Let me suggest to you that there are two key characteristics of the Christian life that should stand out for any who care to see it, Power and Praise.
I recall this pair being celebrated in a chorus by Dave Richards, popular since 1977.
“For I’m building a people of power And I’m making a people of praise
That will move through this land by My Spirit And will glorify My precious Name.”
Richards saw Power and Praise as two significant characteristics of Christian life.
Christian life is a life of Power. Through Christ we have power over Sin and the Devil and power to change our personal life and transform all the things that we are engaged in.
The Apostle Paul, among so many others, is a prime example of how a life can be radically changed by an encounter with Christ. He was killing Christians until he saw a vision of Christ and was called to serve the one he persecuted.
Christians have power through Christ in them and through the ministry of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Christians employ the power of prayer and use their authority to resist the devil, making him flee.
Ordinary people, without Christ, have to fend for themselves in dealing with fears, failures, weaknesses, problems, habits, broken relationships, slavery to sin, demonic attack, and many other things that oppress us in life. They don’t have access to the comfort of the Holy Spirit or the wisdom that comes from God’s Word.
In short, they are powerless in so many situations where the Christian has power to take action, pray, find wisdom, employ spiritual power tools (binding and loosing, resisting the devil), be built up by the word of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit, employ the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit, and so on.
Christians have opportunity to stand out in this world as amazingly resilient, peaceful, wise, free, joyful, loving, effective, enduring, gracious, patient, faithful, consistent and victorious.
That’s because a key characteristic of Christianity is Power. Christians are the most powerful people on the planet, not in their own strength, but through Christ, God the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Christians are also a people of Praise. Christians experience the most amazing gifts of grace into their lives and so at their deepest level they are joyfully thankful and released to praise God.
We see in scripture that when people encountered God in a wonderful way they seemed to spontaneously praise God.
Peter and John met a lame man sitting at one of the entrances to the Temple. Peter healed the man, who walked and jumped up and down, and he praised God.
“And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.” Acts 3:8
On the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out on a huge gathering of the disciples, they spontaneously praised God, using languages they had never learned.
“Cretes and Arabians, we hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.” Acts 2:11
The Apostle John was caught up to heaven and saw several groups of people who were there, and he recorded their praising of God.
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” Revelation 4:11
“In a loud voice they said: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and blessing!” Revelation 5:12
“After this I heard a sound like the roar of a great multitude in heaven, shouting: Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God!” Revelation 19:1
The Apostle Peter declared that we are created to praise God.
“You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, to declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” 1Peter 2:9
So, you see, Christians are a people of praise. And we are a people of power.
Christians who are strong in faith and enjoying an active Christian life tend to display both these qualities of Power and Praise. In fact, they tend to go hand in hand. When we experience the power of God we are more likely to express our praises to God.
Sadly there are Christians who don’t seem to evidence either power or praise. Maybe they are so defeated and crushed and have not had their faith encouraged to receive more of what God has for them.
Maybe they are too focused on this world and their troubles to be able to appreciate the spiritual power available to them and the work God is working in them.
How would you rate yourself on the Power and Praise scale? How many times each month do you sense the power of God in your life? How often do you employ the many power tools of your faith to see blessing for yourself and others? How confident do you feel about relying on the power of God in your life and circumstances?
If you commit your problems to God and then rest, with peace and confidence, assured that everything will work out for your good, then you are enjoying the power of God in your life. If you worry over everything and fret, unsure that God can and will help you, then you are living far away from the power that is available to you through Christ.
And what about Praise? Do you frequently praise God each day? Is the spontaneous word of your mouth a word of faith and praise, with thanksgiving to God? Or do you express your fears and anxieties?
Here’s a suggestion to help you tap into the power of God and to release praise to Him.
Do what King David did. David praised God and encouraged himself in God, when he was afraid and anxious.
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise. In God I trust. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Psalm 56:3,4
King David lived as a man of praise to God, expressing his faith, seemingly deliberately, even when he didn’t feel like it.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted in me? Hope in God: for I will yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” Psalm 42:5
David used praise as a way of expressing his faith and pressing through for the blessings of God. So, Christian, since you are created to show God’s praises, I urge you to deliberately begin praising God, thanking Him for anything you can think of, and calling on Him for His power and grace to be shown in your life.
“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1Thessalonians 5:18
Another way to say it is to ‘Count Your Blessings’, or ‘Be Thankful’, or ‘Rejoice in the Lord Always’.
You have an amazing heritage by being God’s Child through your faith in Christ. You have been Born Again and adopted into God’s family, where God is your loving Heavenly Father. Press in for all that God has for you, through His power at work in your life.
Do not settle for less. Remember, you have been called by God to become a person of Power and Praise