Enter His Courts with Praise
Last week we looked at how thanking God for what He’s done brings us to the starting point: Psalms 100:4 (NIV) says, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” This starting point then opens us up to a place of greater relationship as we want to know Him more.
We Get to Praise God for Who He is
Let’s look at it this way; we thank Him for the things He does, but we get to praise Him for who He is. In this way, we get to know His character and nature. In a nutshell, it looks like this: Lord thank you for healing me, thank you for blessing me, thank you for loving me. However, praise takes it to a new level: I praise you for being my Healer; I praise you for being my Provider; and I praise you for being the Lover of my soul!
Praise Fixes Our Minds On Things Above
Praise takes the emphasis off ourselves and our circumstances and puts us in a place of fixing our hearts and minds to extol and adore God for who He is. I hope this distinction is now building a picture within you to see why thanksgiving and praise are different and how they affect us in God’s kingdom.
The Vail Has Been Torn
As Psalm 100: 4 says, thanksgiving moves us from His gates into His courts with praise. Historically, the temple’s gates could be seen by anyone, even outsiders. However, the courts were off limits to gentiles who were not part of the seed of Abraham. This indicates entering and then going further into a relationship with God is a progression, just as entering into a temple. I know that from a New Testament perspective, you might be thinking, well, the veil has been torn and we have access to Him at all times. But I do think there is a place where when we put our minds on just how amazing and incredible He is and on how He just loves us because that’s who He is, this revelation takes us to a different place. It’s a place in a relationship beyond saying thank you.
Don’t Dumb Down the Reverence for God!
There’s a place of reverence knowing that He is the “Great I AM”, the Creator, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, our Savior, Provider, Sustainer, and our Rock and Fortress. Sometimes we forget, or we have dumbed down our reverence of who He is. This is something we should never neglect.
Multiple Ways of Praise
Did you know that there are about eight Hebrew meanings for the word praise in the Old Testament and six in the New Testament? This tells me there are different ways we can praise Him because there are nuances in the concept of praise.
In Hebrew, praise can mean to shoot up (like an arrow), to boast, to rejoice, to shine, to bless or to kneel and to make music and song. It can also mean to sooth, to still, to commend, to laud, to adore and to adulate. Specifically, the meaning of praise in Psalms 100:4 means to glorify, publicly praise, renown and adore.
How to Bring Breakthrough
Praise can help us to shoot up to a place where we break through our circumstances, our work, a family or life issue. Even when we are at our most beaten down, and most tired, if we look up and start to praise God for who He is and not look at our situations, then we start to see a spiritual and physical shift. And sometimes, our breakthrough can even be instantaneous!
Jesus has Already Been to the Place Where You’re At
Don’t you think God knows what you are going through? Do you not think Jesus has already been to the place where you are and has already prepared a solution to your problem? If we stay stuck and don’t look to the one true “Problem Solver” or the Lover of our being, then we will never see the fullness of who God is. No, we will never see the fullness of Christ who lives in us! He is our Victory Maker!
As we practice praising God in all things—during the good times, the bad times, and the interesting times—it becomes a part of who we are. Praise shifts oppression and breaks the chains of bondage. Praise becomes a depression destroyer, a sickness shifter, a healing hacker, a finance finder, a marriage miracle- maker, and a relationship restorer. Things get broken off and broken down when we take our focus off of ourselves and we start to praise Him for His goodness, faithfulness, and love. When we step out, He can step in!
He Will Enter Your Circumstances with Power
Remember this, when you enter God’s presence (His courts) with praise, He enters your circumstances with power! Give it a go today and see if He doesn’t show Himself faithful. Start living today and not just existing for tomorrow!