The Passion of Praise: The Seeds of Truth, Part 1
My first quest in life … now that I have accumulated some wisdom from knowing Jesus over 60 years … is not to find more answers and reasons to satisfy my mind! Though I have had many questions answered, I still seek the one thing greater … that one thing I would dare call the greatest! I seek foremost the power of a heart that rapidly and continuously is filled with praise for the Godhead! I have found that all I truly desire, in order to more quickly and fully fulfill all my being yearns for, is praise for all that Jesus is! What He has done, is doing and shall do thrills me with a confidence and contentment beyond words! I ask nothing more for this brief and conflicted life than the request of the Palmist, “Let the high praise of God be in my mouth …” (Ps. 149:6). This is the highest confirmation I seek to prove to others our Lord’s words, “The mouth speaks what the heart is full of …” (Matt. 12:34). It is impossible for a heart to be filled with gratitude and unhappiness at the same time! “The Lord sheds joy on the upright in heart …” (Ps. 97:11).
Samuel was told that the God of Israel doesn’t evaluate a person by outside looks or socio-political accomplishments but by the heart alone! The Lord looks for people after His Own Heart! (I Sam. 3:14). The ultimate exalted purpose and climactic satisfaction of being human is to learn the fullness of what it means to be alone with God … one on One … only you and Him … heart to Heart!! All deep and lasting meaning begins there and nowhere else! No human being can last long or last for much if their starting point to find significance doesn’t start with their Creator-Redeemer-Perfecter.
Most Disciples are drifters! They float through life without the power of a spiritual engine to choose the most noble directions (Heb. 2:1-4). They are not disciplined enough or tough enough to meet the Savior daily in a radical, pure, desperate, broken, honest, yielding and praising way. Their time commitment in the Scripture is snatched away! Their true hunger for Him alone as their source of everything is too shallow. Their daily agendas are choked full of “this world” concerns driven by the secondary and the trivial. Few there are who break this pattern. Our Lord knows all this and has lovingly nailed us all. Only those with noble hearts plant His seeds of truth in their minds, master it and produce by endurance a crop that blesses! Check out His words in Matthew 13:1-22 and Luke 8:1-15!
We must put ourselves in as many positions as possible to “receive the seed of God’s truth into the soil of our hearts.” No receiving, no producing. Some receiving, some producing. Much receiving, much producing. Our Lord Himself said what you receive (seek, take, grasp, hold, retain, study, understand, plant, obey, hunger for, yield to, etc.) of My “seed truth” will be multiplied in you by 30, 60 or 100 times! The more one grasps of the “seed truth” of Christ, the more potential he or she has to produce in quantity what has been planted in quality! The richest seed to plant is “praise seed” because it produces the courage to face and outthink everything else. “The joy of the Lord is our strength” (Neh. 8:10).
The Disciple whose faith thinking results in supernatural joy and praise will have the power to stand against, endure and overcome anything and everything! “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus … Who, for the joy set before Him, endured the cross … and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2). If being “there” isn’t praise, what is? True heartfelt praise will seat the Disciple at the Lord’s right hand. It is there we gain a “new consciousness” about everything! As we “see” reality with His eyes we cease to be victims of the fall and become “watchers” of His present and coming Kingdom. This praise position is compelling, energizing and electrifying!
Receiving this “seed truth” as rapidly as we can gives us “The knowledge of the secrets of the Kingdom of God which has been given to us …” (Luke 8:9). Knowledge about many things is good! But knowledge about the Kingdom is everything! Why? Because the former is knowledge about “what and why”! Kingdom knowledge is about “Who”! We actually “know” this King and begin to build “a vital relationship” with Who He really is and to experience the power, the awe, the brilliance and the nobleness of how He governs His earth and our hearts! The first most powerful sign that a person is experientially connected with Who the Savior really is to them is praise! When the Disciples first encountered the risen Lord they “… couldn’t believe it because of their joy and amazement!” (Luke 24:41). To me, that is the greatest definition of praise in the Scriptures! That Christ Jesus lived, suffered, died and rose again for me so that I could become a part of His eternal family is too much for me to believe and take in. Yet I know it is true. All that is within me of His Spirit tells me so! (Rom. 8:16). I can only respond to Him with praise … in joy and amazement! Everything in me “as a sinner” tells me it can’t be true! All that is within me of His Holy Spirit tells me that it is! “I will praise the Lord Who counsels me!” (Ps. 16:7).