We have just returned home from another fruitful trip to Ukraine. Not long ago, when speaking to the minister who has organized these trips to Ukraine, he told me that when I come there, it’s as if I kick open spiritual doors. Of course, hearing that blessed me, but at the same time I’m humbled. I’m humbled that God has entrusted me to share His Word and power with people all over this world. Revelation 1:3 talks about doors that only God can open. While the right timing is much of the equation, oftentimes God uses His man or woman to open doors, and such is the case in Ukraine. We (I say we because you are part of that) just returned home from kicking some spiritual doors open, and I can’t thank you enough for your part in making that happen!
Praise is a powerful thing—it comes from a thankful heart that is filled with revelation knowledge of what Jesus has done for you. Sometimes people have the idea that praise is something that they have to work up or, that if they praise long enough and just the right way, it will move God to do whatever it is that they desire of Him.
The story of Joshua at Jericho is a prime example of the power of praise. Joshua was instructed to lead God’s people around the city of Jericho for seven days, and for those long marches, they were to keep silent. But on the seventh day, once they had marched around the wall seven times, they were to “Shout!”
When we read this story, there is a tendency to think that the walls came down because they shouted and praised just the right way, but that isn’t what took place there. God had already told the children of Israel that He had given them the city, and they believed Him. They already knew that what they desired belonged to them; it was just a matter of walking out the steps that God set before them. So, when those seven days of marching came to an end, they knew the time had come, and their shout was a shout of praise—absolute thanksgiving to God for the victory.
In our own lives, it is so important to perceive praise the right way. It should come from thankful hearts established in revelation knowledge of what Jesus has already done for us.
What would you do if I told you that I went to the Cadillac dealership and purchased a brand new vehicle with all the bells and whistles, paid for it in full, and then handed you the keys as a gift? How would you react to that news? Different people would react in different ways but there is one thing that every person would do, if they truly believed what I said, and that is to thank me from a heart filled with gratitude for what I had done.
One of my favorite passages of Scripture to look to in remembrance of what Jesus has done for me is Isaiah 53:4-5, Surely He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes, we are healed.
All healing, provision, and peace, regardless of how it is received by the believer, hearkens back to the exchange we see in this passage of Scripture. Jesus bore all of it for you and me, and when we receive revelation knowledge of this fact, our hearts are filled with thanksgiving to God. He doesn’t need me to praise loud enough and long enough in order to get the benefits of this Scripture. What God needs is for me to believe it, and when I believe that what He said is true, it becomes mine to possess.
Accordingly, the revelation knowledge and understanding of what is mine results in praise coming from my mouth, and praise is the voice of faith. Let me encourage you not to fall into the trap of thinking that praise is a way to get God to do something for you. He has already done it! The power of praise comes from the revelation that it’s already done!
As you approach this Thanksgiving holiday, I pray you experience all God has provided for you. Remember that you are loved and cherished by God Himself. He gave His very best so you could live a long, fulfilled life while on this earth and then for all eternity with Him.