This week we’ve been using the PRAISE framework as a launch point to connect with God and worship him. And today we put a bow on all this.
A tip of the hat once again to Darlene Fray for developing this framework and teaching it to our worship team.
P – Proclaim (declare) truth
R – Renew our Mind, Refresh our Soul
A – Adoration
I – Intimacy & Intercession
S – Sanctification
E – Expectation (expect to meet with God)
Today we’re looking at the letter E in the word Praise, and the E stands for Expectation. As in expecting to meet with God.
I realize we generally don’t. Expect to actually MEET with God, that is.
That’s the stuff of Bible stories and fairy tales and crazy books found in the Christian bookstore.
But what if we did?
What if we were so utterly filled with expectation that we’d actually be surprised if God DIDN’T show up?
He says he will. He even says he WANTS to show up and meet with us.
Sure, we could try to avoid it. Most of us often get pretty good at avoiding meeting with God. Meeting with God sounds scary and messy and completely overwhelming.
But what if we could sit down for a bit and just talk with Jesus?
That’s the question Thomas Rhett was asking when he and Lance Miller and Rick Huckaby wrote his 2012 hit. “We tried to make very broad questions about what we would ask Jesus and what we thought the general population would ask Jesus if they had 20 minutes just to sit down and talk to Him.”
If I could have a beer with Jesus, I’d put my whole paycheck in that jukebox
Fill it up with nothing but the good stuff, sit somewhere we couldn’t see a clock
You can bet I’d order up a couple tall ones, tell the waitress put ‘em on my tab
I’d be sure to let him do the talkin’, careful when I got the chance to ask
Ask him how d’you turn the other cheek to save a sorry soul like me?
Have you been there from the start? How d’you change a sinner’s heart?
And is heaven really just beyond the stars?
I’d tell everyone, but no one would believe it, If I could have a beer with Jesus.
Thomas Rhett, Lance Miller & Rick Huckaby, “Beer With Jesus”, 2012
The thing is, we don’t have to hope for a chance meeting. We don’t have to wonder whether we could land a meeting with Jesus, or when a good time might be for him. Scripture tells us God is waiting faithfully for us to come to him:
So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.
Isaiah 30:10 Passion
When we come, he is already poised and prepared to show up and give us his love and compassion.
Not to give us whatever discipline we might deserve. Not to disenfranchise us and cut us off from his favor. Not to beat us up or beat us down.
But to love on us.
Did you catch that? The framework of PRAISE is all designed to lead us to an expectation that God will meet with us. Why? So God can in turn pour out his love and his compassion on us.
That is why we praise. To encounter God. To engage with God. To grow in expectation of God.
According to God’s own plan.