Praise first as you prepare yourself for worship
Friday, May 2, 2014 5:05 AM
The biblical account of Joseph is a magnificent one, as it demonstrates the blessings of never giving up, in spite of all that occurs in life. Joseph truly lived according to the meaning of his name, which means “one who adds”.
This is terrific. I believe that in spite of all of the subtracting moments of his life, Joseph held on to who he was. In spite of all of the divisions in Joseph’s life, he lived in the meaning of his very name.
So often in the Christian walk, one experiences the bad and ugly of life.
The truth is that God never spoke that Christians would be shielded from the devastations that life sometimes will bring.
The challenge is to continue to believe what God spoke to you as you experience the tunnel-effects of life.
Can you hold on to God through the darkest moments of your life, still believing that the light will shine through, and that your time of rejoicing is in your future?
Joseph was separated from his family for 13 years. Joseph experienced wrongful imprisonment and eventual favour of leadership.
Yet, even with the reward of favour, Joseph still had a single desire, which was to be reunited with his father and his family.
Genesis 46:28 And he sent Judah before him unto Joseph, to direct his face unto Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen.
29 And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him; and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while.
In this chapter of Genesis, Joseph was about to finally see his dream come true. Joseph was closer to his dream coming true than ever before.
The beautiful thing is that real blessings are never just a blessing to one person.
No! A blessing is always meant to bring joy to more than one individual.
Joseph’s father was also about to be blessed. The son of his heartbeat, Rachel, was alive.
Oh, how Jacob must rejoiced in almost unbelief that this 13-year dream could actually be coming true.
Jacob did something that I believe is beautiful and wise.
Jacob sent Judah first. Jacob sent Judah ahead, as if to survey the land, survey the blessing, and confirm the report that he was about to see his dear son once again.
Jacob sent Judah ahead. Jacob sent “praise” ahead. The praise of Jacob went before him to prepare the way.
That is the way all Christians should set up the worship moment. You ought to send Judah or “praise” first. Why does that make sense? It makes sense because praise makes worship easy.
Praise shows God what effort you are willing to put into that moment of celebration.
Praise is an effort on your side to get yourself ready for the blessings that God has in store for you.
Those who prepare praise before they get to Sunday are those who are actually prepared for worship on a Sunday.
How do you send Judah first? You send Judah first by preparing yourself all week to be ready to receive God’s presence.
You ought to have a spirit of expectation and anticipation as you look forward to your worship service.
Why? Because you have prepared Judah!
If Judah is not right, then it makes it more difficult for worship to happen and it makes it more of a struggle for the Word of God to go forth as it should — in power and might.
Be sure to prepare yourself for your worship moment. Begin your praise right now.
Your praise sets the right atmosphere for God to come down and dwell amongst his people.
Just as Jacob/Israel finally embraced Joseph, there is nothing more beautiful than when you and God meet and embrace in a worship moment. Selah… respice finem.