2 Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits — 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Have you ever been so moved within your spirit that your heart poured out to God in praise? Seemingly, from out of nowhere, adoration and thanksgiving flowed from your heart to the heart of God. That’s the kind of praise described by the psalmist. It can’t be manufactured and it’s not something in which you can fake-it-‘til-you-make-it. It’s either there, or it’s not. It emanates from your soul.
To be sure, we can get worked up over things that inspire us. I’ve sat in some business rallies where sales people became so fired up with emotion, they could run out and sell ice cubes to an Eskimo.
In New Testament times there were multiple pagan religions and many of them featured exuberant praise for their deities.
As God’s people, there is but one way to praise God, in Spirit and in truth. (John 4:24) That praise isn’t always boisterous with raised hands and shouts of joy. Sometimes it is manifest in tears or somber reverence. Other times it flows softly in quiet reflection on the wonders and blessings of Almighty God.
Yesterday, it happened to me while standing in the front yard in the stillness of a refreshingly cool morning. Thoughts of God’s blessings entered my mind (His benefits). Soon, I was praising the Lord in my spirit.
The indwelling Holy Spirit is always working; leading, illuminating God’s word, helping us to recall God’s word when we need it, interceding for us when we don’t know how to pray, sealing us for the day of redemption, and helping us to commune with God. The light of the Spirit never goes out. Sensitivity and awareness of that light helps us find our way in an otherwise dark and threatening world. And, yes, the Spirit helps us to praise.
When I was in Navy boot camp, we had a red light called the Smoking Lamp in our break room. I wasn’t a smoker, so I never benefitted by the light. But with the announcement, “The Smoking Lamp is lit,” the smokers in my unit enthusiastically rushed from the barracks into the designated area.
God’s Spirit rarely makes loud announcements to direct us. His communication is best understood as a still small voice. The voice is clearer and the light shines brighter when we keep sin out of our lives, study and meditate upon His word, and “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” (Ephesians 6:18)
Now, since the light of the Spirit is always with us, we can praise God anytime and anywhere. Long before Tom Bodett and Motel 6 thought of it, God had already turned the light on for us. So, tap into that wonderful onboard resource.
But sometimes, in very special moments, the Holy Spirit directs special soulful praise. And God’s amazing benefits flash through your mind and warm your heart. It’s as if you have become the psalmist or the hymn writer. This is what God has done for you. This is how much God loves you. You have never been more loved or more secure. And then you realize, you are standing on holy ground, because you are in the presence of the Lord.
For more on this topic, check out this article: The Song in Your Heart
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.