“Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel” (Ps. 22:3, ESV).
Have you ever experienced this? You are having a really hard day. The circumstances of life seem to be crushing you with their emotional weight. Desperate for a lifting of your soul, you know you need to connect with God. Whether it be in a congregational setting, or alone in your quiet time, you begin to lift up a sacrifice of praise. Pushing through the heaviness, you begin to exalt Him.
Maybe it happens quickly, or maybe it takes a longer battle of pushing through… but you insist on lifting Him up. As you do so, the spiritual atmosphere around you begins to shift. Then comes the wonderful moment where you realize you have broken through into a place of peace and joy. The heaviness is gone. The Son-shine has driven the dark clouds away.
What just happened? You enthroned Him on your praises. As you intentionally lifted up your voice and spirit to exalt Him, your sacrifice of praise became a place for the King of Kings to sit, reigning and ruling, enforcing His supreme authority. The original Hebrew from today’s verse literally says, “[Oh] One who sits [on] the praises of Israel.” As you praise, His Kingdom comes. As it comes, it overwhelms everything that opposes it. The God of Peace crushes the enemy under your feet.
It’s amazing! Praise builds a throne for Him. We need to remember, though, that there is an important converse to this truth about praising God. What you and I magnify, we enthrone. Therefore, we don’t want to magnify the enemy’s work even a little bit with our words or thoughts. We don’t want to inadvertently create a space for him to sit and exert influence. This is why Holy Spirit firmly encourages us, “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Phil. 4:8, ESV).
As we fill our hearts and minds with thoughts that glorify Jesus, we are making space for His Kingdom in our inner life. Where King Jesus rules, there is life and peace!
“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!” (Ps. 34:1-3, ESV, emphasis mine).
Is it important to praise God with your mouth and vocal cords, or is praising Him inside your heart enough?