Does God inhabit our praises?
I arrived three minutes late to church on Sunday. The congregation filled the small auditorium with voices singing along to the words of an old praise hymn.
I picked a seat and sat with my head down and eyes closed. I didn’t recognize the song but listened to the words. The melody lifted me and tears streamed down my cheeks. I felt the comfort of the Holy Spirit like a warm blanket wrapped around me. God is here.
Whenever I am moved by the Spirit of God, my body physically responds with crying. No attempt to stop the visceral response has ever worked. I’ve learned to embrace the moment and let the tears flow.
As the next praise song started, I felt led to stand and lift my arms. A flow of energy surged through the building. A warmth surrounded me. Love.
After the praise and worship time, the pastor led us in a study of Ephesians. I left the service feeling full — intellectually and spiritually.
On my drive home, I thought about the saying, “He inhabits the praises of His people.” I wondered if it was scriptural, something I could find in the Bible. A quick search uncovered Psalm 22:3.
Yet You are holy, You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel. (Psalm 22:3, NASB)
Psalm 22 has been attributed to King David as a lament. When he wrote this song, he was suffering and wondering why God did not answer his prayer. However, he recognized that his personal pain did not make God any less holy. He did not blame God but rather trusted that He was worthy of his praises.
When we lift our voices in song and worship, we turn all of our attention to God. In our praises, God works His way into our hearts and minds. Our upraised praises become a throne for Him. As the object of our praises, God Himself inhabits them.
What comfort to know that God dwells in the midst of our praises themselves.
Whether we are driving in our car, sitting in a pew at church, or on our knees in our bedroom, when we lift up our prayers and praises to God, He takes up residence with us. I know this to be true…my tears on Sunday testify to it.
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