Who’s ready for the word this morning? Awesome. I want to speak to you this morning about a topic that I’m particularly passionate about and that is the power of praise. The power of praise. The power of a faith declaration that has the power to shift and change an atmosphere. The power of a song that God can put in our heart that we can sing in every season.
There is power in our praise. You know, our leaders and pastors, we had the incredible privilege last week. We went to the ACC National Conference and I gotta tell you that there is a move of God happening in our nation and it is exciting and hearing the stories of revival and hearing other churches talk about how there are signs and wonders and miracles that are pouring out. I’m telling you that there is an outpouring of God that is happening in our nation. And I believe that there is an outpouring at King’s Church Reedy Creek that is coming.
You know last week Pastor Ben shared that there is this excitement and expectation that he has in this heart. In his heart. For this campus. And I gotta tell you that we are sensing it too. The leaders, I know Pastor Sean and Pastor Jess, I know Greg and Janet and myself.
We are really sensing that there is a move of God and an outpouring of his spirit that God wants to bring to this place. We are believing that signs and wonders and miracles will follow the presence of the Lord. There is an outpouring that is happening in this next season at this campus. And I want some more of that. When I was preparing this message the Lord kept resounding this phrase over in in my heart and he was saying Ash there is a sound.
Out of Reedy Creek. There is a supernatural sound that is going to reach and touch and change this community. I’m here to let you know this morning. There there is a supernatural sound that is coming from the camp at Reedy Creek. And we’re going to see lives shifted and changed.
And praise is the key. That is going to unlock an outpouring of God. Are you ready this morning church? Are you ready to come with me this morning? I hope you’re ready because I’m really passionate about this. Awesome I’m going to give you four reasons why we need to praise. We need to praise in this season.
We need to be a church that are so passionate and hungry for the presence of God. We need the presence of God in our homes. We need the presence of God in our families, in our marriages. And praise is the key that is going to unlock an outpouring in greater measure of his presence. The first thing is this first reason we need to praise God is that praise positions us for presence.
It positions us for presence. You know the word says that we will enter his gates with thanksgiving in our heart and enter his courts with praise. So what that scripture is saying is that thankfulness is the gate in which we enter in. And then we find ourselves positioned in the courts of praise. And the thing about praise is that when you are truly positioned in praise.
There’s a shift that happens where we go from spectating to participating And when we go from spectating to participating we stop evaluating. We stop evaluating what the praise and worship team are doing or not doing. We stop wondering and thinking about what the person next to us thinks of us when we become undignified in our praise. And so we need to be people and this is the season where God is shifting us from spectating to in the game. We need to be in the game.
You know, praise is not a spectator sport. The Bible actually says in Psalm a hundred and fifty, let everything that has breath, praise the Lord. It’s not an invitation. God doesn’t say, praise me if you feel like it. He says, no, let everything that has breath.
Praise the Lord. Praise is a party and everyone’s invited. He doesn’t give us the option. Praise is a time of celebration that we can all participate in. And it positions us for presence.
In Psalm twenty-two verse three it said God inhabits the praises of his people. I want to talk to you for a moment about our 5 PM service last week. Who was in the room? I gotta tell you that it was an upper room experience. Where there was a move of God. Because there was a room full of hungry people.
I gotta tell you we gotta hungry for the presence of God in this next season because there is an outpouring and so we gathered in this room and we were there for two and a half hours and we could have stayed there longer. I’m telling you because there was a move of God. It is exciting and there is something happening and the thing about God’s presence is it’s attracted to hunger but he’s also the cup that never runs dry. And so the thing about his presence is you don’t get to a certain point and he goes, no, no, that’s enough presence for you. He’s the it never runs dry.
So we can continually be filled as long as we are hungry. And the thing about God’s presence is we can be filled where we feel like we are full. But yet he will still feel you again. He will still feel you again. So that we are overflowing.
We can always position ourself for more of God’s presence. Because in his presence there is fullness of joy. And I gotta tell you we need an outpouring of joy in our nation. Do you know the statistic for anxiety in our nation today is that one in every six women and one in every nine men suffer with an anxiety disorder. I gotta tell you we need an outpouring of joy.
And when we position ourselves for presence we are carriers of his presence and carriers of joy. It then goes on to say that the joy of the Lord is your strength. And so praise can physically make you feel better. You know you come into place. If you’re feeling dry, you can praise God and he will refresh you.
He will touch you with a fresh touch of joy. And he will rejuvenate your spirit. If you’ve come in feeling heavy, you’re in the right place. Because he will give you a garment of praise. For the spirit of heaviness.
The joy of the Lord is our strength. Praise, changes atmospheres. Do you know what I love? One of the many things that I love about our church is that we are connected to an incredible school. And if you’re parent in the room. You can probably testify to what I’m about to say but I’m going to take a wild guess and assume that your child’s favorite day of the week is when chapel service is on.
Are you, if you’re anything like my household, it is the one day of the week where I don’t have to ask my boys to get dressed 50 times. They’re done. Their bags are packed, their beds are made, and they know that they’re entering chapel service. But I gotta tell you that it’s more than that. Their spirit knows that they’re about to enter into the presence of God.
And praise God for a school that allows room for a move of the Holy spirit in our children. Amen. Come on. Can we give it up for Kings Christian College? I know Brendan’s in the room. We honour you and we thank you for having a vision of a school that allows the Holy Spirit to move.
And so our kids come into this place. All throughout the week. And they praised God. And I gotta tell you that as we continually praise God in this place we attract his presence here. And I gotta tell you that that starts to shift and change an atmosphere.
Yeah. And I know that it is the heart of our school and our church that we would see families in that school. One for Jesus. Where when people will enter into the gates to drop off their children, they would sense the presence of God. I gotta tell you that as our kids come and praise God.
And then on a Sunday, we get together. We are attracting his presence here. Amen. And in my personal life and in my family with my boys, Nathan and I have three beautiful boys that we send to this college. We are seeing the fruitfulness of that.
You know I’m going to give a shameless plug to Seekers Festival right now. Where are the youth in the room? Are they all gone? They’re doing saints on Sunday. Anyway, praise the Lord. Um Heath went to our Seekers Festival which is the youth camp of our church and parents, if you are the parent of a teenager, can I encourage you? Please send them to seekers. I’m talking to you as a mom right now because I gotta tell you, our youth ministry are ushering in a move of God that is changing a generation.
And my son went 18 months ago and every he also went last year but 18 months ago, I sent him to Seekers Camp and to be really honest with you, he was very introverted and really shy and didn’t want to go and I had to bribe him with a new pair of Nike Airs. That is how I got my son to Seekers Festival. Praise the Lord but I’m so glad that I did because when he was there, he came home and he said, mom, I spent three days on my knees crying and on the law because people kept praying for me and I kept falling over. Pastor Ben prophesied over me. Meg prayed for me.
Noah prayed for me. And my son had an encounter with a very living God that has changed the trajectory of his life. And I gotta tell you Their praise and the presence of God changes atmospheres because now he’s in year ten. And since that moment something in him came alive. And at lunch time in his school this is a school student.
He will seek out the injured and the sick at lunch. And he will go and he will lay hands on them and he will see them recover. In Jesus name. That’s what he does in his lunchtime. I gotta tell you this is an outpouring.
As we position ourselves for praise. Signs, wonders, and miracles will follow. God is in this place. God is ruling and reigning over this campus. Praise changes atmospheres.
The second thing is this. The second reason we need to praise God is because praise is a weapon. Praise is a weapon. Do you know what I love about reading the word of God is that when I read about you know the the battles that took place. Do you know the first wave of soldiers that they sent out were worshippers.
And I gotta tell you I’m a visual person so I’m watching this play over in my mind. And I’m going if I’m on the receiving end of that and there’s this wave of worshipers coming towards me in a battle. You know there’s this war cry that forms and there’s instruments and there’s joy and you know they’re kind of coming towards us. And I gotta tell you that that is very confusing and very intimidating at the same time. And in the same way when the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy, when we respond with praise, it is a weapon of warfare.
And the weapons of our warfare, they’re not carnal, but they are mighty to the pulling down of strongholds. Our praise is a weapon. The enemy understands the power of praise because he was once heaven’s worship leader. He’s intimidated by our worship because it carries an authority of Jesus Christ. That the enemy can’t stand and he has to flee.
And so he tries his best to shut us down and to shut us up. But we don’t operate from a spirit of fear and timidity. We come with the boldness to praise our God regardless of the face of the circumstance that we are faced with. Praise is a weapon of our warfare. And you know I know that when we go through stuff and I am not undermining anything that anyone is going through and I know that our natural response when faced with a challenge is that we want to retreat.
And we want to hide. And I gotta tell you and sometimes I’ve seen it happen where we even pull ourselves back from the house of the Lord entirely. And I want to encourage someone this morning that when you are faced with a battle this is not the time to retreat. But it’s the time to lean in to the presence of God. And the house of Lord is a place where faith fills the atmosphere Where the environment is pregnant with expectation and anticipation.
And it could be the very place that you need to be for to position yourself for a miracle. I know that our natural response is to pull back. And even pullback from the local church but don’t pull back. Stay connected. Even when you walk in and you don’t feel like praising God.
You will leave feeling better. I promise you. Because that’s what the presence of God does. That is what a faith filled community does. That is the power of the church.
And that is the power of praise. One touch from God. In an environment of faith can be the turnaround point in your life. When we are faced with challenges, the last thing we want to do is praise God but praise needs to be our default position. You know, a number of years ago, quite a number of years ago, I was 17 and I had the privilege of playing netball for Australia.
And I know it’s like my one claim to fame. You won’t, you won’t hear it again. And so, I played Devil for Australia and had an incredible career and I was being drafted to play for the Adelaide Thunderbirds at the time as well. And in that same year, I actually met my husband who was, you know, tall, dark, and handsome from the Gold Coast and and you know, I didn’t care about netball career anymore. Um, and so anyway, we moved to the Gold Coast and my life took a completely different turnaround and change and I’m so thankful that it did.
God and his timing and so I hung up my boots and you know, retired from netball and a number of years later when I was 30 something ish, not very long ago. I I thought to myself, I think I was actually having a quarter life crisis because I thought, I think I’ve still got it. I think that I could still take the court and Michelle Pollman’s like yes. Anyway so I looked into you know representing the state and playing regional and all that stuff. And basically I came to the conclusion that I am too old.
And so instead I thought I’d bring my friend Scott Blakemore. And I called Scott and I said Scott I I have a really good idea. I want to start a mixed netball team. What do you think? And he goes yes. We definitely should play.
And so I think there’s a photo that’ll come up. You may recognise a few familiar faces. There they are. The a few Kings Reedy Creek represent there and so we start that’s that’s probably the only game we won because we’re smiling. Uh but anyway we play this mixed netball competition and somehow we make it to the grand final which was a miracle.
And the rules of the game are that if you if the team you’re versing turn up late or they don’t have enough players you by default win. Okay. And that’s exactly what happened. And so we won the Grand Final by default. Anyway.
Praise the Lord. That’s so good getting that off my chest. And we come to this game and the umpire turns around and says look everyone’s look your team’s here. The other team’s here. You’ve come out.
Why don’t you just play? And we’re like oh you know what? We want it anyway. Let’s just seal the victory. You know what I mean? And so we played this game and look unfortunately guys we lost. We lost the grand final match. But we walked away with the victory.
And in the way. You know, praise can afford to be our default position because even though when we go through challenges and it looks like a loss and it sounds like a loss and it feels like a loss, I’ve actually still walking out of Victor, amen, because the price that Jesus Christ paid on the cross for every sin, for every sickness, for every addiction, I now get to walk victorious forever. Praise God for his salvation, amen and so, praise gets to our default position. I’m going to have a drink of water. Excuse me.
Thank you Glen. Praise can be our default position. Even when it feels like a loss you haven’t really lost. You’ve won. And so when we praise God, we come from that place of victory.
Amen. You know, I love the story of David and Goliath. He was faced with an impossible situation. You know, he was taking on a giant and all he had was a slingshot but I love this story because he knew that God was on his side. And you know what the story that he ran towards his giant because he knew that God was for him and church, I want to encourage you this morning, if God is for you, who can be against you? We are victorious and so David runs, takes off the head of his giant, and walks in the victory.
There’s this song that we sing. It’s called Same God. And the words for that song are, I may not face Goliath, but I have my own giants. I want to tell you, praise can be your default position. You victorious and you are going to take that thing down in Jesus name.
Come on. When we praise from a place of knowing God has won every battle. We turn our praise into a weapon of warfare that has been proven and it wins. The third thing is this, are you with me still this morning church? Awesome. Our praise is prophetic.
Our praise is prophetic. Our words are creative. Praise becomes prophetic when God gives us a song to sing in the face of what seems to be the exact type the exact opposite of what’s happening right now. He gives us a song to sing in the season of waiting. I want to read you a story and Pastor Ben has used this illustration before but it’s so powerful.
In 1871, a Christian man named Horatio Spafford was a successful businessman and father who due to an unfortunate turn of heartbreaking events, lost the life of his four-year-old son to scarlet fever and lost his business in the Great Chicago fire. This is a true story. Two years later in 18seventy-3, Spafford and his family decided to sail away to a family holiday. However, Spafford had to stay behind to attend to some business first. So he sent his wife and his four daughters ahead.
During the night while out at sea the ship tragically collided with another vessel and sank. Which claimed the lives of all four of his daughters. Leaving only his wife as the sole survivor of his family. Devastated Spafford travelled to meet his grieving wife. And during the trip the captain informed Spafford that they were passing over the exact location that claimed the lives of his four daughters.
He quietly up and went back to his cabin and in his own words said I was inspired by the Lord to write this song. It is well with my soul. You know, I gotta tell you that God can give us a song to sing over ourselves even in the darkest valley It’s a song that anchors us in hope. And our praise becomes prophetic. When in the face of what seems to be impossible right now, I’m still going to sing Jesus for my family.
I’m still going to sing Waymaker Miracle Worker even while I’m waiting for the breakthrough. Because I believe in a God that is able to do it. And that’s where our praise becomes prophetic and it becomes powerful. And sometimes in the waiting we can become really heartsick and disappointed. I want to tell you that God can make you dance on disappointment this morning.
We see this again. In Ezekiel thirty-seven, there’s a valley of dry bones. And it says in thirty7 chapter one, the hand of the Lord was on me. And he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley. It was full of bones.
He led me back and forth among them and I saw great and many bones on the floor of the valley. Bones that were very dry. He asked me son of man can these bones live? I said sovereign Lord, you alone, know. Then he said to me, prophesy to these bones and say to them, dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. This is what the sovereign Lord says to these bones, I will make breath unto you and you will come to life.
I will attach tendons to you and flesh and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin. I will put breath in you and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord. I gotta ask you this morning church. What things in your life are dead and buried? What situation? What person seems so far gone that you’ve actually just lost hope and you’ve stopped singing and declaring and believing for it.
Well, I gotta tell you that this morning that there is a spirit of God here that is able to breathe life into dead things this morning. Where you may be standing in a situation or in the middle of something that looks so far gone that not even God can reach but I gotta tell you that he can. And I just believe that there is some Ezekiels in the place this morning. Where we’re going to see dry bones come back to life. Our praise is prophetic.
When I was at the National Conference one of the incredible opportunities that I had was I got to be in a worship session with Darlene Czech. I mean all of my 19 nineties dreams came true right there. And she’s so lovely and so down to earth. Anyway one of the guest speakers that she invited to come was a man by the name of Joth Hunt. Now Joth is the praise and worship leader of Planet Shakers Global.
And he carries an anointing of praise and song riding on his life. And he shared his testimony. And you can find the full version online. It goes for 20 minutes. But I’ve managed to condense it down.
And I wanted to show it to you this morning. Because I want you to understand that there is power in our prophetic praise. Joth goes through an extremely challenging health battle. But yet he’s still writing songs. God is still giving him a song to sing.
That is a song full of hope. In that season. And so we’re going to turn our eyes to the screen and watch this testimony from Joth. January is one of our most favorite times of the year. We get to go as a Planet Shakers Band to Asia to do Planet Shakers conferences.
Before we go there in the lead up, we like to write new songs that will really just make Planet Shakers Conference in Asia an amazing experience. You know, songs of breakthroughs, songs of faith. I started to write this song called Only Wait and this song is a a very powerful faith declaration kind of song. A song that really gives people lyrics to sing over their situation no matter what they’re going through. And we did it in church and it was it just went great.
At the same time as that was happening, I felt this pain in my body that I felt for a few months and I really thought I I should probably get this checked out. So, I went to the doctors the next week. He said, you gotta get some tests done. So, I went and got some scans done and really was pretty shocked at what I found out. I got a call from the doctor a couple days after the scans done and he said, you’ve gotta come and see me urgently.
I didn’t expect anything bad. Like I I you know it’s not what you want at the start of a new year. You know and I I had all this excitement about going to Planet Shakers conference hall in Asia and then I’m being faced with a a health challenge. So I went to see the doctor and he tried to break it to me that I have cancer. The the words I never thought I would hear.
And In that moment when he told me, you’ve got cancer. I just I leaped into God. I made a choice. I’m going to believe you God. I’m going to I’m going to have faith no matter what.
And he couldn’t believe the way I was reacting to what he was telling me. He was like are you sure you’re okay? And I and I shared with him that you know I don’t know where you’re at with God but I believe in God and I believe he’s able to do anything. I said I’ve seen people in my church go through something like this and they’ve been healed. And so I just with him that I I I have a faith that God is able to do it no matter what So I went away from that that meeting and I went home and told Rachel, my wife and she was, you know, shocked. Um to hear that It was a really surreal moment to be honest.
Like hearing him say, you know, it’s all good. It’s going to be all good but it’s probable cancer. But we made a choice then and there that we’re not going to focus on the negative side of that. We’re going to just believe in God. We’re going to have faith in God and and we just have faith that everything is going to work out.
So I found all this out on Friday and I’m down to lead on praise on Sunday. And that for me was probably one of the most powerful moments for me leading praise in our church because you know I was singing these these words of this new song Only Way and they never meant more than they did to me right in that moment because I was going through it. Two days before that, I found out that I had cancer and here I am in church, leading people, singing these words. It doesn’t matter what they say to me. I believe in you.
Doesn’t matter what may come at me. I believe in you. You know, we I write these lyrics in songs knowing that people are going through stuff like this. For the first time I found myself in the absolute valley going through this but with this faith declaration that says, God, I’m holding on. I’m going to keep believing.
I keep on singing. I remember walking out onto that stage just it’s so overcome. With emotion and and praise to God. Like to think a week ago less than a week ago I was sitting in hospital in a surgery and there I am on stage in front of thousands of Filipinos leading in praise with this song only way. Declaring that it doesn’t matter what may come my way.
I believe in you. Doesn’t matter what they to me, I believe in you and I just believe that the same God who helped me get through all of this is going to help other people and he’s going to make way. There’s people listen to this song, Only Way as they declare it. It becomes so much more than just lyrics of a song. It’ll become the power of the word of God moving in their lives in in these situations.
Come on, let’s get Jesus all up. That’s powerful stuff. Yeah. What Joth didn’t get a chance to mention in that version that I condensed was that he’s actually been completely healed of cancer. He went and had the surgery.
He’s had his follow-up appointments. God has completely closed the book. On that chapter in his life. We serve a good God. Amen.
And our praise is prophetic. I just love that testimony and I pray it blessed you. And it maybe raised some faith for your story this morning. My final point this morning is praise releases breakthrough. It releases breakthrough.
In Acts sixteen verse twenty-five it says about midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God. And the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly, there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once, all the prison doors flew open and everyone’s chains Came loose. I want to tell you church that sometimes there are things in life that keep us in chains.
And we can put ourselves in a prison You know, the what I love about this story is that even though they were completely chained and the prison doors were shut, where the enemy made the mistake was that he didn’t cover their mouth because they were able to sing. And under the power of God the prison doors were released and the chains fell off. And in the same way when we praise God we release the chains of bondage that we can have in our lives sometimes. You know, I want to remind you today church that even though sometimes we feel like we’re in a prison and there’s things like offense. There’s things like fear and anxiety.
There’s things like fear of men, insecurity, sin, labels that people have put on us. That can keep us felt trapped in a prison. But I gotta tell you that Jesus came to set the captive free and that you don’t have to walk around with that anymore and this morning, if you know that you’re in that place, I don’t want you to leave without being set free in this place this morning. He has come to set you free and our praise has the power to release your breakthrough. And so here’s what we’re going to do.
We’re going to stand to our feet. And in a moment Sophie and the team are going to lead us We’re going to sing I speak Jesus and we’re going to declare this over our lives. Or maybe there’s a loved one or maybe there’s a situation. But I really felt that there were three groups of people. Three areas that the Holy Spirit wanted to touch on this morning.
Because he wants us free. And the first one was if you’re here and when I’m speaking about praise being a weapon you feel that you are in the middle of a spiritual battle and warfare at the moment. And it is just coming from every angle and it will not relent. I gotta tell you that today is the day that this that thing stops right now in Jesus name. That thing stops.
And it can actually steal your joy when that is when that is going on. It makes us tired And I just believe that God wants to touch some people afresh with joy this morning. And so with every eye closed and every headband, if that is you in this place, can you just give me a wave? Just raise your hand in this place. If that is you this morning, yes, I can see those hands. There are a number of you this morning.
We’re going to believe that God is going to bring a breakthrough to your life. The second group of people or when I was speaking about praise being prophetic Maybe you are in a season where there’s been a long awaited promise that you haven’t seen come to pass yet. And you know that your heart’s sick. You know that there’s disappointment there when you think about that thing. Maybe it’s dead and buried and you didn’t think that the Lord wanted to do anything with that anymore.
Well, I gotta tell you that he can breathe life this morning over that situation. So, if that’s you with every eye closed, can you just give me a wave in this place? Cuz I believe God wants to come and intervene this morning. Yeah. I can see those hands. Thank you.
And finally, If you’re here and you know that you’re in a prison where there’s this thing that you know, that you’re carrying, that you don’t want to carry anymore. It can be things like offense or unforgiveness. God wants you free He wants you free. You weren’t made for prison cells. You weren’t created to be held captive. And so he just wants to release it.