Tag: Praise

Which Fountain Are You Drinking From?

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Do you ever say, “I don’t feel like praising or worshipping God”? Does it sometimes seem like God hasn’t been truthful with you, or has let you down? Do you ever feel like he’s abandoned you?

If so, maybe you need to drink from a different fountain.

What do I mean?

All around us are “fountains”; reservoirs of happiness, entertainment, gratification, and pleasure. And they help get our mind off the problems we face, at least for a while. But they are only temporary, at best. At worst, they will leave us completely, hopelessly, lost.

But they’re readily available and give us pleasure; so we drink.

How does one “drink”? By the words we speak, and our corresponding actions.

What if you decided to drink from a different fountain?

Isaiah received a word from God regarding the remnant of Jews who were still faithful to God, in spite of their captivity. The prophet told the remnant that God promised to do whatever it took to get them released from Assyria, and back in their homeland. Then Isaiah told them, as a result of God’s actions, they would sing; they would drink deeply from the fountain of salvation.

In that day you will sing: “I will praise you, O Lord! You were angry with me, but not any more. Now you comfort me. See, God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. The Lord GOD is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.”

With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation!

In that wonderful day you will sing: “Thank the Lord! Praise his name! Tell the nations what he has done. Let them know how mighty he is! Sing to the Lord , for he has done wonderful things. Make known his praise around the world. Let all the people of Jerusalem shout his praise with joy! For great is the Holy One of Israel who lives among you.” (Isaiah 12:1-6 NLT)

Proverbs says, “A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is.” (Proverbs 15:23 NKJV)

Drinking from the “fountain of salvation” is accomplished using the same process one would use to drink from the “world’s” fountain. By the words we speak (or sing), and our corresponding actions.

The next time you feel like God has abandoned you, take a tip from Isaiah. Remember what God DID to set you free and bring you into his kingdom. Begin to remind yourself, out loud! Joy is the strength you need, and it will rise up within you as you make yourself praise and thank God!

“Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name.” (Hebrews 13:15 NLT)

It’s called a “sacrifice” for a reason.

Worship: The Freedom Connection


Break Every Chain
words/music by Will Reagan
unitedpursuitband

Worship is probably the most effective way to connect with the Lord God. The act of worship gives voice to your faith, a guard for your heart, and an opportunity for God Almighty to speak to your heart and touch your soul and body. It is a special time that allows Him the freedom to have His way in our life.

The Freedom Connection!

There’s a story in the Bible about a madman, a demon-possessed man, who could not be chained, shackled, suppressed, controlled, or tamed by anyone. My how they tried! They might get the shackles on for a moment, but before long, SNAP! The chains would fly off, and the man would be on the prowl again.

IF, I repeat, IF, you wanted to find him (though I’m not sure why you would want to), he usually hung out at the local cemetery. No chains, no clothes, no hassles. Unless, of course, someone came along to pester him.

While it’s true no one could shackle him, it is just as true he was not a free man. He was bound by a much stronger force than anything man could create or concoct. He was bound by evil spirits whose sole desire was to steal, kill, and destroy.

He was bound, shackled and tortured by demonic chains! 

Though he lived “free” among the tombs, and though no one could control him or even communicate with him, he was not a free man.

How did all this happen? When did this change “come over” the man? What was he like before he became bound by the devil? Scripture doesn’t give the answer for those specific questions. The best we can do is surmise a guess based on principles revealed in the Word.

For instance, Proverbs reveals, “Pride goes before destruction…” (16:18). We know that was one of the issues the prince of darkness, The Rebellion’s Leader, had problems with. Pride opens the “door” for thoughts, actions, and even manifestations of the evil one.

Isaiah 14 reveals another aspect of Lucifer’s problem. It wasn’t just pride, but a discontented heart. He wasn’t content with the ministry the Most High gave him. No, he wanted elevated to THE Highest place. He felt he could do better than the One Who created him. Discontented and Anointed with Power, Authority, Beauty, and a following of others spelled trouble, division, and ultimately a change in Heavenly leadership. A new worship leader had to be found.

This could be the reason the madman was like he was. It’s possible. He could have been an associate rabbi at a local synagogue. He could have felt his messages were far better than those of the senior rabbi. The more he thought about it, the more others reinforced those ideas with words like, “brother, you really are a great teacher/preacher. You ought to have your own church. We get much more out of your messages than our rabbi,” then the more he was convinced. Things like that can turn many a head. And, turn the head far enough, it just might fall off.

Something else might have happened. Someone could have really upset him. Maybe made him the laughingstock of all their jokes. Maybe they lied about him and ruined his reputation. Maybe…maybe he felt like others were putting him down, ridiculing him and not appreciating him enough.

How do you handle the words of others, aimed as arrows at your heart, words you know are untrue? Do the actions of others draw you into feelings of retaliation, or extreme depression?

What did Jesus do when people attacked Him like that? He did just what James said to do. “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (4:7)

There are other things that might have been the reason the man was being controlled by demons. Maybe raised in a home that worshiped everything EXCEPT the One True God. I’m not saying his parents were evil personified, but just “living for the almighty dollar”, or “living and working for the weekend, for recreation, for football, for a party, etc” is a form of worship many in this day and age ascribe to. Worshiping anything or anyone other than God Almighty and His Son Jesus Christ will only leave a void in one’s life. That void CAN be filled with habits or spirits that bind a person with unbreakable bonds.

But this blog isn’t just about how chains can be applied, or how a man can lose control of his life. This is about FREEDOM. It’s about Jesus, and His ability, desire, anointing to break EVERY chain!

The Kingdom of God isn’t just about words. It’s about Heaven’s Authority AND Power changing things on earth. Jesus said, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven.” And He meant it.

When the “madman” first laid eyes on Jesus, he ran to worship Him. “When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him.” Mark 5:6 

The demons controlling him fought to keep him bound. But it was too late! Worship had drawn the two together.

The madman was changed by the Kingdom of God. The woman at the well was changed by the same power. The Widow of Nain’s son was raised from the dead by the Word of Heaven!

And, regardless of the reasons for your chains, you can be free as well.

Will you worship, will you bow down before your Lord and King?

Will you be free today?

Free! Jesus breaks every chain. There’s IS power in the Name of Jesus!

Judah and Simeon

20131124-214104.jpg“Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass that the children of Israel asked the Lord, saying, “Who shall be first to go up for us against the Canaanites to fight against them?” And the Lord said, “Judah shall go up. Indeed I have delivered the land into his hand.” So Judah said to Simeon his brother, “Come up with me to my allotted territory, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I will likewise go with you to your allotted territory.” And Simeon went with him. Then Judah went up, and the Lord delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand; and they killed ten thousand men at Bezek. “Judges 1:1-4 NKJV

In the above passage of scripture, Judah was told to lead the battle against the Canaanites and the Perizzites. Most people understand the name, “Judah”, means “praise”. That’s one reason the idea of “praise” marching against the enemy is taught. But some people read this passage and believe God always sends His worship team into battle first. God has done such things a few times, but few doesn’t equal always.

The words Canaanite and Perizzite have meaning as well. Canaanite is “to humiliate” or “vanquish”. Perizzite means “open” or “unwalled”. In other words, “praise” was to go up against a formidable foe that had the reputation of humiliating and vanquishing all of their enemies. And if that wasn’t enough, the other half of the enemy combatants were so powerful they needed no walls of protection for their cities. They could defend their territory without anything but their ability to fight.

Judah had an idea. I believe it was an idea we as worshippers should adopt. Judah (praise) said to brother Simeon, “will you please help me?” Simeon means “hearing”. The picture behind the word isn’t just the physical act of hearing. It means “to hear with the intent of obeying”.

So “praise” said to “hearing, with the intent of obeying”, “please help me defeat these enemies who have the ability and the reputation of defeating all who rise against them.” “Hearing” agreed, and TOGETHER they cleared their land of the enemy.

When we as worship team members and leaders stand in front of a congregation, singing songs should be one of the last things we’re concerned with. Singing praises alone doesn’t automatically open windows for victory. We must keep our heart and mind sensitive to God’s voice, and to the leader’s heart (and the pastor’s).

When we unite praise and obedience to God’s voice we will see God’s Kingdom come and His will done in our world.

Hands To War, Fingers To Fight

20130727-214410.jpg“Praise the Lord , who is my rock. He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle.” (Psalm 144:1 NLT)

“Hands trained for war, fingers skilled for battle”, doesn’t necessarily mean someone trained for fighting in hand to hand combat, or someone skilled in bow and arrow. Not necessarily.

There is a battle ground far greater and even more deadly than any Vietnam or Armageddon. It is the battleground of the spirit realm.

Notice Paul’s reference to it: “We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NLT)

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12 NLT)

Many battles are won or lost in the unseen realm of the spirit. People understand the power of prayer; intercessory, praying in faith, and other types of prayer. Yet many believers do not know the spiritual power released through true worship. Even the simple faith act of prayerfully playing a piano can allow the Holy Spirit to join in the spiritual battle and bring a victory.

David, the kingly psalmist, waged as many successful battles through worship as he did with his sling, sword, or fist. The psalms he wrote describe his battles, won through his connection with God as he worshiped.

“For You are my hiding place; You protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory.” (Psalm 32:7 NLT)

“I called on the Lord , who is worthy of praise, and He saved me from my enemies.” (Psalm 18:3 NLT)

“May the nations praise You, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise You. Then the earth will yield its harvests, and God, our God, will richly bless us. Yes, God will bless us, and people all over the world will fear Him.” (Psalm 67:5-7 NLT)

See what happens when praise is given to God? The spiritual affects the natural.

David said, also, that “God inhabits the praise of His people.” Psalm 22:3

Moses sang a song, declaring his commitment to preparing a “habitation” for God through praise and worship. “The LORD is my strength and song, and He is become my salvation: He is my God, and I will prepare Him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.” (Exodus 15:2 KJV)

Much spiritual power is released through spiritual playing, as well as praying. May God anoint your heart and hands to fulfill His will in this world.

Amen!

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