To praise God means to love him; to love God means to praise him.
There is no praise without love and no love without praise.
The two are the same.
You don’t have stand with your arms outstretched and waving back and forth to praise God. You don’t even have to look to the heavens.
You just do the same things with God as you do with anyone else you love.
You spend time with him. That’s praising him.
You run to him with your problems. That’s praising him.
You run to him with your joys. That’s praising him.
You share your every thought with him and listen quietly to his. That’s praising him.
Even if you don’t initially agree with him, you always let God take the lead. That’s praising him.
Invite him to go for a walk with you. Invite him to sit with you in your favourite hidey-hole. Sing songs with him. My favorite duet with God is the BeeGees’ “How Deep Is Your Love?”
Here are my lines:
“I believe in you, you know the door to my very soul
You’re the light in my deepest darkest hour
You’re my savior when I fall”
Here are God’s lines:
“And you may not think I care for you, when you know down inside that I really do
And it’s me you need to show how deep is your love….”
God, as scripture tells us, is a jealous God. He wants us all to himself. He wants us so much to himself that he made it the first and greatest Commandment that we are to give our everything to him and to him only. But he knows we get distracted. He knows sometimes we forget that he’s right there with us, he can be so quiet. He never butts in (unless we invite him to). He lets us open ourselves to him and invite him in, and then he gladly comes. When we invite him in permanently, he never leaves. He told us “I will never leave you nor forsake you”, I will never desert you; I will never betray you.
God will only leave if we want him to.
May you never want God to leave.
To love God is to praise him. He knows whether or not we love him (he knows everything about us), but he needs us to show it, too. He needs us to show him that we love him. You show God you love him by doing everything he advises you to do, like Jesus did during his time on Earth.
It’s the little things that make a love great, not the grand gestures (though they have their place), the little things, especially and foremost spending quiet time together enjoying each other’s company. You don’t even have to say anything when you’re with God, just let his love wash over you and yours over him. That’s praise and the highest form of worship. It’s what Jesus was talking about when he said God was looking for people to worship him in Spirit and in Truth: for people to love God for no other reason than that they love him. Not out of obligation or a sense of duty, but as a state of being, like being in love.
To love God is to praise him; to praise God is to love him. The two are the same.
Praise without love is an empty thing.
Give God and God only all your love and you’ll get back so much in return, it will bowl you over like a tidal wave. That’s why the Commandment is to love God with everything you’ve got, because God wants to return your investment in him with exponentially compounding interest; for every penny’s worth of love you invest in God, he’ll give you a dollar’s worth, or ten dollars’ worth, or a million dollars’ worth. Who knows where he’ll stop? Look at Abraham and Noah and Moses and David. Look at Jesus. Look at Paul. Look at all these spiritual brothers of ours and see how their love investment in God was returned a million-fold or billion-fold or more. God wants to do that for all of us, if we would just let him, if we would just love him the way he’s enabled us to love him.
There’s no limit to how much we can love God. We put that limit on ourselves; God doesn’t.
To love God is to praise him; to praise him is to love him.
May you love God – may you praise him – with everything you’ve got.