Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Endless Worship

O God, You are my God, earnestly will I seek You; my inner self thirsts for You, my flesh longs and is faint for You, in a dry and weary land where no water is.
So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary to see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.
So will I bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My whole being shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.  Psalm 63:1-5 (AMP - Amplified Bible)

Have you ever seen spectators at a sporting event stand at their seat, raise their arms, yell, and then sit down? I mean they are standing, raising arms, shouting, and sitting in succession, one right after another, until the entire gathering of fans are waving. This sequence of actions by the sports enthusiasts goes on and on as “the wave” travels continuously around the arena. Round and round the activity goes with swelling excitement, causing the place to appear as if it’s moving. The sight of it is impressive.

God gave me that vision last Sunday as I stood praising Him with other people at church. While worshipping I envisioned the continuous praise that surrounds our Father in heaven. Then I thought of all the people worshipping in neighboring churches, in churches across the state of Georgia, across America, and across the world. What must the earthly praises of God’s people look like as they rise up in succession across the globe, magnifying Him? Does it resemble the wave?

The earth rotates around the sun as it shines in sequence on people across the world. In succession God’s people arise from their sleep, praise Him at church, offer prayers at various times, and later go to bed, giving Him thanks. Can you imagine how the wave of praise looks as it moves across our planet? Does it rise up to Almighty God as smoke from a burnt offering?

In the Old Testament, God’s people were required to give offerings of sacrifice for various reasons, including festival celebrations, thanksgiving, for peace and prosperity, and for the payment of sins. On altars to God the people offered burnt offerings, fellowship offerings, free will offerings, peace offerings, wave offerings, and offerings of consecration (dedication) to God. All types of offerings had a specific purpose and meaning. For example, the shed blood of the sacrificed animals atoned (paid) for the people’s sins and God granted forgiveness. In the New Testament, the sacrificial offering of Jesus’ life replaced the old system of sacrifices. His shed blood on the cross pays for the sins of the entire world and forgiveness is given to those who believe in Jesus as Savior. 

Even though we no longer adhere to the old system of sacrifices because of Jesus’ sacrifice, one offering from the Old Testament reminds me of “the wave” of praise offered to God by His people. The wave offering was an offering for the Lord, expressing to Him servitude, peace, and commitment. The priests literally waved portions of the offerings of animals, bread, or grain in the air before the Lord. God then released the offered portion to those involved in the sacrifice; He provided food for those who offered themselves in service to Him. When we wave our praises before the Lord, in spite of our circumstances, He provides for our needs. He sees our commitment and gives us His promise of faithfulness. Praise God!

Whether we worship in churches, homes, prisons, nursing homes, schools, coffee shops, by ourselves or in a group, our waves of praise are constantly ascending to our Heavenly Father and He is pleased. Whether we exalt His Name with ancient hymns, praise songs, the psalms, prayers, or responsive readings, in whatever language we speak, our praises are constantly ascending to our Heavenly Father and He is pleased. Morning and evening as our globe rotates around the sun, our praises encircle our Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer God and He is pleased. 

Stop right now and begin “the wave.” Offer up to the Lord your commitment and service. Keep your eyes on Jesus, not your situation, and trust in His provision for your life. He is worthy of all our praises and He inhabits the praises of His people!

But You are holy, O You Who dwell in [the holy place where] the praises of Israel [are offered].  Psalm 22:3 (AMP)

For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    he is to be feared above all gods. 
1 Chronicles 16:25 (NIV)  

Lord, the heavens praise Your wonders—
Your faithfulness also—
in the assembly of the holy ones. 
Psalm 89:5 (HCSB - Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Praise Him, sun and moon;
praise Him, all you shining stars. 
Psalm 148:3 (HCSB)

Praise Him with trumpet blast;
praise Him with harp and lyre. 
Psalm 150:3 (HCSB)

Now Jesus came near the path down the Mount of Olives, and the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles they had seen...  Luke 19:37 (HCSB)

God be gracious to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us— 

That Your way may be known on the earth,
Your salvation among all nations.

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy;
For You will judge the peoples with uprightness
And guide the nations on the earth. 

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
The earth has yielded its produce;
God, our God, blesses us. 
God blesses us,
That all the ends of the earth may fear Him. 
Psalm 67 (NASB)

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for your faithfulness to me. My lips shall praise you as I wave my offerings before You. AMEN!

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