Praise the Lord, everything he has created, everything in all his kingdom. Let all that I am praise the Lord.Psalm 103:22 (NLT)
I have been blessed to work with many praise teams over the years. At my current church, these praise teams consist of individuals wo are gifted in the ability to lead others in singing praise to Jesus Christ. I always sit in awe at how God can use anyone, regardless of age, to bring me to a place of worship.
But, when we limit praise to only our hour or so of worship per week, we aren’t living a life of praise. Instead, we are consumers of praise. We only offer partial praise. Let me unpack that. If the only time we offer up praises to God is during our time of corporate worship, then the other 167 hours during the week, we are not. When we praise at church because of how it makes us feel, not because He is necessarily worthy, then we are consumers of the feeling, not offering genuine praise. (I know, I’m generalizing. But I hope you get the point.)
As our verse today describes, “Let all that I am praise the Lord.” In other words, praise isn’t solely a part of a worship time together. Instead, praise is a lifestyle. In every part of our lives, we are to offer up praise to God.
So, what does a lifestyle of praise look like? In your finances, do you give freely, or do you hold back for the things that you want? Is it your money, or His money? In your romantic life, have you surrendered your wants to God? Or, do you insist on pursuing relationships that you know are not healthy? In your career, do you work the bare minimum in order to keep a job you hate, or do you give it your all to help the organization? (See my previous devo on how we are to work as if we are working for the Lord) In your private time, do you honor God with your choice of media, or do you indulge in stuff that you know takes you away from Him? When you see people that are hurting, and in need, do you turn a blind eye, or do you step up to help, even if it is inconvenient? In the church, do you serve in volunteer positions, or do you decline them every time because you’re too busy? Praise involves all aspects of life. Why? Because we owe Jesus our lives. He traded His for ours. Now, it is our turn to trade all that we are for Him. And, it is a blessing to do so.