Praise! We all seem to seek it. We seem to have a hard time giving it. It feels good when we get it. It feels bad when we don’t but feel as if we deserved it. What’s the big deal?
Miriam Webster’s simple definition is:
: to say or write good things about (someone or something) : to express approval of (someone or something)
: to express thanks to or love and respect for (God)
When I looked it up, I was surprised at the first definition since the first thing that popped into my mind was praise of God. Then I thought about the order of definitions for a while. We humans are so self-oriented that the order of definitions seems sadly appropriate. Hey, I’m in the same boat. I love to hear how well I’m doing. Giving praise to God is not always, or even most often, my priority.
Rather, if I am truly honest, I want to give praise to someone so they will praise me back. Sad state of affairs when I look at it in stark black and white print. I don’t want to be thus way. I am human and while I do think of the needs and desires of others, my priority is on myself. I’ve been praying that God give me a heart that sees outside of myself and my little life. I trust He will answer. And, in that answer will be challenges I will face and need to overcome.
I think this is part if the journey of following Christ. I’ve been working on a study by A.W. Pink entitled, The Attributes of God. Mr. Pink challenges us to memorize Col. 1:10 at the end if the first chapter. This is the foundational goal of every Christian.
“For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;” Colossians 1:9-10 NKJV http://bible.com/114/col.1.9-10.nkjv.
To be increasing in the knowledge of God! That is my goal. By increasing in knowledge of Gid I will get to know Him better, understand His attributes, and know His will for my life. Without a continual feasting on the Word of God in study, reading, and memorization (I’m really bad at memorizing) He cannot manifest His glory to me or through me.
Oh that my mindset would focus on Him and watch for opportunities He places in my path to help others! Then may I be deserving of His praise when I am standing before the judgment seat:
“His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; … Enter into the joy of your lord.’” Matthew 25:23 NKJV http://bible.com/114/mat.25.23.nkjv.
How is your walk going? Is there anything I can come along side you in prayer?