1. Hello, listening friends.
2. Welcome to this broadcast.
3. If you are listening to this broadcast for the first time,
4. we have just began a series of messages.
5. It is on the life of joy and fulfillment.
6. Joy and fulfillment are only possible through the power of praise.
7. We began to look at four lessons about praise.
8. Number one,
9. praise reveals to us our true spiritual condition.
10. The second thing praise does is refocus our personal destiny.
12. praise reestablishes God’s reign over our hearts.
13. And fourth,
14. praise reinforces our relationship with God.
15. Last time, we talked about number one,
16. praise reveals to us our true spiritual condition.
17. And today we’ll begin with number two,
18. praise refocuses our personal destiny.
19. I don’t have to tell you that this life hassles even the best of us.
20. We all find this life’s problems are constantly overwhelming us,
21. and we see and feel so many things in life that harrasses us.
22. Whether paying for life’s expenses,
23. or facing illnesses,
24. or dealing with cantankerous people,
25. or responding to the many demands in life.
26. Let me ask you a question:
27. What will happen to the person who only focuses on the problems of life?
28. What will happen to the person who only focuses on the challenges of life?
29. What will happen to that person?
30. Very soon, that person’s identity will become foggy.
31. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ,
32. then your identity is in Jesus.
33. But if you allow yourself to focus on your problem,
34. then very soon your identity will become foggy, misty and unreal.
35. Very soon you will lose sight of your destiny of heaven.
36. Very soon you will slide into pessimism, cynicism and depression.
37. Very soon your life loses its luster, its joy, and its excitement.
38. At that point, you really have two choices:
39. You can choose to place yourself in the posture of praise,
40. or keep on going in your foggy night.
41. You can choose to be empowered by praise,
42. at that point, you can choose to be strengthened by the wings of praising the name of the Lord Jesus,
43. or you can choose to sink deeper into despair.
44. Why do I say this?
45. Because it is my personal testimony.
46. When I begin to praise the Lord,
47. sooner or later, my eyes begin to lift from my problem,
48. and they focus on my heavenly position.
49. This happens regardless of the problems or the difficulties that I’m facing.
50. When I begin to praise the Lord,
51. I feel like a rusty machine.
52. Sometimes, I can’t even get going.
53. But sooner or later, you discover that your eyes begin to lift away from your problem and focus on your heavenly position.
54. Your eyes are going to lift out of your current condition,
55. and think of your position in Jesus Christ.
56. Your eyes immediately begin to recognize the smallness of your problem and the greatness of God.
57. Soon your eyes begin to refocus on the reality of the size of your problem in relationship to the reality of the size of your God.
58. When I praise the Lord,
59. my eyes shift from the temporary to the permanent.
60. My eyes begin to see with clarity, my eternal destiny.
61. My eyes begin to see God in the heavenly realm where his power permeates,
62. where his strength dominates,
63. where his position is supreme.
64. This is how praise begins to refocus my destiny.
65. Our praise of God refocuses us on what is really real and what is fleeting.
66. Praise reveals our spiritual condition.
67. Praise refocuses our personal destiny.
68. And the third thing about praise that I want to share with you is this,
69. praise reestablishes the reign of God upon our lives.
70. Earlier, we established that God pitches his tent in a unique way.
71. When he begins to hear the praises of his children.
72. And when God is present in this very special way, God rules.
73. He does not come just to sit with you and only listen to you,
74. He does that, but he does more.
75. When you invite him in praise to come,
76. he comes to rule and reign in your life.
77. The Bible is very clear when it says, “God indwells the praises of his people.”
78. It means that God is now ready to take over.
79. I often say God never takes sides,
80. he takes over,
81. and that is the absolute truth.
82. So, how does God take over?
83. Your praise of him is your invitation for him to come and rule.
84. And you must be prepared to surrender.
85. And that is why some people don’t like to praise the Lord, because they know he’s going to take over,
86. and they are not ready for that.
87. By praising God, you are saying, “God, you are my authority.”
88. “You are my ruler.”
89. “You are my king.”
90. “You are my sovereign.”
91. And that is what you are doing.
92. And he comes in and he takes over.
93. When you invite God to dwell in your marriage, be ready because he will take over your marriage.
94. When you invite God to come into your family,
95. he will take over your family.
96. When you invite God to come into your church,
97. he will take over your church.
98. When you invite God to take over your school,
99. he will take over your school.
1. And that is why praise is our foremost means of inviting God to take residence in our hearts.
2. And therefore, we are inviting him to reign and rule supreme in our hearts.
3. Praise is our foremost means of asking God to take absolute authority over our lives and our circumstances.
4. Praise is our foremost means of asking God to establish or reestablish his authority over us.
5. And that’s precisely why some people are afraid of the life of praise.
6. And they say, “Oh, I praise God on the inside. I don’t have to speak it out.”
7. I pray that you’ll begin the life of praise today.
8. I pray that you will begin to understand the relationship between what you say and God’s presence and rule in your life.
9. Because you must understand, God does not like to share his authority.
10. God does not like the fifty-fifty program.
11. God does not like to share his rule.
12. God does not like to share his power.
13. God does not like to share his glory.
14. That’s who He is.
15. He either takes over or takes off.
16. Some may ask, “Do you mean I am going to lose my salvation?”
17. Absolutely not.
18. I’m not talking about losing your salvation.
19. When you come to Jesus Christ, and your name is written in the Book of Life, nothing changes that.
20. But I will tell you that what you’re going to lose when He does not dominate in your life,
21. what you will lose is your joy.
22. Because when he comes in and takes over the reigns,
23. He brings joy with him.
24. When He’s out of your life, there can be no joy.
25. Let me summarize.
26. Praise reveals our spiritual condition.
27. Praise refocuses our personal destiny.
28. Praise reestablishes God’s reign in our hearts.
29. But the fourth point is this,
30. praise reinforces our relationship with God.
31. You know, one of the problems of all human race,
32. is that we find it very easy to fall in love with ourselves.
33. We do that especially if we get a little bit of success here and there.
34. We really do that.
35. If we do well, then all of a sudden, we begin to think that we are really great.
36. We begin to think that we are God’s gift to the universe.
37. We can easily fall in love with our ability.
38. We can easily fall in love with our intelligence.
39. We can easily fall in love with our cleverness.
40. We can easily fall in love with our knowledge and our abilities and our status.
41. We can easily begin to think we are the best.
42. But here’s what praise does.
43. Praise reminds us of who we really are and who God really is.
44. Praise reminds me that I am a sinful human being.
45. Praise reminds me that I am redeemed and saved only by the pure grace of God.
46. And that’s what praise does.
47. Praise places me and all of my limitations in the light of God’s great forgiveness.
48. Praise places me and all my faults in the light of God’s great forgiveness.
49. Praise places me and all of my sins in the light of God’s forgiveness.
50. Praise reminds me of the power of the forgiveness of God.
51. Praise reminds me of what a tiny fraction of God’s love and wisdom and power I really comprehend.
52. Praise makes us say with Job, “I know that you can do all things;
53. no plan of yours can be thwarted.
54. My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you.
55. Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”
56. But please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying.
57. The reason of recognizing who I really am and who God is,
58. is not so that I might walk through life saying, “Oh, poor me.
59. I am a sinner. I’m unworthy. I can’t do anything.
60. Don’t ask me to serve or do anything, because I am not worthy.”
61. No, no, no, no, no, no. The purpose is not that.
62. That’s how people twist the truth and twist the facts.
63. On the contrary, being realistic about my sinfulness leads me to repentance.
64. And true repentance brings me to true appreciation of the goodness and the mercy and the grace of God.
65. And that’s what it does.
66. The more we are realistic about our weaknesses and faults, the more we comprehend God’s graciousness.
67. The more I comprehend the graciousness of God, the more excited I am about serving him.
68. And that’s what praise is really all about.
69. And that is why the Bible, from cover to cover, tells us that the secret of fulfillment and joy is a life of praising the Lord.
70. It is my deep desire that today you begin the life of praise.
71. And I pray that you would write to us and tell us how praise is changing your life.
72. Until we meet again I wish you God’s riches blessing.