“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
[From EDIFIED! Written in 1982]
The Lord has been giving us a lot of direction these last few weeks—direction on the need to praise Him more, to praise Him in and for all things. To me it is both amazing and wonderful how He can bring a thing to our attention and then give us needed information on it, “coincidentally” bringing it to us at the right time.
For instance, on a day when I was suffering from a nice, strong headache, I lay down for a moment to rest and picked up a book on praise I’d been reading. Opening to the page where I left off, the next paragraph started with this sentence, “For years I’d been suffering from migraine headaches….” And the author went on to tell how God taught him to praise him for these and how, when the lessons were learned, the Lord took the headaches away.
Praise is a great privilege, and a great responsibility. To praise in and for all things is expressing faith in a God who controls everything for our good and His glory. Praise is certainly the gateway to surrender and freedom in Christ. As you already know, such praise comes by the working of the Holy Spirit through the Word and flows out as we obey what we know to be true.
James 4:7-10 has taken on a new depth for us as we see the importance of praise:
–“Submit yourselves, then, to God [by praise].
–Resist the devil [by praise], and he will flee from you.
–Come near to God [by praise] and he will come near to you.
–Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded [repent of complaining and griping while we claim to trust God].
–Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom [treat grumbling and complaining as the serious sins they are and repent in sadness].
–Humble yourselves before the Lord [by praising in faith], and he will lift you up.”
Prayer: “Lord, help me to humble myself through praise, trusting you with my lips when I don’t feel like it in my heart. May you be honored today by my willful praise. Amen.”
picture from 1979