From the Pastor’s Desk
Shockwave – Yada
There are many tools and even weapons that God gives the believer in order that they may overcome in this life. (2 Peter 1:3, 2 For 10:4-5) As I observe the church and study scripture, I can see that one of the most neglected, misunderstood, and yet most powerful and effective of these is praise. If we as believers could comprehend the power at our disposal and then convert that understanding into action, I believe that we would be astounded at the results. Let’s discover and practice praise.
First, I would like to present a good word that can sum up the nature of our praise; Shockwave.
Shockwave is defined as
- a region of abrupt change of pressure and density moving as a wave front at or above the velocity of sound, caused by an intense explosion orsupersonic flow over a body.
- a repercussion from a startling event or upheaval; series of after effects.
There is much more to praise than merely singing or listening to ‘the fast songs’ at church. When understood and practiced, your praise can become a force in the atmosphere around you that produces change. You will begin to see the effects of that chnge in your natural situations and circumstances. Let’s examine further.
There are several Hebrew words used for praise in the Old Testament, each having different expressions and different results. It is the equivalent of a builder with a toolbox of tools. The builder uses a saw differently than a hammer and the effects are different as well. I will probably not cover them all in this article but will continue this as a series. That being said, let’s examine the first.
The first one is Yada (Psalm 145:10, Psalm 67:3). Yada means to revere or worship with extended hands. It is used 111 times in the Old Testament and there is more than meets the eye when it comes to lifting your hands to the Lord in praise. There are typically two reasons we as humans lift our hands. First, it is a universal sign of surrender. If a policeman has to pull his weapon on a perpetrator, one thing that is desired is that the perpetrator lifts their hands. When we lift our hands to God in praise, we are saying, “God, I surrender to You and Your will.” The second reason that we lift our hands is because it’s a natural response to excitement, celebration, and victory. Watch any baseball game, and you will see that if a player hits a home run, the fans of that team will stand up and raise their hands in the air in celebration.
The church is one of the only places where I see people go against the natural urges of celebration and opt to keep their dignity intact amongst the greatest victory that mankind has ever known. Jesus has won the war against the enemy of our souls! We Win! I know the last chapter! We win! We have the greatest victory ever!
If you research this word “Yada” further you will find that it also means ‘to throw an arrow at’. You can see this in the example of Jehosophat in 2 Chronicles. He put those who would praise on the front lines and began to “Yada”. Can you imagine being the enemy that day and seeing what appeared to be the opposing army surrendering, when in actuality they were throwing spiritual arrow? It appeared to be surrender but it was war and victory. As Jehosaphat’s army arrived on scene, they discovered that the enemy was already defeated because God set an ambush for them from the spiritual arrows that they had been throwing across battle lines. When we choose to surrender to God and His will, we actually gain victory in the battles that we face.
The next time you get the opportunity to praise God, begin to lift your hands in surrender, war, and victory! God is worthy to be praised, and the battle is ours for the taking if we will just do so by faith.