Praise him while you have a chance | Faith | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | October 1, 2017 5:00 am
Last Updated: September 27, 2017 at 11:38 am
Gospel legend Shirley Caesar sings a song that can make you want to praise and worship God wherever you are, if He has ever done anything for you! Many know it as “Hold My Mule.” This spiritually charged song focuses on a man who attends a “bourgeois” church, vocally and physically praising God to the highest every Sunday. He is known as “Shouting John.”
The membership is disturbed because they don’t dance and praise the Lord “like that” in their church. A few of them get together and decide to go to his house to tell him that they are going to put him out of their church if he doesn’t stop the shouting and dancing. When he sees them approaching, he already knows why they are there. However, what they do not know is that John is “ready” for them.
He proceeds to tell them how God has blessed him spiritually, physically and materially. “Shouting John” tells them, “Put me out!” Then he lets them know that if they don’t want him dancing and praising the Lord in their church, “Hold my mule…I’m gon’ shout right here!”
He taught them some lessons that day right there on his acres and acres of land that they obviously were not getting in their “bourgeois church!”
God created us to worship and praise Him. This is confirmed in the following verses of Scripture: “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ” Ephesians 5:17-21 (ESV).
“Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture” Psalm 100:1-3 (ESV).
The Lord has done so many wonderful things for me in my life, so I am going to praise Him while I have a chance, as Shirley Caesar references in her “fire and brimstone” song about “Shouting John.” Tomorrow is not promised to me. When my prayers are answered, I give Him praise right where I am, even if all I can do is “wave my hand.” When I am out in public, if someone shares a testimony with me about the goodness of the Lord, I will praise Him on the spot, no matter who is looking, because “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ…” Romans 1:16 (KJV).
Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:33 (KJV), “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”
If it had not been for the Lord, where would we be? In a Christian Blog by Saviela E. Thorne, she shares three stories that should encourage us to worship and praise the Lord. One is entitled, “Hannah – Faced with Barrenness.”
“Hannah, whose name means ‘bitter,’ suffered greatly because she was barren. During her time, a woman was esteemed by the amount of children she had. The more fertile a woman was the better she was treated. Hannah was favored and loved dearly by her husband in spite of the fact that she did not produce any children for him.
“We later find out in 1 Samuel 1:5, the reason why she was barren was because, ‘…the LORD had closed her womb.’ Hannah was taunted and teased by other women because of her condition. However, God had a plan for Hannah.
“It wasn’t until Hannah was pushed to her limit that she went to the temple and ‘In her deep anguish [she] prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly’ (1 Samuel 1:10). Hannah wept and prayed, pouring her heart out to the Lord to the point that the priest, Eli, thought she was drunk. She explained to him that she was crying out to the Lord, and the priest blessed her.
“Early the next morning they arose and worshipped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her (I Samuel 1:19). God opened Hannah’s womb after she worshipped Him.
“There is power in worship that can cause God to move any obstacle that is in your way.”
Have a wonderfully blessed week, and never leave home without Him!
(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)