03 October 2014

Praise: Proclaiming the Obvious

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!" Isa 52:7

Why on earth would Zion--those of one heart and one mind, who know the Lord already--need someone to tell her "Thy God reigneth"?

Good question.

Why say the obvious? Why repeat what has been said before in scripture so many times? Why do what is foolish in our culture, but encouraged in scripture?

All throughout scripture, people who definitely "knew better" repeat themselves at key points. (Please forgive me for not quoting them here . . . this post is being eked out in just a few spare moments today. But that gives you a chance to notice these as you study further in all of scripture.) The practice of praise (i.e. telling God what He already knows about Himself, and proclaiming it to others who mostly already know it, too) is a lost art in the LDS tradition. And yet, as I have begun to learn how to praise--how to confess God's glory, strength, majesty, mercy, grace, love, justice, abundant generosity, and a thousand other things--I have been blessed in rich ways. There is power in praise, in speaking into life within your own mind the truth that exists elsewhere, that shifts the spiritual atmosphere and opens our hearts and minds to the glory and mind of God.

So, go ahead and try it sometime. Try telling God what He already knows about Himself, and see what happens to your own heart, your own spirit. And if you have the Holy Spirit with you in power, then watch out . . . you'll feel like you can go on forever, and there are few things as beautiful or sweet to the soul.

Father in Heaven, I glory in You! For You are faithful, always; Your Son leads me through my life, teaches me Your ways, and blesses and protect me as soon as I'm willing to let Him. You work in mysterious ways, that are made plain to those who love and follow You. You are generous and kind, eager to receive us into Your presence. I praise you for Jesus, and His willing sacrifice. Jesus, you are Good, You are Love, You are Light, You are Truth! You bless me beyond all measure and understanding, and You never leave me desolate when I cry out to You. You are the God who heals, the God of Restoration, the Finder of all that is Lost, the God of All Supply. You are my hope, my strength, my joy, my forgiveness. You are Mercy, You are Joy, and You are Mine, as I am Yours. I love you, Jesus, and I love you, Father in Heaven. In Jesus' beloved name, amen!