Hebrews 13:15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
When your favorite sporting team has scored or just won a championship, lifting up your hands and rejoicing spontaneously is a natural thing to do.
But are you aware that in the Kingdom of God, lifting up your hands and rejoicing spontaneously towards the Lord is also the natural thing to do?
Why does the world excel in the things that come so naturally, yet Christians can struggle to function naturally in the Kingdom that they belong to? It’s pretty simple. Whatever kingdom you recognize most – whether the world or the Lord’s, is the kingdom your soul will naturally respond to.
Here in Hebrews 13, it says “let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise”… “giving thanks to His name”. It is saying let your soul rejoice and offer praise to God. We are not called to bring the culture of the earth to heaven, but to bring the culture of heaven down here on earth. That means to rejoice and offer praise through naturally lifting your arms and voice to the Lord.
Often, there will be times when you don’t feel like lifting up your hands and praising God. Maybe you are discouraged and you feel like your life is a mess. Yet, when you make a conscious decision to thank God and praise Him, this is what the Bible calls the “sacrifice of praise”. You don’t feel like it but you do it.
When you can lift your hands, and offer a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving during the times you least feel like doing it, that’s when you are training yourself to function naturally in God’s Kingdom. You are allowing the real you “i.e. Spirit” to have ascendency over the “fleshy” part of you. The Spirit has a “God-first” mindset. The flesh is all about “Me-first”.
God sees and honors you when you sacrifice your praise to Him, despite your feelings of discouragement. You are bringing a ‘freewill’ offering to the Lord. In fact, it’s during these times that your thanksgiving is more highly prized by Him because it has cost you something to give it. It’s like bringing a monetary offering to the Lord when you can least afford to do it.
Jesus draws our attention to the woman who gave her last two coins; she had given even more than all the wealthy givers that day (Luke 21:3-4). This is an important principle which illustrates a sacrificial offering. It’s not based on how much you give to God, the power of your giving is based on what you are giving out of – is it a sacrificial offering you are bringing to God, or just a tip?
It’s out of that “measure” that the Lord gives back unto you. Likewise, when you praise the Lord in difficult times, it carries weight in the eyes of the Lord.