When we look at worship, many of us see it as something we are to do once a week. For others it has become a daily part of our lives. When we look at the element of praise, the Bible is very clear on when and how we are to praise God. It is a very simple directive for the believer:
1. All the time
2. With everything you are
3. With a joyful heart
When we throw around the phrase "a sacrifice of praise,” do we really know what we are saying?. Hebrews 13:15 states that we are to, “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name".
First, continually means continually. That means all the time...non-stop. Second, continually means continually.
Psalm 34:1 says, "I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips."
Again, this is all the time...24/7. Is that what God meant? Does He expect us to spend all our time praising Him?
Psalms 103:1 says, "Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name".
"All my inmost being". God doesn't want a flippant offering of praise as we are walking into the church or as it crosses our minds. He wants everything that is in us to praise His name. He desires wholehearted praise from deep with us that is not inhibited by others. Too often we offer up praise that is not from our hearts. We voice it as if we were talking to a friend on the phone. Praise is a serious thing to God. Heaven is filled with it. He says that He is enthroned in the midst of it. Psalm 22:3 He even named the tribe to which Jesus would come out of "Judah" which means "praise".
And lastly, we are to do it with joy. Psalm 9:2 says, "I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High". Psalm 33:1 states, "Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him".
How is this possible? You mean when I praise, I have to do it all the time, with all that I am, and joyfully as well? That's a tall order to say the least. We have to remember, this is a God thing. When we accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior it was a serious decision. It can be compared to living in a place where Kings rule. We are to be totally loyal to the king. Our lives are to be submitted to his direction and will. We are subject to his authority. Those of us that live in the US have become soft in our understanding of what this means. We sit back and enjoy the good life when we are called to be servants...of God and man. We praise ourselves and others more than we do God.
I challenge you to take a look at your life as a child of God and as one who is called to be a worshiper of God. If we keep things in perspective, if we truly keep God first in our lives, the natural outflow will be a life filled with praise. Praise seems to be important to God. It should be important to us. Give Him praise merely for who He is and the rest will follow. He is worthy to receive our praise all the time, with a joyful heart, and with all we are.