Sunday, September 10, 2017

Joy Precedes Worship, Worship Precedes Victory

UV 2771/10000 Joy Precedes Praise

The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.
Jeremiah 33 v 11

This uni-verse depicts life of the believer in Jesus as one of continual feasting and joy like it happens at a wedding celebration. Jesus is the Bridegroom united with the bride, the church. We need to continually listen to the voice of Jesus and the teachings of the church. This will fill us with joy and gladness. It will fill us with an attitude of praise and worship and thanksgiving. We need to worship the Lord as He alone is absolutely good. Though He is absolutely perfect, He deigns to relate to us who are only relatively good and partially evil. We can relate to Him only on account of His great and enduring mercy.
Our union with God in Christ is the chief cause for joy, gladness and celebration in life. He perfects us while we stay in oneness with Him as He sanctifies and perfects the church, the bride. Instead of taking for granted the mercy, grace and justice of the Lord, we need to bring a spiritual sacrifice of praise before the Lord. Our hearts need to well up with gratitude, joy and peace and that spring of praise and worship should often flow from our lips. Joy precedes praise, gladness precedes worship just as gratitude precedes thanksgiving. Praise, worship and thanksgiving precede a change in adverse circumstance and causes us to succeed.
As our hearts fill up with joy and gladness, our mouths will overflow with praise and thanksgiving. We can truly worship the Lord only when we are joyful regardless of the circumstances. When we truly worship Him in the beauty of His holiness or with full reverence, adoration, love and gratitude, the Lord will change the circumstances of our lives. Healing, deliverances, victory, upliftment will flow into our lives as the Lord restores us. The world deceives us to think that our joy is circumstance-dependent. It teaches us to think “seeing is believing” when the eternal reality is believing is seeing and experiencing. Praise, thanksgiving and worship are affirmations of belief. Circumstance is not God. God has proved Himself time and again in history , in our experiences, and chiefly through the work and word of Jesus that He is far above and beyond any and every circumstance. Our faith and joy stems from the fact that the Lord is the Commander in Chief of the Armies of heaven. If He says, go they come to our assistance. If He says, stay, they keep off from us. Hence, our stance of faith determines and shapes our circumstances. We only need to listen to the voice of the Bridegroom, the Holy Spirit, the voice of fellow believers who have prevailed over circumstances. We need to prepare to offer every day and every hour of our lives a spiritual sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving from a heart of worship and joy.

Prateep V Philip

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