Service & Praise!
October 25, 2021, 8:00 AM

You cannot play football, baseball, or a whole host of other activities and sports by yourself.

Similarly, the legit biblical act of -praise- is undoubtedly a “team” activity.

While serving as a pastor, the biblical act of -praise- is by far the area where I’ve received the most pushback.

Dr. Ron Allen wrote, “Praise is not silent, nor is praise possible in solitude.”

We can silently and privately give thanks. We can silently and privately worship. We can pray, sing, and do lots of other things privately. But the one thing we cannot do silently or privately is praise God.

King Jesus said, “For where two or three gather together in My name, there am I with them.”

There is no private or solo video game version of church. There is no Church of Solitude.

Our God, Creator, Sovereign, and Lord is eternally relational Holy Trinity as Father, Son, and Spirit.

We were created by God (Holy Trinity) in the image (relational) and likeness (altruistic & servant-minded) of God (Genesis 1:26).

When folks have given pushback or been downright offended at the legit biblical reality of praise, I’ve often simply asked, “Why?” Why is the idea of praise being impossible apart from other born-again disciples of Christ so offensive?

The enemy, Satan, comes to steal, kill, and destroy. One of his most effective tools is isolation. Why is our knee-jerk response to virtually every hurt, slight, and disagreement- solitude, privacy, and withdrawal?

Because that’s the enemy’s whole playbook. Divide and conquer.

Leave the church. Quit the marriage. Abandon the situation. Seek refuge in solitude. Recharge the battery. Regain perspective. Find yourself.

Withdrawal is most often an independent act of rebellion in an effort to regain the -appearance- of control we never truly had… the control exclusively possessed by our Sovereign Lord.

The reason why God made praise impossible apart from community is because it’s not just a thing to -do- for an hour on Sunday (and Wednesday too if you’re a good Baptist).

Community is precisely who we were created to -be- in the image (relational) and likeness (altruistic & servant-minded) of our God of Eternally Relational Community: Father, Son, and Spirit. 

If the legit biblical concept of praise being -impossible- in silence and/or solitude is offensive to you, consider asking yourself “Why?”

Underneath the response is a reason that likely goes back to a hurt, a worldly desire for autonomy apart from God, or both.

If you haven’t truly praised God in a while: public and vocal… there’ll be a longing in your heart that only legit, born-again, King Jesus loving, Gospel-community can ever fill.

Seek it as for hidden treasure. And when you find it, “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” A bond that is strengthened through service and praise!