Praising God to Remove all Offenses!
17.08.2019, Chuck D. Pierce
I have been meditating for two weeks on Psalm 119:163-165. “I hate and detest falsehood, but I love Your law. Seven times a day and all day long do I praise You because of Your righteous decrees. Great peace have they who love Your law. Nothing shall offend them or make them stumble.” Offense is usually the emotional issue of our life that stops us from advancing. So many people live with offense. In King David’s life, he not only stayed one step ahead of death, but found the key to moving forward in his life by staying beyond offense.
Once Yeshua began to advance the Kingdom through His ministry on earth, we find the same issue in His life. John the Baptist kept sending his disciples, along with various Pharisees, to question His ministry. They wanted an explanation of both His works and actions. In Matthew 11:1-6, He said, “Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities. And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, ‘Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: the blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.’” In other words, He was saying to John, “Everything you prophesied, I am doing. But let Me add one more word from Heaven – don’t get offended and stumble and quit advancing in Father’s plan for your life and the Kingdom.”
The word offended in the Greek is skandalizo, which means to put a snare or stumbling block in the way. The noun to which it is related refers to the bait-stick of a trap. In the New Testament, skandalizo is always used metaphorically as that which hinders right conduct or thought, hence, “to cause to stumble.” In Merriam-Webster Dictionary we find this definition of offend, “To transgress the moral or divine law; to sin, violate a law or rule or do wrong; to cause difficulty, discomfort, or injury; to cause dislike, anger, or vexation; violate, transgress a contract; to cause pain or to hurt; or to cause (a person or group) to feel hurt, angry, or upset by something said or done.” The Lord knew that stumbling blocks would come into each of our lives. However, He encouraged us to always keep going.
The Key to Advancement is Through Praise! Praise and Worship Produce Glory!
All throughout God’s Word, we see that God is enthroned in praise. We glorify Him through our worship. That is why praise and worship are essential to experiencing God’s glory. Praise is that element of celebration that can transport us into the throne room of God. Once we are in the throne room at His feet, we need to worship and adore Him. As we worship Him in that intimate place, He begins to reveal His glory to us. God is looking for true worshipers who will worship “in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). And as He finds those worshipers, they are able to experience the reality of heaven, which is God’s glory.
Time to Go Forth in Praise!
Worship causes us to move thankfully with our body toward our creator. Praise (or yadah in Hebrew) is to worship God with extended hands. With hands lifted up, we declare the merit of God, and we thank Him for everything He has put in our hands. We find this concept first mentioned in the Bible when Leah conceived her fourth son and named him Judah, meaning praise. When Jacob acknowledged Judah, he extended his highest blessing upon him and declared that even his brothers would praise him. He also declared that Judah (praise) would triumph over all of his enemies with royal authority (the scepter) and legal authority (the lawgiver). The word “Judah” also means to hold out your hand and throw or shoot a stone or an arrow at your enemy. Therefore, we find that praise will be a key weapon of the Spirit of God in our lives in days ahead.
Praise is a Response to God’s Revelation of Himself!
Every child of God should express praise. Human praise of a holy God is a major theme throughout God’s Word. Praise is expressing to God our appreciation and understanding of His worth. Praise says “thank you” for each aspect of God’s nature. Praise expands our awareness of God’s character. “Praise” comes from a Latin word meaning “value” or “prize.” When we praise God, we proclaim His merit or worth and His value to us here on earth. We find other words related to praise in the Bible, including “glory,” “blessing,” “thanksgiving” and “hallelujah.” These should all be ways we express our love for God. The order of the Lord’s Prayer in Luke 11:2 is important, “Father … hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come.” First, Jesus praised God, and then He made His request. Praising God puts us in the right frame of mind to begin to declare our needs to a holy Father. With our hands outstretched we can worship God in such a way that our daily provision can be released. Through worship, we can be assured that our supply will always come to us in a timely manner. Praise and thanksgiving are the opposite of worry. One of our greatest worries is over our needs being met. This is a time to be thankful for all that God is doing in our lives. Be like the one leper who went back and thanked Jesus for his healing. This thankfulness produced not just healing, but wholeness. Be whole!
There is also a price to pay to enter into praise and worship. There is a cost to this process, and we are faced with a fundamental issue: Will we choose to just enjoy the efforts of others, or will we enter into the sacrifice of praise in a personal way? Furthermore, will we choose to offer this sacrifice in the good times as well as the trials? We must be willing to embrace these costs to experience the real fruit of our praise.
There is, perhaps, no stronger weapon of warfare than praise and worship to the Lord. Satan hates our worship to God for many reasons. For one, he is jealous of our worship. He longs to obtain it for himself through whatever means he can. For another, he knows that the weapon of worship is strong and effective. Consider the words of Psalm 149:5-9: “Let the saints be joyful in glory; let them sing aloud on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute on them the written judgment – this honor have all His saints. Praise the LORD!”
Another important reason is explained by Cindy Jacobs: “When we praise God, He inhabits or enters our praises, and His power overwhelms the power of the enemy. He is a mighty God, and Satan cannot match His strength. Light will dispel the darkness through God’s entering into our praise.” (Possessing the Gates of the Enemy, p. 178) Through praise, the Lord Himself begins to do warfare on our behalf, to silence our enemy.
May the God of all Peace inhabit you and make you whole. May all offenses you have accumulated through the years be removed, and may you guard yourself against any offenses in the future.
Chuck D. Pierce