And each one of us are in charge of our Attitude…
But a Positive Attitude is still missing an important ingredient….
So let me begin with a letter from a grandma to her granddaughter… “Dear Grand-daughter, The other day I went up to our local Christian book store and saw a 'Honk if you love Jesus' bumper sticker. I was feeling very excited that day because I had just come from an inspiring choir performance, followed by a powerful prayer meeting. So, I bought the sticker and put it on my bumper. Boy, am I glad I did; what an uplifting experience I had afterwards. I was stopped at a red light at a busy intersection, and I was just lost in thought about the Lord and how good he is, so that I didn't even notice that the light had changed. It’s a good thing someone else loves Jesus because if he hadn't honked, I never would have noticed.
I found that a lot of people love Jesus, because they were all honking! While I was sitting there, the guy behind was not only honking, but he leaned out of his window and screamed, 'For the love of God, let’s go, go!'
What an exuberant cheerleader for Lord he was! Then Everyone joined in and started honking! I just leaned out my window and started waving and smiling at all those people who also love Jesus. I even honked my horn a few times to share in the love that I was feeling!
There must have been a man from Florida back there because I heard him yelling something about a sunny beach. Then I saw another guy waving in a funny way with only his middle finger stuck up in the air.
I asked my young teenage grandson in the back seat what that meant.
He said it was probably a Hawaiian blessing. Well, I have never met anyone from Hawaii, so I leaned out the window and gave him the blessing right back. My dear heavens, it seemed like a lot of folks were enjoying this spiritual experience!!
A couple of the people were so caught up in the joy of the moment that they got out of their cars and started walking towards me.
I’m sure they wanted to pray or ask what church I attended, but this is when I noticed the light had changed. So, smiling my best smile, I waved at all my brothers and sisters, and drove on through the intersection.
I noticed that I was the only car that got through the intersection before the light changed again and felt kind of sad that I had to leave them all at that red light, after all the love we had shared.
So, I slowed the car down, leaned out the window and gave them all a big Hawaiian blessing, one last time as I drove away Praise the Lord for such wonderful folks!! Love, always, your Grandma…
Well Grandma was sincere, but she lacked understanding….She had a great attitude but she lacked understanding. She was positive but out of touch with reality….
1 Chronicles 12:32 “The men from Issachar, were men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do…. These were among those who had gathered to David to change their environment, usher in a new order, and make David King.
I would have to also add to this story…..Proverbs 4:7 “And with all yourgetting get understanding”.
But let me give you the scripture I want to build my message on today
Psalm 149:4 “For the Lord takes pleasure in His people, He will beautify the humble with salvation (wholeness and completeness). v5 Let the faithful ones be joyful in glory. Let them sing aloud on their beds. v6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword (the word of God) in their hand, v7 To execute correction and realignment upon the nations, and righteous judgment on the people. v8 To bind kings of darkness with chains, And their rulers of wickedness with fetters of iron. v9 And to institute on them the written verdict. This honor (favor or privilege) have all His saints. Praise the Lord”!
Notice that verse 6 says “ Let the high praises of God be in their mouth”
When the bible tells us to give Him high praises, it is praise that has moved to another elevation, and has become mature and rises above the carnal mind, the emotions and fleshly feelings.
It is praise with understanding. If you only praise God when things are going well, your praise has not become high praise yet. If you only praise God when you feel like it, your praise has not become high praise yet. If you only praise God when you come to church, your praise has not become high praise yet. If you don’t understand that praise is Spiritual warfare, your praise has not become high praise yet. If you only praise God for what He does and not for who He is, your praise has not become high praiseyet….
Paul writes about this process of elevating everything through praise with understanding, in …..Ephesians 2:5 “But God, has quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), v6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…”
That should make clear to us, our part in changing the atmosphere… The atmosphere at the high elevation of a mountain, is different than the atmosphere at the foot of the mountain. It’s about elevation.
God is declaring that if we will increase our elevation by rising up into heaven’s atmosphere, as we get a higher perspective, it will change the atmosphere in the situations and circumstancesaround us as we bring heaven into the earth. We move out of tunnel vision, and begin to see the bigger picture of divine purpose, in our job, our home, our relationships, and our circumstances.
There’s a song titled “When you walk into the room” which beautifully describes how everything changes when Jesus shows up in any situation… “When you walk into the room, everything changes. Darkness starts to tremble at the light that you bring. And when you walk into the room, every heart starts burning, And nothing matters more than just to sit here at your feet and worship you. When you walk into the room, sickness vanishes as a mist, every hopeless situation ceases to exist. And when you walk into the room, the dead are quickened too, ‘Cause there is resurrection life in all You do”.
Notice it says in Ephesians 2;5 that “He has quickened us together in heavenly places with Christ” That’s about a change in elevation, and moving into a higher view point with better understand.
Jesus physically ASCENDED into heaven, so, we can nowspiritually ascended into heaven, and have access to the throne of God….
Jesus physically SAT DOWN in heaven, so, we can spiritually sit down in heaven, which is a description of resting in something that is already established and divinely decreed.
One day every Christian will physically rise, ascend, and be seated in heaven, but RIGHT NOW this is true of us spiritually.
When Ephesians 2:5&6 uses the term “Heavenly places”….What does the phrase "THE HEAVENLY PLACES" mean for you right now?
When you understand that you now are a full participant in the finished work of Christ, and that all He accomplished is right now available to you, it elevates you above the limited, tunnel view of your physical situation, and ushers you into the realm of faith, where the substance of what you hoped for, becomes the evidence you can now receive…. (repeat)
The substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen…
The Bible commands us, Romans 12:2 "Be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. (Your understanding) Our calling is now and always, to elevate the place where we are. The reason you have been under such heavy attacks from the enemy, is because he knows that you have the potential to elevate where you are to a higher level and sway people’s hearts towards God. So he sets up detours, and pitfalls and snares along the way. He hits you with matters of the heart, for he knows that where your heart is, your treasure is also… He distracts, he manipulates, he deceives and gets you so busy, you don’t take care of the higher things because you’re to busy fighting and wrestling with carnal stuff!!!
You can’t give something you don’t have…. You can’t call others to a place you have not come to yourself… You can’t teach what you have not learned…You can’t impart what you have not received….
Ephesians 1:19 “To know what is the surpassing greatness of His power unto us who believe. These are the working of HIS STRENGTH AND HIS MIGHT v20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places”.
Strength and might are two attributes that flood the atmosphere where His presence is. Strength and might are released into the spirit of God’s people enabling them to cast off their burdens and supernaturally believe the impossible is possible. It ushers us into a “we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us”! Samson changed the atmosphere and he brought down the house…. He shook himself and Strength and might became manifest in his life…. As a result, he changed the environment from one of oppression, captivity, bondage and intimidation by the Philistines, to one of liberty, praise, worship and fulfillment of destiny! (can someone give me a shout)
Oh, what an amazing thing it is to see the glory of the King saturate a place and to witness the release of His holy zeal that transforms downcast souls into mighty ones! Strength and might come when we usher in His presence, when the mighty ones “give unto the Lord, the glory due to His name,” when we “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness”
When the atmosphere changes, repentance comes! Yes! The Spirit of Truth begins to convict our hearts, and causes folks to be conscious of righteousness and holiness…. The Spirit of Truth is manifested to reveal things hidden and things veiled in shadows. In this atmosphere, believers who are bound by deceptions and dark manipulations, step into the light and are released from the weights and encumbrances which have hindered and distracted them.
A holy zone is ushered in, where amazing things happen and transformation can take place. Bondages are broken, the light of heaven begins to shine, truth has the power of penetration and lives are changed forever.
Paul and Silas’, when they were in the depth of the dungeon, in prison chains could have felt that the enemy had won, but they began to lift up high praises and the chains fell off during their session of praise! Daniel began to lift up high praises and stopped the lion’s mouths, The Hebrew children remained steadfast in their praise unto god in the midst of the fiery furnace, and Jesus showed up in the Old Testament and brought heaven into the midst of their hell….
Word based faith brings forth High praise, with understanding, which will quench the fiery darts of the enemy, it will lift up a shield before you which will allow you to advance when everything is against you. Praise is a “sacrifice,” If it was easy, it wouldn’t be a sacrifice. It’s something that we offer to God sacrificially, not just because we feel like it, but because we believe He is who He says He isand wish to honor Him and bring pleasure to Him. Hebrews 13:15 “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.” When you thank someone, you are honoring them….
I remember when I fell and damaged my left shoulder so that I could not lift my arm without intense pain. It was war! I forced that injured arm to praise the Lord. It was a sacrifice. IT HURT to lift it!! I fell asleep every night for a month with my hands lifted and propped up on the headboard, praising God for who He was, and what He had done for me in Christ Jesus. One night, all the pain and all the damage to my shoulder, just lifted off of me, and I was free from that night on….
PRAISE IS A SIGN OF SPRITUAL HEALTH
For those with a healthy spiritual life, praise is natural. It easily flows from the heart of one who has a healthy relationship with God. For others, lack of understanding, fear of embarrassment, and pride weaken the spirit-man and praise is silenced. PRAISE GIVES US ACCESS TO GOD.
Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and come into His courts with praise”. This verse refers to Moses’ Tabernacle in the wilderness. The Tabernacle was divided into three parts. The Outer Court, The Inner Court, and The Holy of Holies where God’s glory was manifested.
There was only one gate - one entrance - into The Outer Court. If you wanted to approach God, you had to go through the gate, into the outer court, then move into the inner court and finally into The Holy of Holies. The gate you come through to approach the outer court, is thanksgiving and the inner court is praise. When you arrive at the Holy place, you fall down in worship. In Moses’ day, only the High priest could enter the Holy place, but when Jesus died for us, the veil of the Holy place was torn in half so that we might enter it and understand what that makes available to us…. Hallelujah!
PRAISE DOESN’T JUST CHANGE THINGS AROUND US, IT CHANGES US
I’ve seen the hardest of hearts melt. I’ve seen hearts made repentant. I’ve seen friendship restored and marriages heal. I’ve seen children coming back to their parents, and parents return to their children in an atmosphere of praise and worship. In praise, our focus shifts from us to the Lord. From problems to The Solution. From pain and to the promise. From hurts and brokenness to renewed hope. High praise comes through the process of submission. When there is an atmosphere of praise and worshipthere is submission to purification. It is like a refiner’s fire. Silver and gold in their natural state are compromised with other elements. So they must be heated until the impurities come to the surface and can be skimmed off, leaving the purified silver and gold behind. In the same way, as we enter into high praise, we are released from all the impurities, allowing us to enter into God’s purification process.
That happened on the day of Pentecost and the fire settled upon them and it elevated all who were near by!
PRAISE DEFEATS THE ENEMY. Judah means praise, and Revelation 5 tells us that our Lord Jesus, The Lion of the Tribe of Judah (The praise tribe) has overcome! HE’S THE LION OF OUR PRAISE! When we enter into high praise, the enemy hears the roar of the lion!
In Judges 1:1-2 we read, “Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the LORD, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them? And the LORD said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand.” God told The people of PRAISE to go in first to the enemy. The people of Praise entered the battle first and were given the victory.
In 2 Chronicles 20:21, King Jehoshaphat “appointed singers unto the Lord, that should praise in the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, they were to say, “Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever.” The choir and the orchestra went ahead of the warriors! It worked. The enemies were defeated and Judah never even had to take out their swords!
So start singing out with your praise! Sing His high praise over your situations and circumstances. Sing over your spouse, your kids, your fears, and your thoughts! Rejoice over your life, and lift up your voice in songs of praise. The Bible says Psalm 22:3 God inhabits in the praises of His people. that In other words, God “dwells” in the atmosphere of His praise. This means that praise is more than a reaction of coming into His presence... praise to God is a vehicle of faith which takes us into His presence and power! Praise and worship is the “password” which allows us to enter the awesome and amazing realms of His glory. Praise transports us into the realm of the supernatural and into the power of God.
David continues on to say Psalms 34I:1 “I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth”.
Too often, praise to God is something that many people leave at church, an event that happens only when they come together with other Christians. However, praise should be a part of a believer’s lifestyle, inter-mingled as a part of their daily prayer-life. At work, in the car, at home in bed, or anywhere; praise to the Lord brings the refreshing of the Lord’s presence, along with His power and anointing. Hallelujah!!!!
I want to close with this prophetic word God put in my spirit… I wrote it down so I would get it right…
This is the hour that Jesus is shaking up our world view. I see Him calling out to many who have been sick, frail, in tremendous pain, weak, wounded, plundered and some even left for dead. He says over us, “Dead bones – (our life, our families, our churches) – COME TOGETHER. Be joined, built up and restored.” And there is a rattling sound happening now. Right NowToday! With every connection and organ and cell in place working properly. Be brought together and be made whole.” And we are coming together, we are being healed and being united. We are being given the strength to stand in the brilliant, transformative truth that is pouring through us and regenerating us. “Breath of the Spirit – fill with Life! It is time. Now is the time. So, Arise My Love! The grave and the grip of death, which wants to send us backward instead of forward, no longer has a hold! It’s time to dance!! Sing with me as I sing with you, Beautiful songs of the Spirit arise. As we Praise, see what He is about to do! The bells of Freedom are ringing!” Shouts that shatter barriers and break down dividing walls, have been amplified! Holy Spirit, enter into us in a fresh visitation. Open wide our hearts and spirits to You. Help our unbelief. We invite You into our bodies, minds and desires. Strengthen our spirits to be able to receive revelation of who You really are and Your great design, in and through us.
Open the dusty drawers, clean out things in our closets that simply clutter and take up space, with no purpose or profit. Cleanse, purge, prune us of all that is not of You. Reveal to us the places we are full of unbelief or pride, fear or doubt, anger or bitterness. Root it all out, Jesus. Plow up our hearts to be ready with good soil for all the seeds of Your Word You want to plant in us. Fruitful, beautiful things from You that can now grow and abound. We now take up the weapons, tools and authority You have given us and bring every thought captive for Christ. We now receive creative designs, fresh insight, new direction, and knowledge and wisdom that is from above. To the praise of Your glorious grace!
Let us receive it, in Jesus Name!!!!