By Pastor Mitch Horton | October 2005 | Posted in • Archives | (0) Comments
We are encouraged to “rejoice evermore,” to “pray without ceasing” (see 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17), and to “be constantly in prayer” (Romans 12:11, Amplified). God’s plan is that we walk continually in His presence and fellowship. Prayer is more than constantly petitioning the Lord. Prayer is an unending communion with God, and should be a delight! Praise is actually the highest type of prayer! You’ve heard the question, “How’s your love life?” I want to present you with the question, “How’s your praise life?” Few take advantage of the power that is available to the average believer. There is tremendous power in praise!
Psalm 22:3, New King James Version reads, “But you are Holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.” The King James Version reads, “But thou art Holy, O Thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” The word enthroned or inhabitest (Hebrew – Yashab) means”to sit down, to dwell, to remain,” and gives the idea of God’s presence and power manifesting wherever He is praised from the heart by His people.
This same Hebrew word translated enthroned or inhabitest is also translated “dwell” or “dwells” in Psalm 80:1 and Psalm 99:1. “Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock; you who dwell between the cherubim, shine forth!” “The Lord reigns; let the peoples tremble! He dwells between the cherubim; let the earth be moved!”
“The power of the kingdom of God becomes available when we make a choice to praise God in the midst of the circumstances of our lives.”
These verses note that God “dwells between the cherubim,” and are a reference to the presence of God that manifested in the Old Testament in the Holy of Holies over the Ark of the Covenant. You can see this clearly in Exodus 25:22, where God was giving Moses instructions concerning the construction of the Ark of the Covenant: “And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I give you in commandment to the children of Israel.”
The Ark of the Covenant was basically a box made of wood covered in solid gold. It had a lid that was also made of gold, the mercy seat, and on the lid were two cherubim on each end facing each other with outstretched wings. There between those outstretched wings is where the presence of God would manifest during the Old Covenant. Notice 1 Samuel 4:4, “So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from there the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, who dwells between the cherubim…”
When Jesus died on the cross, the veil in the temple, which separated the Holy of Holies (where the Ark of the Covenant was kept) from the rest of the temple, was torn in two from top to bottom (See Matthew 27:51). This veil was about twenty feet high and four inches thick, and was made of cloth. God evidently tore that cloth curtain Himself, signifying that His presence would no longer dwell in a place made by men’s hands!
Now WE have become the TEMPLE of God, and He dwells in us! “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16) The word temple in this verse is the Greek word naos used to describe the Holy of Holies. You and I are now the Holy of Holies where God’s presence abides! You may not always feel it, but God’s presence never leaves you!
In Psalm 22:3, God reveals that His power and person, His glory, would manifest when His people praise Him! The power of the kingdom of God becomes available when we make a choice to praise God in the midst of the circumstances of our lives. God’s presence is full of all that He is. Everything we need from Him is available instantly in the atmosphere of praise! The word for praise in Psalm 22:3 is the Hebrew word Tehillah, which is defined as, “the singing of halal.” Halal is the word from which hallelujah is derived. And halal means “to rave, to show, to boast, to be clamorously foolish, to celebrate.” Tehillah is actually singing spontaneous songs from our hearts to God as we adore Him! In Ephesians 5:19, we are encouraged to speak to ourselves “in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in our hearts to the Lord.” This is the New Testament way to express Tehillah or these spontaneous, exuberant songs! When we do this, God says that He will enthrone Himself in our singing, and His power will manifest!
We see an example of this in 2 Chronicles 5:11-14 at the dedication of Solomon’s temple. When the musicians and singers began to worship, the glory of God filled the temple, and they “fell under the power” of God! He overwhelmed the atmosphere of the room when they began to praise.
“God has the deliverance you need from the fear, the financial crisis, the illness, the relational problem, the impossible circumstance that looms large before you. Begin now to offer to your God the sacrifice of praise.”
In 2 Chronicles 20, the inhabitants of Judah were surrounded by the enemy. King Jehoshaphat did not know what to do. The odds were against the people of God, and it looked as though they would be slaughtered. Jehoshaphat called for a fast, and the people of God began to pray. God spoke through a prophet and told them that He would fight the battle for them. They were not to follow normal procedure for this fight, however. God instructed them to put the praise team, the choir, on the front line of the battle instead of their best soldiers. They began to sing their Tehillah praise to the Lord, “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.” And their enemies were defeated before them as God sent “ambushes” (probably angels) against the enemy, and they were defeated! The only thing that Judah did was to praise God, and He did the rest!
In Acts 16, we see Paul and Silas beaten and imprisoned after casting an evil spirit out of a young girl who made her masters rich by telling fortunes. Deep in a dark, musky, rat- infested dungeon, with their backs bleeding and their feet and hands bound in iron stocks, Paul and Silas began to sing Tehillah praise to God. Their singing was so loud that the other prisoners heard them. And the supernatural glory of God filled the prison as God enthroned Himself and inhabited their praise. The results were that an earthquake occurred, and they and the other prisoners were freed!
You may be having a rough time right now. God has the deliverance you need from the fear, the financial crisis, the illness, the relational problem, the impossible circumstance that looms large before you. Begin now to offer to your God the sacrifice of praise. Sing your halal to Him. Rave, show, boast, be clamorously foolish before Him as you worship and sing. He will fight your battles for you; He will show Himself strong on your behalf.
Put praise at the forefront of your life and give God a chance to enthrone Himself around you. If He delivered Paul and Silas, and the tribe of Judah as they praised, He’ll do even more for you. You have a better covenant than they had that is established on better promises (Hebrews 8:6).
Remember that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever!
Satan is already defeated! Jesus “spoiled principalities and powers and made a show of them openly,” triumphing over them in His death and resurrection. Psalm 149:6-9 reveals that the judgment that has already been written against Satan and all his forces is enforced as we sing the high praises of God! Resist the enemy with the praises of your lips to your God and watch him flee from you (James 4:7)! Give God an opportunity to show Himself strong in your life. He is no longer between the cherubim. He lives in YOU! He stands ready to enthrone Himself in your praise!
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