discipleship

The Right Appetite: Fruit of Praise (Pt 1)

right_appetite

Previously, we’ve explored The Right Appetite: Bread of God. Now, let’s take a closer look at the next spiritual food group…the fruit of praise. Scripture subdivides praise into two main categories: mouth and motion. Today, we’ll explore the first which is the fruit of our lips…mouth.

THE FRUIT OF PRAISE:

Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 1 Kings 18:38

Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. 2 Chronicles 7:1

In the Old Testament, the children of God would offer an animal sacrifice upon the altar and the fire of God would consume it. The only difference in the New Testament is that the type of sacrifice has changed but the fire still falls and consumes the sacrifice.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1

We’ll talk more about the New Testament fire in a future post. Today, we are focusing on the sacrificial offering. Unlike the dead sacrifices of the Old Testament, our bodies are a living sacrifice in the New Testament. A living sacrifice needs to be offered over and over again. Exactly how are we supposed to do that? How are we to offer our sacrifice continually?

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. Hebrews 13:15

O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. Psalm 47:1

The New Testament sacrifice is praise. It’s the fruit of our lips giving praise to God. He inhabits, dwells in, our praise. When once the presence of God consumed the sacrifice behind the veil in the Holy of Holies, it now consumes the fruit of praise through our lips and takes up residence in the NT temple which is our bodies.

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

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19

This is where we must put action behind our faith. We’ve heard the Word of God that reveals praise to be the New Testament sacrifice. We act on that by opening up our mouths in praise. If we do not praise Him with our voice, the sacrifice cannot be consumed because the outward manifestation of our praise is the sacrifice. Again, we see that spelled out for us in Hebrews 13:15 above. We are to offer the sacrifice of praise. If that wasn’t clear enough, the writer went on to further clarify by saying “that is, the fruit of our lips.” The sacrifice of praise isn’t the fruit of our hearts or of our minds, but rather the fruit of our lips. This sacrifice must be uttered through our lips. It is important that we offer the required sacrifice. Anything less will not do as we can see in the case of Cain. A blood sacrifice was required, remember without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. Cain tried to offer a different sacrifice.

And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. Genesis 4:3-5

It’s interesting to note that Cain was wroth because God had not accepted his sacrifice. Anger is a common side effect of one who is trying to offer another sacrifice. Often, individuals become angry at God because they see the sacrifice of others being consumed, or accepted but not theirs. This is because we don’t get to choose the sacrifice. God in His sovereignty has chosen the appropriate sacrifice and it is our job to offer what is required. God gave specific instructions concerning the sacrifices of the Old Testament. The people didn’t get to choose which animal they would sacrifice but rather certain animals had to be offered for specific things. The same applies in the New Testament. We don’t get to choose the acceptable sacrifice but rather God has already made that decision and we must adhere to what He has set forth if we want our sacrifice to be consumed. When we offer the appropriate sacrifice of praise which is the fruit of our lips, the fire, Holy Ghost, still falls and consumes our sacrifice! (More to come on that.) As we’ve learned, this is not a one time thing. It is a continual, living sacrifice.

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. Hebrews 13:15

Praise is a natural occurrence among believers encountering the presence of God.

Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. John 12:14

And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. Luke 19:37-­38

They didn’t just think good thoughts about God within themselves, they cried out with a loud voice…saying… Their praise manifest in and through their mouths. Some of the religious establishment of that day demanded they stop this outward expression. Notice His response.

And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. Luke 19:39-­40

I’m reminded of these lyrics:

Ain’t no rock, gonna cry in my place. As long as I’m alive I’ll glorify his holy name

God will have a praise. Period. We are called to be lively stones!

Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:5

Again, why are we to be lively stones? Answer: To offer up spiritual sacrifices. The fruit of our lips, praise, is a spiritual sacrifice. Below, we see again the distaste for public expressions of praise by the religious status quo.

And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased. Matthew 21:14

In that day, there were religious folks that did not approve of their loud expressive praise and so it is today.

Again, I’m reminded of a song…

I will Dance, I will sing, to be mad for my King. Nothing Lord is hindering the passion in my soul. And I’ll become even more undignified than this, some may say its foolishness. But I’ll become even more undignified than this.

2 Samuel 6:14-23 tells the account of Michal calling David out for his ridiculous praise to which he replied:

I will become even more undignified than this…2 Samuel 6:22a

It’s high time the people of God become a little undignified when it comes to praise! Why? First, God requires it. Secondly, the enemy despises it because praise is a weapon!

And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. 2 Chronicles 20:22

Praise releases ambushments against the enemy! There are many who do not believe it necessary. However, we are commanded to receive God’s Word as truth and every man a liar.

God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. Romans 3:4

The above verse cues us into how we are to identify lies. The scripture says “as it is written.” If anything contradicts the Word of God, it is wrong not God. We must beware of the traditions of men and let the word of God be the deciding voice in our lives.

For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. Mark 7:8

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Colossians 2:8

What others think, feel, and believe has to be weighed out against the Word of God. There are no doubt many who no longer believe in the outward expression of praise as a commandment of God but that doesn’t alter what the Bible has to say about praise. Public expressive praise is required by all.

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. Psalm 100

O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. Psalm 47:1

Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord. Psalm 150:6

Praise is even required of the angels in the presence of God.

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. Isaiah 6:1-­3

And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. Revelation 4:8

There are deep-­seated reasons why the enemy assaults praise so vehemently. The fruit of our lips, the sacrifice of praise, is the necessary sacrifice for the fire of God, Holy Ghost, to fall. And while there are no doubt people who will choose not to praise God right now, there is coming a day in which every knee will bow and every tongue will confess the praises of God.

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:10-­11

Again to summarize, the first aspect of our praise sacrifice is the fruit of our lips. This sacrifice is the chosen sacrifice of the New Testament. In the next part of our series, we will discuss the second aspect of praise…motion.

Praise is mouth and motion!

O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. Psalm 47:1

If you haven’t yet explored expressive praise, I am super excited for you to give it a go! Nothing, and I mean nothing, supercharges your prayer like expressive praise!

Related Posts:
Silence of the Lambs
The Right Appetite: Bread of God

 

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