The video version of this newsletter is here.I have often heard of the concept of praise as means of releasing God’s power. Israel toppled the walls of Jericho by simply marching and praising, and Paul and Silas praised their way to an earthquake that opened the prison doors (Acts 16:23-26). The offshoot for servants is that we institute a rule for praising God when we need a breakthrough and offer it as a sacrifice. I want to suggest two things: 1) we are all terrible at keeping rules, and 2) praise should flow naturally from a well that is much deeper than will power and sacrifice. Praise is the “heart fruit” of seeing our glorious inheritance, not a legal obligation for being a Christian.

To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices. Mark 12:33 NIV

We worship God when we understand who God is. We express thanksgiving when we review the great things he has done in the past. Praise has its roots in understanding what God is about to do. I’m suggesting that it was no surprise that the Jericho walls fell, and no surprise that Paul and Silas got out of prison. Everybody knew what was coming! (See discussion on a Praise Map below.)

The roots of praise – Praise, action, and results flow out of hearts that understand what God is doing. Fear, alarm, complaining, and apathy naturally flow from hearts focused on what the enemy is doing. Both exist at any given point in time, and both exist at the level of nations and at the level of our personal lives. Servants without dreams or internal direction seldom have a revelation of what God is doing or what they would like to do. Kings and friends find out what God is doing and get excited about it. Seeing the overlap between our heart and God’s heart, playing a role in the Kingdom, and having the authority to make things happen is Kingly. Praise flows very naturally from such a relationship.

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. John 15:15-16 NIV

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter. Prov 25:2 NASU

Faith (eyes on the prize) – Servants coast through life not really knowing the “master’s business” and generally have no clear plan or goals for their own life. They put their trust in trying to obey God’s rules and guidance because that’s all servants know. They never quite connect with their own heart’s desires or with God’s heart’s desires, so they are very prone to becoming religious, sacrificially living out of scripts and pseudo-Biblical principles. They know the letter, but not the life.

He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant- — not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Cor 3:6 NIV

Friends and Kings live on an entirely different plane of maturity. Competence describes it well. We understand that God has written on their hearts some dreams that need to be pursued. We give ourselves permission to pursue those desires and to find the heart connection with the Father and what He’s doing. The simple revelation that God wants to grant the desire of our hearts opens a door of revelation to see and do. Kings do have a written plan, goals, and cash flow that changes Kingdom from spiritual to practical. We become holistic in the process, and lose the distinction between vocation, ministry, and wealth creation. All three are Holy expressions of God’s Kingdom and our role in it. At last, our lives are integrated in a way that works financially, spiritually and practically. Can you see the connection between holy and holistic? Can you see the connection between servants, rules and Pharisees?

The result of an integrated life is praise from our own hearts and tangible faith that draws the presence and the power of God to make dreams come true. We can ask “whatsoever.”

But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Ps 22:3 KJV

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. Ps 100:4 NIV

Praise from God – When we connect with our hearts and experience some success, praise begins to flow two ways. We start hearing God say, “Well done” and “This is my beloved son in whom I’m well pleased.” We also begin to receive the attention and praise of men as we represent the Glory of God, and we start receiving glory, fame, and notoriety. God even works to make our names great. Servants won’t generally allow this to happen. Kings receive this fame and glory publicly, and privately give it to the Lord in worship. That’s a fun process when you really feel like you’re making a Kingdom contribution and you’re on the same page with your Father. It feels like love; tears, rejoicing, thanksgiving, praise and worship well up inside very naturally. It’s a great privilege to live in this hour with these opportunities. We really are Stewards of Glory. We stand in awe of His love for us and we praise Him freely.

I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one John 17:22 NIV

Now if we are children, then we are heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. Rom 8:17-20 NIV

He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thess 2:14 NIV

The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Rev 21:24-25 NIV

Are you willing? – Many believers carry an attitude that it would be immodest to receive power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory and blessing. The reality is that if our work in the marketplace is anointed and it blesses or ministers to people, we will receive glory from men and God. It’s part of God’s plan to make our names great, as evidenced in the life of Solomon. Can you break off the poverty and say yes to being a steward of glory? First receiving it, then giving it back to God?

Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour… 2Chron 1:12 KJV

“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. Gen 12:2

“Let your light (glory) shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matt 5:16 NASU

Want to see your future? – It’s already written in the desires of your heart. We’ve developed some coaching tools to help you get it out of your heart and into a plan. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Until the plan exists, all we have is hope. When the curtain is pulled back on your destiny, praise will flow like a river… as a lifestyle. Seeing progress on the dream in your personal plan is a source of life and vitality.

You will see battles for your “Jericho” and you will get thrown in prison occasionally, but if you can see the purpose of God, you will prevail. Praise will be one of your weapons.

Note: The Lord got me up in the night after writing this newsletter. I created a list of my 10 favorite aspects of God’s nature along with the specific things he’s done for me in the same area for which I’m thankful. I also listed the things God and I will yet do in the future for which I praise him in those same 10 categories of God’s nature. It’s a great exercise that helps me focus on all the heart reasons we have to worship, give thanks and praise Him. The future areas of praise map right into my goals from the coaching module. The example is here… a Praise Map.

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