It was a tough day. I was in the kitchen, making dinner. The kids were asking for snacks (why do my kids always ask for snacks when I’m cooking?!?) My wife was having a bad day. It was hot. I had decided that peeling, hand grating, and sautéing camote (purple sweet potato) was a good idea.
I quickly regretted it halfway through the first one. “I told you to buy a food processor before we moved to Costa Rica,” my beloved reminded me.
And then I heard this sound coming from...well, I thought it was the front porch, but upon further investigation...it was the "baño."
At the top of his lungs, my precious 9 year old Louis singing. “‘Cause the enemy has been defeated, death couldn’t hold You down, we’re gonna lift our voice in victory, we’re gonna make our praises loud…”
A smile broke over my face at that sound…pushing back the darkness in our house, as his singing did.
A few minutes later, he came and asked if he could help me peal the Granny Smiths for the apple crisp I was making.
As we worked together, I asked him why he was singing. His answer blew me away.
“I was singing because I thought God would like it.”
Be still my father’s and worshiper’s heart. He had nailed the core of worship, and I told him so.
Psalm 149 had been in my daily scripture reading that week, and what my son had demonstrated was something we don’t often do in corporate worship:
Singing the high praises of God.
Oh, we sing. We sing up-tempo songs. We praise.
But do we do warfare as we praise the LORD at the top of our lungs?
I told him he was doing warfare. “What’s warfare, Dad?”
“Well, you know how there’s a physical and a spiritual world? When you please the LORD with your singing in the physical world, it changes things in the spiritual world. Your singing changed the atmosphere, the attitude, the way we’re feeling because of what God is doing in response. He’s chasing the demons and their influence away. It’s powerful!”
This, friends, is our glory. This is our privilege. All the time. And yes, on Sunday mornings too!
Here it here in the New King James Version:
Praise the Lord! (Yes, it’s a command!)
Sing to the Lord a new song, and His praise in the assembly of saints.
Let Israel rejoice in their Maker;
Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
Let them praise His name with the dance;
Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp.
For the Lord takes pleasure in His people;
He will beautify the humble with salvation.
Let the saints be joyful in glory;
Let them sing aloud on their beds. (Love this one!)
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, (there it is!)
And a two-edged sword in their hand,
(But why?!?) To execute vengeance on the nations,
And punishments on the peoples;
To bind their kings with chains,
And their nobles with fetters of iron; (hear how influential this is and the “governmental” the influence is)
To execute on them the written judgment—
This honor have all His saints. (You? Yep! Me? Yep! This is our great honor and privilege!)
Praise the Lord!
So. What’s in your mouth? Let’s make it the high praises of God, and not just to sing, but to walk in the privilege He has given us!
ps. I can’t read these verses without hearing Kent Henry’s old rendition of it. Listen to it here. In one recording, he said, “This is why God gave us this stuff. It’s not a joke, it’s not just a toy to play with. It’s a very potent force to terrorize the kingdom of darkness. That’s why we do it so long, and that’s why we do it so loud!” :)
pps. Today's spanish lesson was the word for bathroom - baño (that'll come in handy when you visit Costa Rica, as in "¿Donde está el baño?" - but you probably remember that from your high school spanish class.)