What should a person be Thankful About?
I shared a testimony of how electricity was restored to our place, after almost six months. This happened after a night when we praised God very strongly. I pointed out that we weren’t praising God for electricity or anything, we didn’t have a specific thing in mind. We were praising God because the Spirit was prompting us to praise. So we were simply obeying the prompting of the Spirit. And I’ve seen this happen at different times in my life. When He prompts greater, stronger praise, it’s usually because some victory is coming. The point is, you don’t have to know the reason (before you obey).
But some people will not praise properly until they have a motive. They have to have a reason. They don’t do anything for free. So they will ask, ‘Why should the praises go up now? Are there blessings that are coming down?’
They couldn’t just do it. And that’s the wrong platform for shooting out that weapon of war.
The weapon of praise, like an arrow, must be shot from a bow. A bullet must go out from a barrel; from a magazine first, and then down the barrel. If you don’t have the gun, your bullets mean nothing. In the same way, praise must go out from your mouth. It has to go from somewhere. We can’t propel things from nowhere; they have to move from a place.
Every time we carry out an act of compliance or obedience, it results in a victory. So, that night, when my household praised God so strongly, we didn’t know why we were doing that. We were just obeying.
So when you carry out an act of obedience, you don’t have to know why.
Many Christians are very accustomed to situations like this: ‘Oh, let’s really praise God intensely because there’s a person, one of my relatives, who is about to put to bed, and we want it to be a safe delivery…‘
All those kinds of corrupted sacrifices are very problematic in the spirit realm. We can’t do things like that. We should do things because God is asking for them. If God says, ‘Bring Me a sacrifice of praise’, bring the sacrifice. Don’t do things because of what you want. Do it because, the Spirit of God is saying you should. When He says, ‘Do it’, don’t say ‘Why?’
Victories are won by those who obey, not by those who scheme, because God sees through all your schemes. It is like a young man who wants to marry a young lady in a church. He starts to act very respectfully towards her Pastor; acting gently and properly, because he has a scheme. This is a very common thing all over the world. God sees through all of that. He sees the person who is doing something just because of what they want.
I was once in a congregation where there was a wealthy and influential man. There are churches that are full of people because of the ‘big men’ in that congregation. A good part of that congregation came there because of the ‘big men’. They want to be able to call them “Brother”. So when they appear in his office, they can get his phone number. They want to be a part of the Youths and Men’s group in that congregation. You see the men and think they’re in a Men’s Meeting. No, it’s officially a Schemers’ Meeting. Half of the people there came for the Men’s Meeting, and the other half came to be close to the men who are the ‘movers’ and ‘shakers’ in society. God sees through all of that.
When you are asked to lift your hands in praise, that’s not the time to think of things like Match Fixtures. Don’t let your mind wander all over the place. And then when the Pastor says, ‘Now, how many of you are expecting a miracle this week? If you are expecting a miracle, lift your hands and worship the Lord…‘, you lift your hands as high as you can. If you could, you would lift a leg. That’s a wrong base.
Remember, guns need to have bullets in them. The bow needs an arrow. The rocket propeller needs to shoot the grenade or rocket. Every weapon needs a base. With praise, the safest base is gratitude and the leading of the Spirit, not what you want. You need obedience to the leading of the Spirit and gratitude.
Now, you may look around and say, ‘But I’m not feeling very grateful today. I can’t find anything to be grateful for. I’m not really feeling the need to be grateful.’
Okay, but what are you feeling? If you feel like you should praise more, then go on — go on doing it.
Whatever it is you do because God is prompting you to do it, is the right thing. That’s the way to fire that praise. Shoot praise from a place of obedience and love. Do not shoot it from a place of a selfish motive or greed.
– Pastor Ita Udoh
7th June, 2020