May 03, 2018 | A Devotional.
By Mary Southerland
Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Cast up a highway for Him who rides through the deserts; whose name is the Lord, and exult before Him.
Friend to Friend
I love the story of the woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head. “Well,” she said, “I think I’ll braid my hair today. She did, and she had a wonderful day. The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror, and saw that she had only two hairs on her head. “Hmm,” she said, “I think I’ll part my hair down the middle today.” She did, and she had a great day. The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror, and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. “Well,” she said, “today I’m going to wear my hair in a ponytail.” So, she did, and she had a fun day. The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror, and noticed that there wasn’t a single hair on her head. “Yes!” she exclaimed, “I don’t have to fix my hair today!” Now that’s what I call having a good attitude.
Attitude can transform anything and everything – thoughts, habits, and perspectives. We can literally change our lives by changing the way we think. In Isaiah 26:3 (NLT), we find the promise, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you.”
A mind filled with thoughts fixed on God will produce a heart filled with praise – and girlfriend, praise is a powerful tool in our spiritual arsenal. Praise brings healing to our spirit. When we honestly express our trust in God, then choose to give Him thanks, healing begins. Praise provides a highway upon which the Father conveys deliverance and blessing. Praise invites God to take up residence in the midst of our messy lives and becomes a free-flowing conduit of God’s very presence and power at work in us. God funnels infinite blessings into a life that praises Him. Stress and anxiety fade as peace floods the heart that is filled with praise.
Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Cast up a highway for Him who rides through the deserts. (Psalm 68:4, ICB)
But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel. (Psalm 22:3, NKJV)
Don’t miss the life changing truth that we can enthrone God in every situation of our lives by praising Him. Praise converts our everyday surroundings into His dwelling place. It is from that throne of praise that God dispenses victory. Praise tunes us into His sovereignty and allows us to experience the reality and power of His presence.
Praise strengthens our prayer life. Prayer is not only a remarkable privilege that we often fail to recognize or understand, but it is also part of our worship to God. There is the asking side of prayer when we seek forgiveness, lay needs before God, and intercede on behalf of others. Then there is the appreciating side of prayer when we offer praise and thanksgiving to God for who He is and what He has done. Our relationship with God is strengthened through prayer and praise.
Now here is my favorite truth about praise. Are you ready? Praise devastates Satan and his forces. Yes! I love it! In fact, Psalm 20:5 (NIV) promises, “We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.” Satan is well aware of just how powerful praise is and I suspect he absolutely hates it … which absolutely delights me! I can almost sense his fury when I choose to praise God instead of questioning Him. The enemy hates it when I walk by faith, setting aside feelings and emotions while focusing on God’s Word and His faithfulness in my life.
Through continual prayer, through the power of God’s Word, and through faithful praise, we declare our trust in God to deliver us. Praise lifts up the shield of faith in spiritual warfare. Praise makes a frontal attack on doubt and fear. Even in the midst of Satan’s best efforts, we can find victory when we praise Him.
Father, I praise You today for what You have done in my life. I choose to thank You for the storms that have made me stronger. I celebrate Your mercy and grace at work in my life, a life that is so unworthy of Your love.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Begin keeping a joy journal. Make a list of the blessings God pours into your life. Those blessings may be small or large … it doesn’t matter. They are all His hand prints.