Two days ago the penny dropped for me in relation to the place that praise has in the life of a believer – and I mean to put an emphasis on the word 'place'. It is not hard to understand that God, without a doubt, deserves all our praise – He is the creator of the universe, the giver of all good things, and the backbone of our existence.
When you think of it like that it is all quite obvious that praise is a critical way in which we show our appreciation for everything He does. However, the thing that has become apparent to me is our placement of praise in relation to linear time.
In our world, we give praise and congratulations to people after they have done something noteworthy. This is because we operate in a dimension where time is ever moving forward in a linear fashion – and it is all we know. I have just realised that this does not apply in any way whatsoever to God.
He is not bound by time the way we are, and so we need to wrap our heads around the fact that our place of praise for him is not like that of person. We are to praise him for the things he has done, and the things that are yet to be done.
It is all well and good to praise God for something that he has done once it has come to pass. However, it takes faith to praise him for something that has not yet happened. I'm convinced that God absolutely loves the faith-filled praise.
Praising him in advance is basically saying that you have confidence in his word. I know now that praising God helps a believer stay strong and encouraged while the promise or word is manifesting, especially when it is a long journey or the word seems completely impossible.
When we praise God, we are declaring and confessing with our mouths his natural place – the Lord of everything.
We can see this concept in 2 Chronicles when members from the tribe of Judah are sent out at the front of the army praising God for victory in a battle that hadn't even started yet. Scripture says that the Lord then set ambushes for the enemy and won the victory for the Israelites.
I see this as being applicable to all of our lives. We should be approaching any word or promise from God with victorious praise, because at the end of the day it is not by our power that anything is going to happen – rather it is only by Him fighting our battles for us.
Therefore our place of praise is not only after we see a victory (however this is still very important), but before the battle has even begun.
When those situations arise, we should copy what worked for the Israelites and send out praise first, approaching his promise with faith that he is limitless and fighting on our behalf.
Samuel James is a Media Communication graduate based in Wollongong.
Samuel James' previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/samuel-james.html