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Praise – Prelude to Worship

087True worship of God is essential to maintaining a growing relationship with the Lord. Revelation, chapter 4, is a beautiful picture of what worship is like in the throne room of God. We need to have these same attitudes as we worship on the earth.

Today, I want to start a small series of posts based upon the gems which form the atmosphere surrounding worship. It’s the way God represented this to John in his vision.

And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne.
Revelation 4:3

In this short verse we see 3 precious stones mentioned. On the earth, kings wear jewels and gems. They have crowns and scepters. It shows that they’re special.

There’s a majesty surrounding our God. To look at God is to look at majesty itself. That’s why I want to look at the gems around Christ, and how they inspire worship from His people.

The first stone mentioned is jasper– a mixture of a few different elements. That’s why it has bands and spots of all different colors.

A few years ago I was in Machias, Maine. Near there was a jasper beach. The entire beach was made of jasper stones. It’s one of only two in the world. The other is in Japan.

This beach was an incredible place. Every time a wave would come in, as the water receded, it sounded like thousands of people clapping their hands. It sounded to me like there was continual praise going up to the Lord.

In my experience, worship usually springs from an atmosphere of praise. It seems that praise and worship always go together.

Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.
Nehemiah 8:6

Usually it’s very easy to go from praise into worship. I’ve only rarely heard a meeting go from worship to praise.

Throughout history jasper has been known as the warrior’s stone. It’s interesting that there’s a link between praise and warfare.

From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
Psalms 8:2

That’s because praise clears the air spiritually. It gets rid of the junk we’ve been thinking of and focuses us in on Christ. As we lose sight of the earthly distractions, we’re better able to enter that intimate place of worship. It’s so much easier to enter into worship if you’ve spent time in praise.

Question: What do you do to prepare your heart to worship the Lord?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

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Posted by on March 13, 2015 in Prayer, Spiritual Warfare, Worship

 

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A Soul at War

mhXQFuIHow healthy is your soul? I’m taking a few posts to talk about soul health and prosperity. Most people ignore the health of their soul. It’s just like the health of your body.

Some people just assume that they’re healthy. They go to the gym, but then smoke 2 packs a day. There are Christians who treat their soul the same way. Yet it’s the most important part of my being.

My soul determines who I am. It decides whether I listen to my spirit or my flesh. It’s important that my soul be healthy and attentive.

Your environment plays a big issue. What do you allow yourself to be exposed to? The Apostle Peter had this to say about Lot, Abraham’s nephew.

…for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard.
2 Peter 2:8

Because he moved into the wicked city of Sodom, Lot placed himself in a position of constant attack on his soul. Many of us do the same things. The movies we watch, the music we listen to, and the friends we spend time with all have an effect on us.

In Lot’s case, it caused him to compromise and eventually he lost everything he held dear. That’s because when we chase after the world system, it affects the health of our soul.

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.
1 Peter 2:11

We need this attitude. The knowledge that this world system is not my home. I belong to a different Kingdom. I’m simply a stranger passing through. I live by a different set of laws.

The word abstain in the above verse literally means to keep your distance from. We need to understand that the closer we get to the world, the more we want what they have. These desires cause a conflict in our souls.

Unfortunately, it’s not a fierce fire fight that we can win with one decisive strike. No, instead it’s a constant siege. It wears down our strength little by little until we find ourselves in a position we never thought we would ever be in.

If you want to maintain the strength and health of your soul, then you’ll need to be careful how close you get to the world. Obviously, we can’t live like monks. We need to go to work, school, and other daily activities.

What we don’t need to do is adopt their standards. We can’t live by their lifestyles. Our foundation for living is in the Word of God and our strength is in the Holy Spirit.

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
Psalm 62:1-2

That’s why time with the Lord is so important. It’s where we find rest from the constant siege of the world. As we remain in Christ, we find that our soul has the health we need to overcome in this life.

Question: How often do you find your rest in Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2014 in Prayer, Spiritual Warfare

 

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