In the book of John we are exhorted to worship in spirit and in truth. (4:23-24) Truth is more than God’s written Word. It is the person of Jesus. He said “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

The essence of true praise is to have an intimate relationship with Jesus, who is Truth. Praise must be personal and from the heart. We don’t sing just because we have music ministry in the church. We sing because we love our best friend Jesus. If our praise is based on anything outside of a personal relationship with God, it is not true praise but a substitute. Jesus made this principle clear when he spoke to the Pharisees who searched the scriptures for truth but would not come to Him who was Truth (John 5:39-40). They had refused a relationship and intimacy with the Person of Truth.


This is a very subtle deception among many Christians who don’t want to get too close to Jesus and keep Him at a distance when it comes to worshiping Him.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)

If we keep Jesus at a distance He will remain there. When we embrace Him, He will embrace us. Every person has to be satisfied with the proximity and activity of God’s presence they have drawn into their lives. The Holy Spirit is a gentleman who will never force His way into your circumstances and way of life. However He longs to be invited.

The book of Galatians states that faith works by love.

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor un-circumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. (Galatians 5:6)


Praise must also work by love, because it involves faith. Love is what makes our praise real. The reason we praise God is because we genuinely love Him. If we do not have love, we will lack faith and certainly won’t be able to praise. Love is above all things and it has no competitors (1 Corinthians 13:13). It is impossible for it to fail. When we praise God from a foundation of love, there is nothing that can stop our praise from moving mountains. Everything submits to love. Nothing can withstand its presence because God is love. Because love is above all things, all things bow in its presence. When we praise, our motivation must be only one thing, and that is love. We praise because we love God so much. Love is also the most permanent and everlasting power in the universe, and it abides forever. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.  (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Praising God is our expression of love for God from a heart of faith. I suspect that our praise might have a permanent record in heaven. The balanced Christian life is spending time in the Word of God and spending time in the presence of God. In the former place we learn faith, in the latter love. There is no substitute for either.


About Tom Inglis

Tom is recognised by many as an apostle of worship who carries a prophetic word that is fresh and relevant for the church today. He has travelled into many nations teaching the message of ‘worship as a lifestyle’ and is considered by many as a pioneer in this area. [Read More...]