fully to Him and no one else for those few minutes. No one else needs me. I know that I am not alone in the room full of church people, but to me I am. It's just me and God. Eyes closed. Hands raised. Fully surrendered. I NEED Him. I hold two little ones all week and teach, guide, push, love, encourage all week long. I'm spent by the time Sunday rolls around. On Sunday mornings, I sometimes fight my biggest battles just to get there. I NEED someone to hold me. Encourage me. Fill me up so I can be emptied throughout my week. Empty Grace, Love, and Mercy back onto my children. One way my children get my attention, when they want to be held is by raising their tiny little hands and looking up at me with those trusting eyes and they know it's hard for me to say no. I lift my hands because I need His attention. Even if it's only for a moment. I NEED Him. I need to be held. I let go of my week. I'm not a perfect wife, mom, woman. I need him, so I lift my hands in worship and surrender. I have learned over the years that I need to praise. I may not always have the ability to pray. Yet to surrender in worship, I can do that. I have fought so many battles. I have a son with Autism and the battles have been so mentally wearing that the only thing I could do was praise. Our marriage has been through trials and the only place I found peace was in praise. I have lost a baby, even though it was early, it still hurt us like crazy and I had no words for prayer, but I could fully surrender in praise. I have fought battles over my daughter's development and only had enough energy left to praise. I have almost lost my baby once and had a major battle over him when he was just a few months old. The only thing that got me through was praise. I think there is power there. There is power when you fully surrender, however you surrender, in praise. I think about King Jehoshaphat, in a battle he sent the Praise Team first! "After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the LORD and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang: "Give thanks to the LORD; his faithful love endures forever!"~2Chronicles 20:21 There has to be some amazing power when we worship. Psalm 100 says: 1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his[a]; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations I love this verse because I am reminded that God wants me to come before Him with PRAISE. Not just any praise but JOYFUL SONGS! This amazingly, merciful God looked down and saw little ol' me. He sent Jesus for me. He sent Him to die for me. He was slapped. He was beaten. He was bruised. He bled for me. Then He cried out "It is finished" and died for me. BUT it did not stop there! He separated himself from the Father and went into Hell for 3 days. I'm sure the devil thought he had won. He had taken the one that was to save us all and had him trapped in Hell. But that not the end! After 3 days, Jesus stood up and kicked some tail! Maybe that earthquake was the Devil shaking in his boots, maybe it was the butt whooping on all the little evil imps down there, who knows for sure (one day we will) BECAUSE He rose up out of that grave. He conquered death. He conquered sin. IT NO LONGER HAS A HOLD!!! Now I get to talk to Him personally and I don't have to go through someone else. I am HIS and He is MINE! I have heard this one too: "Why dance?" David danced! (2 Sam. 6:14) A king. A man after Gods heart danced. I think there are so many things that we get excited about: football, movies, birthdays etc. I think that God is even more exciting. Did you not just read the paragraph above and want to jump and down? I prayed for my husband for years. I petitioned God for him. I wanted a marriage with God in the middle not just something that we do on the side. I have seen our marriage grow over the past handful of years. That excites me. I have witnessed my oldest come to know Jesus. I have seen healing in my family. My children have witnessed healing in our family. They KNOW the power of prayer. They, even at the age of 2, try to pray for others. I think that God truly honors their prayer. I think that is exciting and I honestly can't stand still in the presence of a mighty God. A God who heals. A God who saves. A God who forgives. A God that has shown loving mercies EVERY morning and they are refreshed. I can't stay still. I want to cheer. I want to give him my all. So, I want my children to know that it's okay to sing. It's okay to clap. It's okay to dance. I want then to be more excited about God and what He is doing in their lives than anything else around them. Here's Some more Scriptures on dancing: Psalm 149:3 Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre! Psalm 30:11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, Ecclesiastes 3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; Exodus 15:20 Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing. So here come that Crazy, In-Love, Children of the One True King Family! We come to worship and to do it fully.

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