One of the great tools available to us as believers is praise. God receives and is blessed by our praise but we also receive benefits from it.
Psalm 34:1 says, ''I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my MOUTH’’ (NKJV). The Bible clearly tells us that ''the sacrifice of praise [is] ... the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name'' (Hebrews 13:15, NKJV). Praise should be sincere, heartfelt words of thanksgiving that are spoken out loud to God. The author of Hebrews didn't say that praise was the fruit of our thoughts; it's the fruit of our LIPS! This is a great secret to having victory in your every day life.
Have you ever had the enemy harass you with a barrage of bad thoughts? How often have we tried to combat those thoughts in our mind, with other thoughts? I think we have all had that internal back and forth about some problem that is taunting us. Fighting those thoughts with our own thoughts is a losing battle. God gave us a great solution: PRAISE.
Let’s try an experiment: I want you to start adding up in your head the age of everyone in your immediate family (parents, children, or siblings). Now as you are doing that mental math, imagine I walk in and ask you to tell me what you love most about your church. BUT, don't let me interrupt the calculations in your head; keep adding while you tell me about your church. That's impossible! We weren't created to think about one thing while talking about something else at the same time. You can't meditate on the problem while you are speaking God's praises.
I remember a time when we had just moved to Quebec City and were starting our church. Finances were tight — I mean really tight. I was awake in the middle of the night and the thoughts of lack and failure were buzzing around in my head like a swarm of bees. I was trying to sleep and doing my best to fight those thoughts with MY thoughts. I was tossing and turning, trying to get back to sleep, while being harassed by these unrelenting thoughts. It was a losing battle. Since I wasn't sleeping anyway, I finally decided to get up and pray. I went to the living room and began to pace back and forth. I started to praise God for His promises in the Word, quoting them back to Him, and thanking Him for them. It didn't take very long to sense His presence in the room and feel His peace fall on me. Faith rose up in me. Peace and joy had returned. I went back to bed and slept soundly… for about an hour. Then the ''bees'' were back and the thoughts started again. Ugh. Once again, I got up and returned to the living room and repeated the process. And, once again, the peace of God came as I spoke His praises out of my mouth. I went back to bed and slept the rest of the night in peace. I had to repeat this a few times over the next few nights until those thoughts didn't come back to torment me. (It works in the daytime, too!) I silenced those harassing thoughts of the enemy with the voice of praise.
Put the Word of God in your mouth and begin to praise Him for the answers He has promised. In the midst of your crisis, seize a promise and build Him a habitation with your mouth! When you are done, the enemy and his swarm of harassing thoughts will be long gone. Your praise will bring the victory every time!