praising God

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The other saint enters the same meeting, where it seems that not one breath of heavenly gales is stirring, feels the same pressure upon the meeting, and refusing to look at or recognize the enemy, says:

"This is the time to praise Jesus. This is the time to see God arise and scatter His enemies. He has told us that we will do great and mighty things if we will but praise Him, and we know that the enemy cannot lodge or abide in an atmosphere that is filled with the praises of the Lord." This saint straightway begins to shout:

"Hallelujah! We rejoice in You! We glory in Your might, O King! Victory and honor ever attend Your troops. Power and dominion envelop You. Your glory and presence fill the heavens and the earth. It fills my heart just now. It overflows and fills the room. Why, glory to Jesus! Beloved, the Lord is in our midst. Do you not feel Him? Why, this atmosphere is like that of heaven!"

Such faith and praise is contagious. The fire of unwavering confidence in God that burns within this temple soon leaps over its parapets, spreads first to those in the seats nearby, then on to the farthest corner of the room, inspiring, encouraging, lifting up drooping heads and strengthening feeble knees, and in a moment every eye is fixed on Jesus, His praises fill the tabernacle, souls are blessed, vessels are filled to overflowing, the Latter Rain is heard pattering on the roof, the dry ground is saturated and the wilderness and the desert places are blossoming as the rose!

What was the difference in the two saints? The one recognized and saw the power of the devil and began to bemoan the sad state of affairs, depressing everyone who listened, while the other saw only Jesus in His all-conquering, invincible might and splendor, riding on to sure and certain victory.

VISION OF DEMONS AND ANGELS The Lord taught me a wonderful lesson some time ago that demonstrated the majesty and power of praise. I was seated on the rostrum in my tent during the evening meeting. Every seat in the big tabernacle was filled, the aisles were packed, and outside the tent hundreds and hundreds stood closely packed together.

It was one of the first days of the camp meeting, and conviction had not yet taken the place of curiosity. A great many of the onlookers were Roman Catholics, and the balance were unused to any demonstration of the power of God, so the air was filled with unbelief, skepticism, scoffing and ridicule. The people would listen as long as we sang. But as soon as anyone endeavored to speak, the whisperings and the murmurings would begin until another song was started.

As I stood there on the platform with my eyes closed, I saw the entire tent surrounded by great black demons, with huge, bat-like wings. Each demon seemed to stand about 10 feet tall, and as they stood in a circle, completely surrounding the tent, they were so close together that their wings touched, tip to tip.

With my eyes still closed, I began to cry out silently to the Lord, "Oh, Lord, what shall I do?" He replied, "Just begin to praise Me. I will do the fighting. You do the praising." So I began to praise Him.

"Praise the Lord!" The first time I said it I noticed the demons seemed to tremble.

"Praise the Lord!" The second time I shouted it. I am sure my voice was heard above every other sound, and I saw each demon take one step backward, away from the tent.

"Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!" Each time I said, "Praise the Lord," the demons took a step backward until I lost sight of them in the distance.

"Praise the Lord!" The next time I said it I saw in the distance a circular band of angels standing around the tent.

"Praise the Lord! PRAISE THE LORD!" Each time I praised Him they took one step nearer, another step nearer, still another step nearer, till at last they stood at the very border of the tent--such tall, wonderful-looking angels, with their beautiful, white wings spread so wide that the wings of each touched, tip to tip. Father had sent one of His legions of angels to guard the tent.

Perhaps not another person in the tent saw the vision of this great shining band of angels, yet everyone inside and out must have sensed the presence of the divine, for not only did a great peace steal over my soul, but the whole audience was hushed. When I opened my eyes I could see only the people watching in rapt attention, but when I closed them again I could see the angels just as plainly as I could see the people.

Is it any wonder I believe that the power of praise drives back the enemy and brings down the blessing?

Read a companion devotional.

Aimee Semple McPherson (1890-1944) was a Pentecostal evangelist and founder of The Foursquare Church, formerly the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel (ICFG). She was widely accepted by many different denominations and always held an interdenominational view.

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