(pic credit: Gems ©2021 by crisbaj. Used with permission)
Sacrificial Praise [Quarantine Wk 52]
Sacrificial Praise. What does that mean?
Many congregants will quote Hebrews 13, since that verse fits nicely into many liturgies:
15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.Hebrews 13:15-16
Note the key operational line of this verse: ‘continually’. [That’s for another blog…]
The often-quoted Romans 12:1 verse also comes out in this conversation:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.Romans 12:1
This verse ties physicality to the sacrifice of ‘true and proper’ worship.
Peter, the ‘always bold’ Apostle, notes:
4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house[a] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ1 Peter 2:4-5
Somehow, sacrificial praise is part of what God is building in us through Christ.
As we mark the one-year anniversary of the Pandemic Quarantine (March 11th), let’s talk about a deeper meaning of ‘sacrificial praise’.
This has been a hard, hard, hard year for everyone. It’s hard to bring our realities of 2020-2021 into alignment with faith, joy, expectation, joy, worship, joy, praise, joy, worship, joy and… did I say joy?
Just as many have done this year, I have dug deep into the Psalms as a place to center my thoughts, and align my heart with God’s perspective of ‘what’s going on’.
Psalms is the book of ‘pregnant promises’, and clearly illustrates the Biblical principle of ‘testimony’. Every time the Psalmist writes “…and, God, I cried out to You and You came and did something…”, it’s a prophetic testimony that screams, “God did it for me, and He wants to repeat that for YOU”!
There are some interesting Hebrew words that translate out to [simply] ‘praise’ in our English Bibles, but hold much deeper meanings than just ‘speak a word of God’s praise’, or the old Jesus-people blurt, ‘well, PTL!”…
‘Towdah’ is a huge example… allow me to un-pack the power of Towdah Praise, and what that could mean here in our 2020-2021 fire-storm.
Hebrew for ‘praise’, ‘confession’ or thanks-giving’
[OT Strongs Hebrew 8426, a specific use from root Yadah, used 17 times in Old Testament in Leviticus, Joshua, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos and Jonah]
Literal meaning is to ‘throw up the hand in adoration, acceptance, confession, thanks-giving or a vow’.
In the Hebrew common vernacular, it’s ‘like one is throwing a stone forward’.
It means to literally give thanks-giving for things not yet received, or praise before the promise unfolds.
Before! Not yet received!
It also speaks to giving thanks-giving to GOD before the promise is revealed or released, because that very promise is clearly at hand.
Psalm verses like 50:14-15 & 23 speak to this order of ‘thanks-giving before the promise is fulfilled’:
“Sacrifice thank offerings to God,
fulfill your vows to the Most High,
and call on me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”
23 “…Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me, and to the blameless I will show my salvation.”Psalm 50:14-15, 23
Give sacrifice, fulfill vows to serve and worship the King before the promises are fulfilled.
OK… It’s not works… it’s not some weird spiritual quid-pro-quo of ‘I do these things to manipulate God, then He does what I want’. Nothing like that.
Towdah-Praise positions my heart to receive and respond to what the Father is doing. It aligns me with Heaven, and allows me to enjoy His invading my reality. It is then I am a cleared landing-pad for all God wants to bring into full reality… even when it’s not my current circumstance!
Towdah-Praise is the praise of faith
You are thanking and praising God for the very thing that has not fully happened or arrived…yet.
Biblical faith is not self-generated. Biblical faith is nothing about your hopes and dreams. It’s not something you ‘build up’ yourself… well, you can build up something you call ‘faith’, but God may have not had anything to do with that…
…and He frequently gets blamed for things HE never said would happen!
Biblical faith is spoken out and given by God. It’s the ‘currency of Heaven’ that guarantees what HE has promised and declared. Faith has nothing to do with me, it has everything to do with HIM.
With this in mind, Hebrews 11 becomes crystal-clear, especially that whole Chapter’s out-lay of what happens when people hear God and respond in that faith-transaction:
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not seeHebrews 11:1
I hope, and I am assured, because GOD spoke it out.
In His Holy Word, the Scriptures.
In His Rhema-Word spoken directly to me in the moment.
Even though I don’t see it, I will give Towdah-Praise to Him for what is going to come.
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.2 Corinthians 1:20
Towdah-Praise in Suffering is a Sacrifice of Praise
This is where my moving in Towdah-Praise of God has become really, really unique.
Towdah-Praise is a super-power:
Towdah-Praise in the middle of suffering.
Towdah-Praise in deep pain.
Towdah-Praise in grief, for lost loved ones and friends to a stupid virus.
Towdah-Praise in the deep loss of so many to lies, ideologies, deception and bondage.
Towdah-Praise in so many un-answered questions and confusion.
Towdah-Praise in mystery and hidden things.
Towdah-Praise in lack and lean times.
Towdah-Praise in Pandemic Quarantine, cut off from so many and so much.
Towdah-Praise in all the constraints and restrictions.
Towdah-Praise. Throw my stone of faith forward. Give glory to my good, good Father, even though many of my circumstances haven’t matched what HE said yet.
Towdah-Praise, in the midst of such human experience, is quite something. Not only does it help center me in what God is going to do, but I’m learning how it allows me to give a Sacrifice of Praise that only I can give Him in this moment.
The full Kingdom of Heaven has no death, pain, loss, grief, sickness or suffering.
Just read the last few chapters of Revelation and Isaiah.
So, when I am experiencing this ‘now and not-yet’ reality of the invading Kingdom of Heaven, and I am standing there in the experience of death, pain, loss, grief, sickness or suffering, and I mix that experience with my Towdah-Praise to my good, good Father who will bring everything that Jesus paid for on the cross to fulfillment in my life (Isaiah 53:5), my Sacrifice of Praise is mixed with the fragrance of real-life that I can’t lift to the Lord in any other place or any other time… like Jesus’ fragrant love-gift to the Father on the cross, He knows that in the midst, I will Towdah-Praise.
6 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.2 Corinthians 3:6-7
I’m seeing here that the order of things could be that when I turn in Towdah-Praise, in giving Praise Before the Breakthrough… it’s then that the ‘veil’ is taken away.
Proverbs 25 tell us:
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter;Proverbs 25:1-2
to search out a matter is the glory of kings.
3 As the heavens are high and the earth is deep,
so the hearts of kings are unsearchable.
I’ve come to know that God hides things FOR me, not from me.
He conceals things for me to search out HIM, and they begin to be revealed.
He has made us a kingdom of kings and queens and priests.
Perhaps, the answers I seek… you seek… we seek… these ‘answers’ cannot be found until we enter into the secret art of the Towdah-Sacrifice-of-Praise.
written by crisbaj
© 2018-2021 by crisbaj/AdoreTheLord.blog All rights reserved.
All Scripture references from New International Version unless otherwise indicated.
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Thanks to Pastor Bill Johnson for his on-going teaching about worship in suffering and pain.