A STANDING OVATION!
(For my fabulous sisters standing center stage!)
Bellissimo, Molto bella
There isn't a performer alive -- (no matter how humble he or she may be) that does not want to receive a standing ovation. It is one thing to bring the people to the place of applause but to cause them to rise from their seats because that which came out of you was so grand, so touching, so beautiful, so glorious and so wondrous fair that they could not contain their sentiments, their praise or their joy. Every singer, every musician, every entertainer, every performer and every thespian wants to leave an indelible impression on all those who have come from near and far to witness their performance. It is the reason they labor for hours in private. It is the reason they practice. It is the reason they rehearse. They toil for days on end all for that one moment in time when their gift is afforded the rich opportunity to hit the atmosphere and releases unbridled, uncensorable, uncontrollable adoration. This is why they practice. It is the heart's desire of every person that mounts a stage to share their heart, their passion, their talents and their gifts in such a remarkable way that all that witness their performance are so moved by it that they stand to their feet to honor, bless and praise the performer for their grand performance!
Have you ever witnessed a performance that made you stand to your feet, whistle, holler, cry and scream in joy and for joy? When you go to a concert or a performance -- you want to get your money's worth but in truth -- you want to get more than your money's worth. You want to get their best performance. You came because you HEARD that they were GREAT but on the night you come -- you want them to be better than great -- you want them to perform with excellent excellence. You want them to be more than amazing, more than marvelous and more than miraculous could ever be. You want them to be more than wonderful.
The performer wants to be more than wonderful too! They want to leave it all on the carpet. They want to leave nothing wanting -- nothing lacking. They know that you have come to get their best and they want to give their best to you. When they finish, they want you to give them back what they have given out.
Where are the people who stand center stage? Those of you who do know that you have dreamed about what this night would be like before you ever even got to this moment in time. Those of you who have been rehearsing for this moment know that you have already envisioned the end of the night long before you mounted the stage -- your final moment on the stage plays out something like this...
Your performance comes to a grand crescendo. Your performance comes to an end - just as it does wave after wave after wave of applause fills the atmosphere. You bow. They throw flowers at your feet. You bend and pick up the fruits of your labor. You blow kisses to your adoring fans. You blow kisses to those who came to see you fail only to see you not just rise to the occasion but nail an unforgettable performance. The curtain falls but the thunderous praise does not and so they raise the curtain countless times so that you can bow and then bow and bow again....
Bravo! Wonderful! Glorious!
The praise continues far into the night and when the people rouse to read the papers -- they find that the writers and columnists were so moved by you that they burned midnight oil ~ meticulously, arduously and feverishly typing your praises. The critics and cynics all agree that your performance was "the performance of a lifetime"!
You are interviewed on all of the top morning shows, clips of your performance are broadcast on the national news channels - your performance is uploaded to Youtube & MySpace and people the world over praise you for your wonderful act.
If we can do this for a human being -- what about God?
It amazes me that we will stand on our feet and scream to the top of our lungs for what seems like an eternity for a gifted performer and yet we only feel obligated to give God "60 seconds" of praise. There was a time when a "SHOUT OF VICTORY" would hit the church and we would dance and praise until we couldn't dance and praise any longer -- now we have "PRAISE BREAKS". There is nothing wrong with a "PRAISE BREAK"! Sometimes the Word is so rich and so powerful that we need a "PRAISE BREAK" to release some of the power we have received before we explode from the weight of the Word being dropped on us and in us but that shouldn't be the only time the people are released to release a praise in the worship service. I just wish we gave God more than 60 seconds to praise Him for His MIGHTY ACTS and for EXCELLENT GREATNESS! I just wish we gave Him more than just a 60 second "PRAISE BREAK" -- I believe that He wishes we gave Him more too!
Any HONEST preacher will tell you that all they really have to do in order to help the people to give God the praise that is due Him is for them to quote just the beginning line to an old devotional song and the people of God would begin to praise...that song simply being, "When I think of the goodness of Jesus and ALL HE HAS DONE FOR ME my very soul cries out 'HALLELUJAH' I thank God for saving me!" All the congregants had to do was 'THINK' and praise would happen. All the church had to do was 'THINK' about what He had done; 'THINK' about how He had redeemed their lives from destruction; 'THINK' about how He had made a way out of no way; 'THINK' about how He had healed them and the people of God would rise to their feet and give God A STANDING OVATION!
When was the last time you really THOUGHT about what God has done, is doing and shall do in your life? When was the last time you really THOUGHT about who you used to be, what you used to do, (who you used to do), where you used to be, how you used to act, what you used to say, how you used to live. how you used to act and then think about who you are now, what you do now, where you are now, how you act now, how you speak now and how you walk NOW!
Take a moment now and just THINK of God's goodness. If you take a moment and think you will find that a patty-cake, weak,, anorexic, feeble and stale praise just won't do! If you make and take the time to really THINK about what God has done in your life you can't help but give Him a thunderous praise! You can't help but give Him a STANDING OVATION!
I believe that if we really THOUGHT about God that we wouldn't have to MAKE people praise. I believe that if we really THOUGHT about what He has done in our lives, praise and worship leaders wouldn't have to beg the people to worship -- I believe they would finally do as the Word of God encourages us to do. If we really THOUGHT about God we would 'enter into His gates with thanksgiving and enter into His courts with praise'. We'd would 'be thankful unto Him'. We would 'bless His Name'. If we took time to really THINK, no one would have to tell us to praise Him -- we would do it because we KNEW that He DESERVED our praise and our worship. We would praise Him as easily and as effortlessly as we breathe. Our THINKING would yield praise and our praise would birth out worship and our worship would birth out God in our services without struggle, hardship, stress or strain.
God has called us all to a LIFESTYLE of praise and worship. I challenge and charge you to BLESS HIM AT ALL TIMES! Spend just one day next week thanking Him for everything you can think of...I guarantee you that you won't make it through the day without having to excuse yourself from your friends, family and/or colleagues to give God a STANDING OVATION!
God desires that we live a life of worship. A life of praise. After all, when we get to Heaven that is what we are going to be doing. The four and twenty elders are going to cast their crowns before Him. We are going to sing praises to the Lamb who was slain. Praise will be the order of the day, every day for all of eternity. Why not practice now for eternity? Why not begin now to do what you will be doing for all of eternity? That is what we are going to be doing in Heaven -- we are going to be giving God a STANDING OVATION!
God is watching you. He sees where you are right now. He knows exactly what you are doing and why you are doing it. He sees your heart. He sees YOU! The real YOU! He is watching your every move and turn. He sees your every motive and motion. He knows your motivation for the things that you do. He knows the real reason why you do what you do. He is watching your every twist and turn. He is sitting in eternity looking into time to tune in just to see YOU! You are standing center stage and God has His eyes fixed on you! You have His undivided attention. He wants to see you give not just a good performance. Satan is going to and fro. He is watching too! He came to see you mess up! He came to see you miss the high notes! He came to see you falter. He came to see you fail. He came to see you miss your one moment in time. But God is there, not just to witness your grand performance on the stage of time -- He is there to HELP! As you step center stage ask God to help you hit each HIGH NOTE! Ask God to help you stand! Ask God to help you walk circumspect! Ask God to help you live righteously! Ask Him to help you give the performance of a lifetime. I promise you that if you do, when your life is over and you stand before the throne of God, He will look into your eyes and into your heart and say, "WELL DONE THY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT! YOU HAVE BEEN FAITHFUL..." And the God of Glory will rise from His throne and give unto you the thing you have been laboring, toiling and working for...God will rise from His throne and show you what REAL THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE SOUNDS LIKE when He gives you a STANDING OVATION! Remember as you go from day to day that "Only what is done for Christ will last"! Mediocrity will not land you in Glory! Saints, it doesn't count unless you get a STANDING OVATION!
All I want is God's STANDING OVATION!
I AM LIVING TO LIVE AGAIN!
Rev. L.A. Artis, CEO
L.A. Artis Ministries, Inc.
(My New Book Is Available - Buy it Now @)