Praise in AdvanceRelationship with God
Ezra 3:6 “…they began to offer burnt offerings to the LORD, though the foundation of the LORD’s temple had not yet been laid”
Not after finishing the work…before they had even started the work…before they had even laid the foundation, the Israelites praised God for what he was going to do. It was not a reality yet, it only existed in their faith, but they chose to praise God in advance of their miracle.
Praising and thanking God in advance is what faith really looks like. Giving God the credit for what he hasn’t done yet. Thanking him for something that is not a reality yet. We often only respond in thankfulness when God has actually done something, but did we have faith for it in the first place?
Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”
Faith doesn’t finish with praise and thanksgiving though, it must also be shown through your deeds. Praising God in advance also means making preparations for what God is going to do. Are you willing to commit you time and energy to something that currently only exists in your faith? Are you willing to invest in something in advance of God doing it?
There is a great little story from the film ‘Facing the Giants’ – “Two farmers are waiting for God to give them rain on their land. One of them sits back and does nothing, the other prepares his field to receive the rain. Which one do you think received it?“ – Faith is about doing whatever we can do to make something a reality, and leaving the rest up to God. It means doing our part first.