Too many of us seek praise from flawed humans and end up pleasing people rather than choosing to do what glorifies God.
Jesus did not seek the glory of man (see John 5:41-44) & he is our perfect example to follow.
So why do we as humans tend to care? Living in a world full of comparison is dangerous when God has called you to be his unique individual creation.
When we know we are approved and appointed by God, created uniquely on purpose, there is no reason to seek human praise.
God has chosen us long ago.
Be unashamed and unafraid to be who God has called you to be.
We were created to stand out.
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Paul and Silas, undaunted, prayed in the middle of the night and sang songs of praise to God, while all the other prisoners listened to their worship. Suddenly, a great earthquake shook the foundations of the prison. All at once every prison door flung open and the chains of all the prisoners came loose. Acts 16:25-26 TPT
There are three things I briefly want to touch on in these 2 verses.
One being, there were people surrounding Paul & Silas who were listening to their prayers and praises to God.
The second thing is that even in the midst of being “chained down” and imprisoned, they still praised God for how good he is.
The third being, because of the power of their praise and prayer, it set other people who were bound down free. Their praise shook the very foundation where they were held captive and bound down.
In conclusion, the very words we speak to the father and the praises that come put of our mouth are powerful and yes, people are listening. They may not say they are, but people’s true desire in their heart is the love of Jesus. No matter the circumstance, even if we feel bound, we should be inclined to have communion with Abba and praise him. He never changes and his love endures. Therefore, our praise should be endless too. Our praise can be the very thing that not only sets us free but shakes the foundations of hell (prison one is entrapped in) and sets other people free around us too.
At first glance, you see that Paul and Silas prayer & praise set them free. Yet, in reality, it shook the foundation that kept them and others captive. Their prayer and praise broke the chains that bound them down and set them free into what God had called them to do.
My encouragment to you this morning is, in every circumstance pray and praise. God hears every word you speak and your praise to the father loosens things that have tried to keep you bound! Not only that, but people are watching. Do not be a people pleaser, but a God pleaser. My prayer is that our prayer and praise is so contagious is free’s others just as Paul and Silas.
The words you speak, the prayers you give unto the father, and the praise you bring are all contagious and have the power to shake the foundations of hell. God has given you to the power to praise and pray in every circumstance. Even when you are not sure what to say, the spirit will speak for you. When you feel weary, he will give you strength. When you feel bound, he sets you free. When you feel like you are just surviving, he brings you to a place of living abundantly!
There is nothing he won’t do for us.
In every circumstance pray and praise. You never know what new freedom is awaiting you or the freedom it may bring to who you are surrounded by. There is nothing God won’t do. Hell cannot stand a chance. The victory is already won. For the power, the glory, are yours Lord forever and ever. Amen!
Scripture for Meditation & Application
I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalms 34:1 NKJV
Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! Psalms 47:1 NKJV
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26 NKJV
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 NKJV
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39 NKJV
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV
Over the past week I have talked to several different women who all are pursuing a relationship with God and want his will to be done in their life. God has given each of them a vision of what he wants them to do to benefit the kingdom. Some of them have normal every day jobs that have become their ministry, some of the women are being challenged to leave their job and go somewhere else, and other women God has said their ministry is in a church setting.
What I have come to realize is that each of the women I have talked to have a different purpose. A purpose that is individualized to them personally with their talents and passions woven in. It is really beautiful to think about.
No two people are the same. Each of us have their very own personality, strengths, abilities, and passion to bring to the table. God has made us as individuals with different make-ups to bring together as one to strengthen one another as a whole. There is no one in this world you cannot learn something from. There is no reason to try to fit in when God has called you to stand out.
This is why it is so important to be who God has called you to be, yourself.
He has crafted you to be his masterpiece. No true masterpiece can be duplicated. Be an original. You are needed here, right now, for a much larger reason than you or I can see.
Focus wholeheartedly on Jesus, live your life full of love, and ask for his guidance every day. You are perfectly imperfect and he wants every piece of your heart. He will mold you to be a world changer. Stop trying to fit in with the world when you are meant to change it with his love.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function,so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching;the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.-Romans 12:3-8 ESV
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.-Ephesians 2:10 NLT
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
When you are following the will of God and driving towards the divine purpose God has called over you life, there are several tactics that the enemy will use to derail you from that path. The enemy does not want you to follow God’s plan for your life. He wants you as far away from God’s perfect plan as possible. From my experience, the biggest tools he as he has used is discouragement, shame, and fear. He has used people to tell me I am “not good enough”, “making the wrong decision”, and “it will never happen”. He has planted lies in my mind that I am too young, not equipped, and that the decisions I am making are irrational and wrong. Throwing shame and fear like sour patch kids, when really it is the poison that distracts and stalls us from moving forward. God does not ask for your resume or references, he asks for your yes. He asks for an open and teachable heart that willing to be obedient.
Instead of paying attention to what people have to say and the lies the enemy likes to try to plant, why don’t we focus on the ultimate truth? God’s Word. We need to feed our minds and hearts with the truth. Meditate on what God’s says and who he is, who we are through him. Yielding to the Spirit through God’s word is what allows us to not only know God and be in his presence, but allows him to work on our heart in the process. As he works on our hearts we are put in the direct line of the will of God. Listening to what he has to say, absorbing his love, faithfulness, grace, and mercy like a sponge, and becoming more like him.
When you are following God’s perfect plan for your life, of course the enemy wants to stop you. God is using you as a vessel to bring people to him. You are bringing people pure love, peace, hope, and faith. He is using you to set people free from what once tied them down. Later, he will use them to bring them the same love, peace, hope, and faith. His love never stops and it never runs dry.
The next time the enemy tries to discourage you from God’s beautiful plan for your life, tell him who your Papa is and who you are through him. The authority and inheritance you have through Jesus is like no other. Pay more attention to what God says verses what the world says. People may not understand, there may even be things you do not understand. However, the world doesn’t need to understand. You don’t need to see, walk by faith.
“They will fight you, but they will fail.
For I am with you, and I will take care of you.
I, the Lord, have spoken!””-Jeremiah 1:19 NLT
“You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
How precious are your thoughts about me,O God.
They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!”-Psalm 139:16-18 NLT
“Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”-Ephesians 6:11-12 NLT