Week of July 29
Praise and an Untrue Heart
Pride is not the only thing that can keep us from praising God. An untrue heart can squelch both the desire and the ability to develop a life of praise. An untrue heart is a heart that is insincere, hypocritical, or filled with doubt. The writer of Hebrews said:
Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water (Hebrews 10:22).
There are some people who try to honor God with their lips while their hearts are full of anger, bitterness, or envy. However, God knows the status of our hearts and our weaknesses.
We cannot develop a life of praise alone or in our own strength. Instead, we must surrender our intellect, feelings, and will to the Lord. As we do this, God will empower us to develop a habit of praising Him—regardless of our circumstances.
In Genesis 22, when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, He was asking him to surrender the object of his love. He was asking Abraham to give up something that meant more to him than anything else.
Did God want Abraham to sacrifice Isaac? No. God wanted to be certain that Abraham was willing to surrender everything to Him. Like Abraham, God wants us to surrender to Him. He wants us to praise Him. Praise is a sacrifice that costs us our pride, our plans, and our desires. True praise requires that we place everything on the altar to the Lord.
Don’t let pride or an untrue heart keep you from a life of praise. Yield to the Lord, come before Him in humility, and God will give you His strength and power to live a victorious life.
Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! (Psalms 66:20).
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