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:
[L]et us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, 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 for 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.
Prayer: Lord, search my heart and show me where there is doubt or insincerity. Wash over me and purify those places. May my praise be genuine and true, for that is what You deserve. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!” (Psalm 66:20).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon Empowered by Praise, Part 3: LISTEN NOW
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