a praise of sacrifice, accuse God, adversity, God believes in His children, Hebrews 13:15, hell breaking loose, learning something new, pain, Paul Billheimer quote, praise must leave our lips, sacrifice of praise, satan, Satan's chief accusation, Satan's logic, sorrow, Watchman Nee quote
I wrote a blog last week about “Becoming Fixed On Praise”. Sometimes “keeping our praise on” is not easy.
Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give (confess) thanks to His name. Hebrews 13:15
A “sacrifice of praise” appears to be an oxymoron. Anything sacrificed in the Bible was offered up and killed. How can such a beautiful word be associated with sacrificial offerings? Maybe if we turned it around and called it a “praise of sacrifice”, it would make more sense. Praise doesn’t carry a death sentence, but the one offering it, the worshiper does! Paul Billheimer relates –
One must sacrifice his own judgment, his own opinion, his own evaluation of what is right and good, and “praise God always for all things” including the good, bad and indifferent.
The most difficult thing to do when all hell is breaking loose is to praise God. Every reflex tells us to blame our circumstances, blame people and accuse God of malfeasance. We learn through the story of Job – Satan believes that if he sends enough pain, sorrow, and adversity our way, we will collapse under the weight and curse God. Satan’s chief accusation towards God is always… if good is removed from God’s children, they will hate Him. Satan sees to it everyday …. to apply negative pressure to our lives to get us to agree with him. Have you been guilty of agreeing with him lately?
Conversely, the Lord believes in His children. He believes if pressure is applied to our lives, we will be driven closer to Him. So when the going gets tough and it always does… the tough believer should offer a “sacrifice of praise”. This means we are dead to making accusations against God. We refuse to follow Satan’s logic and blame our Creator. A sacrifice of praise is choosing then to believe God is good. God is great and all His dealings with us personally are just and right. We are dead to believing any differently…no matter what the outward circumstances dictate.
One other issue… A “sacrifice of praise” isn’t really a sacrifice or praise until it leaves our lips. The goodness and greatness of God must be our confession in difficult times. If you want to be one of those believers who drives Satan crazy, then praise God when everybody else has already cursed Him and left. Praise God when you don’t understand, when you can’t make sense out of life. Choose to praise God when every bit of physical evidence says God is wrong and Satan is right. Choose by loosening your lips to praise God anyway!
Blessings – From God’s Incubator,
another brick in the wall, challenged the throne of God, check your mouth, complaining, confess your sin, defection of the heart, discipline, gormandize yourself, graves of lust, jealousy and disbelief, manna, meat, Numbers 11:18-33, plague, quail, roots, satan, sick, Thomas Fuller quote
I am wrapping-up this three-part series on complaining with a somber note. I don’t believe God ever wants to discipline His children. As every parent knows, sometimes godly discipline is the best course of action. While we might not think complaining is a serious issue, God does. Why? Because low-level complaining is a heart issue. Complaining is an activity Satan participated in when he challenged the throne of God. When we revel in venting our displeasure, we mimic the demonic world. Thus a wall begins to grow between us and the Lord. Every time we choose to complain, gripe, and grumble, we lay another brick in that wall. Since complaining is a heart-issue… it develops into other sins. Complaining leads to rebellion, passing judgment on others, greed, jealousy, and disbelief. What we do not realize is a complaining spirit has roots which grow quickly into the fabric of our hearts. This wicked spirit eventually takes over and permeates our life. God knows the only way to correct the issue is by discipline and chastisement.
God Takes Action…The People Became Sick
18 Say to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat; for you have wept in the ears of the Lord, saying, “Oh that someone would give us meat to eat! For we were well-off in Egypt.” Therefore the Lord will give you meat and you shall eat. 19 You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, 20 but a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you; because you have rejected the Lord who is among you and have wept before Him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’” Numbers 11:18-20
How did God know the people would get sick eating meat? It wasn’t tainted. It was good meat. The Lord knew they would treat the quail like they treated the manna. They would run, snatch, and grab. Each quickly grabbed up 10 homers…that is 10 donkey loads. As one commentator noted, a homer is an “ass load.” What a description. They spread their loot around camp and commenced eating.
Have you ever fasted for any length of time? I have. It is always a delicate issue coming off a lengthy fast. My stomach always needs a transition period. If I stuff my belly full after fasting… I will be one sick puppy on the backside. God knew his children would sicken themselves. God didn’t have to do anything… He simply didn’t warn them about the dangers of eating too much… too fast. They had a steady diet of manna for a while. He knew they would gormandize themselves with the new-found meat. They did! Moses and the nation buried these folks where they died. Listen to the description….
33 While the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the anger of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord struck the people with a very severe plague. 34 So the name of that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had been greedy. Numbers 11:33-34
For the record, not everyone was struck with this plague. Only the greedy were touched by it. They named this burial site, “the graves of lust” or “graves of those which lusted.” How would you like this epitaph on your marker? As noted before, complaining doesn’t evaporate into thin air. Complaining leads to “bigger and badder” sins. It causes a defection of the heart. God knows it must be dealt with immediately or our sin will eventually affect our family, church, friends, and world.
The good news is you can do something about a complaining spirit right now. You can confess your sin and ask God to help you check your mouth and heart. He will. The Holy Spirit will remind you early and often when that ugly spirit begins to rise up with in you. Take action do today… while it still is today.
A.W. Tozer quote, defeat the worshiping believer, devil, distracted, emunah, faith, fall down and worship me, feeds the soul, Luke 4:5-8, satan, spiritual onslaught, spirituality, stability, subtle fashion, ten commandments, things of the world, worship
5 And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” 8 Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘ You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’” Luke 4:5-8
You might imagine this issue would occupy a major portion of the battle for good and evil. The first four commandments deal with this issue of worship. Satan came blatantly at Jesus, showing Him all the world’s kingdoms, and their glory… offering them for His worship. Satan probably will not approach you so blatantly. The devil comes at us for the same purpose but often in a more subtle fashion.
There was once a poor country pastor who was livid when he discovered his wife had purchased a $250 dress. “How could you do this!” he exclaimed.
“I don’t know,” she wailed, “I was standing in the store looking at the dress. Then I found myself trying it on. It was like the Devil was whispering to me, “‘You look great in that dress. You should buy it.'”
“Well,” the pastor persisted, “You know how to deal with him! Just tell him, “Get behind me, Satan!”
“I did,” replied his wife, “but then he said ‘It looks great from back here, too.'”
Satan never said to me, “Fall down and worship me.” But he has tried to get me to deviate from God’s plan for my life. He has gotten me so off track it almost ruined my commitment to God. Satan has tried to fill my life with so many other things and other people so they would occupy the Lord’s time and ministry. Many times we can find ourselves withdrawing from the physical act of worship for various reasons. The number one way Satan accomplishes this is by getting believers preoccupied and focused on other things.
He begins to attack us by making the “things of this world” so appealing and luring. He continues to lull us to sleep, getting us to focus on the wrong goals, the wrong areas, and the wrong people. He gets us to trade the best for something better, then we trade the better for something good, then we trade the good for something bad.
Jesus wasn’t even remotely fooled by Satan’s attractions. He quickly stood up and said, “I’m not getting distracted. It is written, ’You shall worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shall you serve!’” Note how passionate Jesus was when he rebuked Satan over the issue of worship. Nothing was going to diminish the intensity of His love for God, and the passion with which He expressed it.
The same should be true for every believer. Our worship should always be guarded. We would all stay out of trouble if we would quickly and passionately defend our worship of God. In a Catholic church a sign was hanging over a shrine which said, “This Shrine is out-of-order. Do not worship here.” This is a little parable of what sin does to the Christian. It makes us spiritually out-of-order. Satan knows this truth and attempts to keep us out-of-order so that real worship isn’t important as it once was.
I read recently in Hebrew the word for faith (emunah) is the same word for stability. They are linked to each another. The Lord knew long ago the only way for His followers to survive the spiritual onslaught of the devil was to remain in faith. Faith creates stability. Worship feeds my soul like no other spiritual vehicle. I can be a physical, mental, and spiritual wreck. But… when I worship my Creator all the planets, sun, moon, and stars become aligned. Everything makes sense. Satan knows he will never be able to defeat the worshiping believer. There is a war going on in and around you today for your worship. How are you doing?
People who follow Buddha, they are cool. People who follow the Dali Lama, they are way cool. Pantheism is cool these days. There are plenty of trees to hug. As dangerous as Islam can be, it is still cool to follow Mohammed. But openly confess you are a follower of Jesus and you will go from being cool to being a fool. This is not just a western phenomenon. More Christians have been martyred in the past century than all the previous centuries combined.
My point is this – It has never been cool to be a Jesus freak and it never will. According to Jesus there are two main reasons for this.
“Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.” John 12:31
His time being short, Satan is out to persecute the professing believer. The demonic world will never allow following Christ to become in vogue or cool.
“For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. 36 While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.” John 12:35-36
The other reason following Jesus will never be cool is “light.” The light of Christ is revelation, truth, and knowledge. Men love darkness and would rather walk in total darkness than the true light because they love to do evil. This is why Jesus doesn’t make sense to many people. Since they love darkness, real spiritual truth seems absurd.
I like looking at things under a black light. I think it is cool. But I do not want to live with my only light source being a black light. I want a real light to see life accurately. Satan would have us believe his black lights are all we need.
This is why Jesus said time and time again, “Walk in My light. Walk in My truth. Because night is coming when no man can see.” Which light are you trying to use? If the world is cool with you and you are cool with it, you have a light problem and are living in darkness. Take this revelation today and begin to walk in the light.