1 LORD, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done wonderful things,
things planned long ago. (NIV)
There is a distinction between claiming God as our Lord and living out faith in Him as our Lord and God. The Israelites were notorious for saying one thing with their lips and something completely different with their behavior. To claim Him as our God while living differently is to be lukewarm and this is to be repugnant to God. We are called to exalt Him and to praise His name.
What is it to praise His name?
We can easily let ourselves be filled with a dynamic euphoria transcending us into another place through song and music. However, outward expressions of worship do not indicate true worship.
The word ‘praise’ comes from an original word that means to use the hands to throw something (like a stone) at or away in reverence. This word comes from a more profound original word meaning an ‘open hand’. When we worship in church raising our open hands and thrusting them upward toward God, it needs to be a reflection of our life. We must live our life with hands open to God casting the stones of life to Him in reverence. It is an acknowledgment of our insufficiency and our need for Him. This insufficiency is lived out in obedience to His ways.
We are praising His name. The name of a person in the Bible represents who they are as a person. His name is Almighty God. If we do not trust Him as Almighty God, then we praise in vain. If He is truly the God of all wisdom, then we will trust His direction for each situation in life. If He is truly our God, then we will seek His desires more than our own. True exaltation of God comes from our behavior, not our songs. We must endeavor to live out the behavior we signal to God and one another in worship.
To praise His name is to release our cares into His person, His character, His power, and His provision by following His instructional teaching in the Word of God. Then our praise is true and not in vain.
Prayer: Lord, help me to praise You and exalt You above my own wisdom, my own desires, my own way so that when I sing and raise my hands to You in praise will not be in vain, but true worship. Amen