By Bill Murphy, June 2020
Uncle Jordan’s breathing grew more labored. His hospital room was filled with family and friends, all calling out to God on his behalf. The man himself felt that his end was near, although he assuredely was not ready to go, not now anyway. What I’ve fool I’ve been, he thought. I’ve wasted my life. His heart had failed him, just as he’d failed God.
There was not a dry eye in the room, as everyone cried out to God. “Lord forgive me… please,” they heard him say in a weak and trembling voice. “I don’t want want to died, not without you!” Then he closed is eyes in resignation.
The family’s anguished cries could be heard halfway down the hallways.
Two nurses rushed into the room. The old man lay still, as if in death. They checked the monitors and gasp. “This can’t be possible,” one of them said to the other. “Look, all of his readings are now normal… his blood pressure, heart rythm, temp, everything! This can’t be possible! It’s like he’d never been sick a day in his life!”
Uncle Jordan stirred. He opened his eyes. “I must have dozed off,” he said. “I feel so much better now!”
The hospital room erupted in shouts of joy! Uncle Jordan was back! He was alive! And his revival was nothing short of miraculous! The family was so filled with thankfulness and gratitude that their joy could not be contained.
The above story illustrates two points: the spiritually sick and dead have no desire or reason to praise – Therefore, praise has no place for the unrevived. However, worship brings the spiritually sick and dead to a place of recognition of their need of God. Worship brings us into a relationship with Him where He has been given the approval and welcome to revive us!
Revival, like nothing else, best illustrates the spiritual differences between the concepts of worship and praise. Each has a place of uniqueness, where one does not and cannot fulfill the role of the other.
Worship comes before revival. Worship is admitting to and expressing our surrender to God. Praise come after revival. We don’t express humility and surrender thru praise. We express thankfulness through praise, thankfulness for being revived by Him!
We cannot praise our way into revival. Think about it. The spiritually dead cannot praise, they don’t know how to praise, and they feel neither the need nor the longing to praise.
God has a reason for everything He’s ever done or will do, just as He has a reason for every word He’s spoken or will speak. Our place is to align ourselves with His Holy Will. When we seek to follow His leading, and when we strive to see things His way (which we cannot always do!) we stand a far better chance of understanding where the direction of His instructions are leading us.
Revival surely highlights the differences between worship and praise, clearly illustrating their unique purposes. Worship leads us into a recognization of our need for revival – and praise is the glorious fulfillment and aftermath of revival!