CEASELESS PRAISE Print E-mail

 

 

CEASELESS PRAISE

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

April 23, 2019, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

 

God has formed us for His praise, and as we truly worship we are raised to our highest degree of communion and awareness of Him.  Praise is ennobling, elevating, energizing, and even creative---for as we praise we behold Him, and as we behold Him we are changed into the same image.

 

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.”

 

One poet said, “O may my every look be love!” Praise is divine love singing its highest song.

 

Psalm 148: (Knox translation)

 

Give praise to the Lord in heaven; praise Him, all that dwell on high. 

Praise Him, all you angels, praise Him, all His hosts, praise Him, sun and moon; praise Him, every star that shines.

Let all these praise the Lord; it was His decree that fashioned them; and His command that gave them birth.

He has set them there forever and given them a law which cannot be altered.

Give praise to the Lord on earth, monsters of the sea, and all its depths; fire and hail, snow and ice, and the storm-wind that executes His decree; all you mountains and hills, all you fruit trees and cedars; all you kings and peoples of the world, all you that are princes and judges on earth; young men and maids, old men and boys together; let them all give praise to the Lord’s name.

His name is exalted as no other.

His praise reaches beyond heaven and earth; and now He has given fresh strength to His people.

Shall not His faithful servants praise Him, the sons of Israel, the people that draws near to Him?

 

John Pulsford:  “The praise of God ascends and descends from the heights to the depths and back again.  The universe is vocal with the glory of God.  The joy of the Lord becomes unspeakable and full of glory---exultation which knows no bounds.  Every creature is magnetized by it and drawn into the chorus.  Heaven is full of praise, and earth is full of praise, and praise rises from the earth.  Everything that has breath joins in the rapture.  God is encompassed by a loving, praising creation.  Man the last in creation, but the first in song, knows not hot to contain himself.  He dances, he sings, he commands all the heavens, with all their angels, to help him; beasts and all cattle, creeping things and flying fowl must do likewise, and all deeps must yield contributions.  He presses even inanimate things into service---worshipping God and makes His praise glorious.”

 

We thrill to this vivid picture of universal worship, when our beloved Lord shall be praised on earth as He is praised in heaven.  But our joy turns to sorrow and chagrin as we realize that our world, instead of being filled with the praise of God, is tumultuous with enmity, blasphemy and cursing.  What a clamor it sends up into the heavens!  The cries of the afflicted,  the shouts of the cruel, the shrieks of the tortured, the harsh words of passionate men, the deception of the words of the media, continual blasphemy---all these blend into a horrible cacophony of dispraise unto the Creator.

 

How terrible that God should be skillfully blasphemed in our culture, but not skillfully praised!

 

How terrible that our movies, televisions and media are praised without shame for blasphemy of God.

 

The Living God “dwells between the Cherubim, inhabits the praises of his people and inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy;  “I dwell in the high and holy place,
With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,
To revive the spirit of the humble,
And to revive the heart of the contrite ones (Isa. 57:15).

 

Yes, by His Spirit, He is everywhere present in the entire universe, and the emanations of His life and power reach out to the uttermost extent of His domain. 

 

God’s direct presence and His Shekinah glory are manifested on earth when His people provide for Him an atmosphere of pure and fervent praise.  Our God lives and moves in the midst of Praise.

 

Psa. 22:3: You are holy, O thou that inhabits the praises of Israel.

 

In order that He might take up His dwelling on earth among men, He chose Israel, a people dear unto Himself and ordained them for His praise.  He was not content to dwell with one man or with one family.  No! There must be a holy nation, a people prepared for His glory.  He never lost sight of this purpose during the long years of His dealings with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his sons.  Their failures and sins did not annul His will nor diminish His relentless desire for a people with whom He could commune, and in whom He could be manifest to the world.

 

It thrills our hearts to find that the true worship of God was preserved during the four hundred years of bondage, at least in the hearts of a faithful remnant.  Among the sons of Levi, God found one upon whom He could lay His hand, singling him out for special honor.  His name was Amram, meaning an exalted people.  He married a favored daughter of Levi whose name had an even greater significance---Jochebed, (whose glory is Jehovah).  She proved to be both fearless and faithful; and lived up to her high name.  Of these two, Moses was born, the son of Israel---who was to become their deliverer, prophet, leader and law-giver.

 

Moses’ ever attitude and action gave praise and honor unto God.  No wonder God highly exalted him before them all, giving him honor and glory above all the sons of Israel! 

 

Those who honor God are honored of God.  Those who exalt Him and humble themselves are sure to be exalted in due season.  Those who praise God,  receive the praise of God. 

 

To purify man’s praise, God seemingly subjects those who especially honor Him to special humiliations and sufferings.  Moses was destined to high honor, but it was to be in the far-distant future.  Ahead of Moses lay a lifetime of servitude and testing.  There was no immediate indication of the favor of God.  He led Moses in the path he had chosen---that of suffering affliction with the people of God.

 

When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called My son out of Egypt.  At length God’s appointed hour dawned---the acceptable year of the Lord, the day of His vengeance.  God visited Moses on the backside of the desert, in Horeb, the mountain of God.  He appeared there to him in the burning bush (Exodus 3).  How sudden was this visitation!  How mandatory the word that was spoken!  Moses was commanded to bring forth the children of Israel unto the Holy Mount, where they might sacrifice to the living God, and serve Him with devotion.

 

The great purpose of God in delivering Israel was that they might become His servants---His worshipers.

 

God revealed unto Moses His high and Holy Name YHVH- I AM THAT I AM.  He promised Moses that in this NAME great wonders should be wrought, such as had never been wrought in the earth before (nor since).  I will stretch out My hand and smite Egypt with all My wonders. 

 

Afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus says the Lord God of Israel, Let My people go, that they may hold a feast unto Me in the wilderness.  This is the first instance of the Lord calling His people to a feast.  It was a holy feast, a memorial feast of communion which was to have prophetic meaning and eternal significance.  This feast was to begin with the Passover, the Lord’s Supper.  God set the table for this feast, just as He later set the table in the wilderness.  Yes, and as He will set it for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.  Blessed are they who are bidden to the feast of the LORD!

 

By the observance of the Passover feast, all Israel passed through judgment and death, in a type.  Then they were led forth through the Red Sea, a type of baptism.  They came up on the other side of the sea a free people, a holy people in the sight of the Lord.  Suddenly their hearts overflowed with praise. (Ex. 15: 1-19)

 

I will sing unto the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously.  The horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.

 

This paean of praise is one of the greatest uttered by mortal tongue.  An entire race sang together at their birth (as a nation), as the morning stars sang together at the creation. 

 

So ageless and universal is this song that it is sung by the redeemed when they stand beside another “red sea”---the sea of glass mingled with fire, where, with harps of God in their hands, they shall sing the song of Moses and of the Lamb. (Rev. 15)

 

(Shortly after I moved to Texas (1998) I had an open eye vision of a sea of glass under the glass were red flames of fire.  It was a short vision and as usual I was puzzled if this was a vision of the sea of glass in heaven (There is no other) and for what reason was I shown the sea of glass? In the vision,  I did not see the harps nor did I have one.  I just stood there on it and looked down at the fire)

 

Rev 15:2 - And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

 

The Lord is my strength and my song, and He is become my salvation; He is my God and I will prepare Him a habitation of praise.  My father’s God and I will exalt Him.

 

We too have come up out of Egypt and the bondage of sin.  We have partaken of the Passover, and passed through the sea of baptism.  In newness of life we have begun our pilgrimage to the New Land.  Our mouths, too, have been filled with singing.  Moses’ song becomes our song as we join the chorus of the redeemed.  With Miriam, we take up the timbrel and go forth in the dance of praise, for He has turned our mourning into dancing, and has given us the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.  We find our own voices shouting in exultation:

 

Who is like unto you, O Lord, among the people?  Who is like you, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?

 

Ex, 15:17-18:  You shall bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of your inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which you have made for you to dwell in, in the sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established.  The Lord shall reign forever and ever. 

 

How glorious, how conclusive, how exalting is this grand finale of the Song of Moses!  He was singing of a greater Mount than Horeb---Moses had glimpsed the Heavenly Sion of Hebrews 12, the Throne and Sanctuary of YHVH, the City of our God.

 

Surely no other nation had so auspicious and glorious a birth as triumphant Israel.  Their darkness was swept away in the dawn of an apocalyptic day.  As a joyous company, they set their faces toward the Holy Mount of God. 

 

However, the way to the Mount of God lies through a waste howling wilderness (Deut 32:9)!  Instead of praising God in the midst of their peril, pain, hunger, thirst, weariness and strife, they murmured and complained. 

 

Without faith, obedience and divine guidance, no one can hope to scale the cloud-crowned crest of the Holy Hill of YHVH. 

 

As we trace their steps and live their experiences, We, too, hear the summons to the Mount!  We, too, partake of the Passover Lamb!  We, too, pass through the sea, beholding the Cloud!  And we lift our voices in the triumphant chorale of praise!  All this is but the beginning.  The Holy Spirit has revived and re-emphasized their story to the generations of the earth.

 

We need to give careful heed to their example lest we too are numbered among those who fall in the wilderness, failing to fulfill the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 

 

We, too, have left Egypt and set out for the Mount of God.  We too, must keep a feast unto the Lord.  Our Mount Is not Sinai---the mount that might be touched, but Sion, the heavenly Jerusalem.  Out feast is not a consecration of the Covenant of the Law, but the feast of high and holy love and praise---the consummation of the New Covenant.  Our fellow-travelers are not ignorant and rebellious Israelites, but redeemed and Spirit-filled sons of God.  Awaiting us is an innumerable company of Angels and saints, whose praise shall blend with ours at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

 

If without due preparation and testing, the children of Israel were unable to ascend the earthly Mount of God, where He appeared in the bush as a fire that did not consume, how shall we, in an unperfected state, expect to go up unto the Heavenly Mount where He is manifest in far greater power and glory as A Consuming Fire? (Heb. 12)

 

Our Father knew the Israelites could never become His living Temple, until they had passed through a purifying of their faith.  First they had to pass through trials in the wilderness, and make their way to the Mount through testings.

 

We, too, can doubt and find fault, turn back and limit the Holy One of Israel, yes, and even provoke Him (Ps. 78:40-41).  Or, we can take the Kingdom way rejoicing and singing as we journey toward the Holy Hill.  Then shall the wilderness blossom before us like a rose and re-echo with songs of praise.  Even in the valley of Baca (weeping) we shall find a well of joy.  But we must make the choice between the way of unbelief and the way of triumphant faith. 

 

Can rejoicing keep company with complaining?  Will fretting and trusting journey together?  What part has rebellion with praise? 

 

Some have risen up to praise God loudly in the midst of the assembly; but after the Spirit has lifted, they again face the tests, they have turned to repining and doubting, thus annulling their meager offering of praise.  Does a fountain give forth both sweet and bitter waters?  These things out not so to be (James 3:10)

 

If we are seeking to live the life of praise, let us purge ourselves of all thoughts, words and deeds which are incompatible with praise.  We should exercise ourselves to do all things in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him ( Col. 3:17).

 

Then the way to the Mount will become a joyful pilgrimage.  We shall go from strength to strength and appear before God in Sion!

 

The everlasting praises of the Eternal One mount up into heaven; they go down into the depths.  He that dwells in the heights shall hear it and be glad.  He takes sweet refuge in the mountains of His praise.  These habitations of praise, these spiritual skyscrapers of glorification are His desired haven.  Praise Him in the heights.  Magnify Him in the depths!  Earth and heaven, make His praise glorious!

 

There is a divine secret in the high praise of God.  It releases His power.  Praise resembles helium, causing us to rise above the earth.  It also enables us to parachute His power to far distant lands.  It is a secret weapon and no man knows what may be accomplished by practicing the praise of the Living and only true God.

 

The Beloved languishes and thirsts for your praise.  What I say, I say unto you all, “Praise!’  Lift up your voice with strength, be not afraid; span heaven and earth with a triumphant bridge of His praises.  Tunnel through the rocks, make paths through the seas; irrigate the arid wastes.

 

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

www.eastgateministries.com

I entered into the labors of Ladies of Gold – sermons by Francis Metcalfe under the section: Living The Life of Praise.  Westbow Press, 1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, In. 47403 – comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those who I entered into their labors. (Vision of Sea of Glass given to Carolyn Sissom 1998).

 

 

 

 

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.”


Take my hands, and let them move
at the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee,
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing
always, only, for my King;
Take my lips, and let them be
filled with messages from Thee,
Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shall choose,
Every power as Thou shall choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart; it is Thine own;
it shall be Thy royal throne,
it shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour

At Thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee,
Ever, only, all for Thee.

 
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