After This

After This

Revelation 19:1 (NIV)

After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God…

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! It is said to be the highest form of praise. Acknowledging the Supremacy and Power of God. While hallelujah is found many times in the Old Testament, it does not resurface in the Old Testament until Revelation 19. It is a praise that celebrates the Lord just as He is exalting Him above all other gods in our life and the universe. Hallelujah is not for everyone. It is for those who have made a choice. Those who have called Him Savior but more importantly those who know Him as Lord. There is power in this declaration because it is decisive. It is produced by the part of those who know God – love Him – need Him and serve Him as such. We should be singing hallelujah today! Every day this should be the declaration over our life no matter what the circumstances simply because we know the ending from the beginning. Confidence in God’s Ability and Power to make it come to pass is the key to unlocking faith that will lead us to the Cross with certainty that all given is received. What is your declaration today? Is it hallelujah or God I hope so? There is more to life than this and hallelujah (praise the Lord) will take us there. We must live for life after this.

I find that many times I use the word “hallelujah” casually as a sign of relief. Sometimes my life is a surprise to me, when things turn out just as the Lord said it would rather than what it looked like it might. Why am I so surprised? There are areas of my life where faith has not taken over fear yet and confidence must destroy doubt. My response to every problem, stressor, circumstance, bad report, and sudden change should be hallelujah. Any other response would be human in nature – but a true Child of the Living God knows the outcome from the beginning. Victory! We walk in total completeness in Christ by faith. We must make praising God the sustenance of our life rather than a sign of relief at the outcome. How we praise now determines what happens after this.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

 

Walking through life with the Lord, it becomes clear evident that there is something more than fate operating in the life of God’s Children. Too many coincidences in one’s favor and unnatural outcomes begin to form a picture of One who is well cared for or at least it should. Obedience opens the door to righteousness that release the Blessings of God. It is not a dramatic overture of some radical event but the commitment of our life walking daily step-by-step in the Light of His Love. It may be filled with high highs and low lows but the one thing that remains will be consistency in one’s commitment to Christ. Suddenly, we realize that things are not ordinary in our life so hallelujah will move from after this to in the midst of it all.

God has a plan for our life that requires one thing. Obedience. But it doesn’t say that…? Oh yes it does. Obedience is the discipline requires to seek God with all of our heart. Those who do will find the Lord. Giving up the pursuit will limit one’s access. We must decide that we want the plans that God created for us along with the future and hope enough to commit our lives to having it. It is a “now” thing so our praise should be in the present.

Judges 20:18 (NIV)

The Israelites went up to Bethel and inquired of God. They said, “Who of us is to go up first to fight against the Benjamites?” The Lord replied, “Judah shall go first.”

 

Zechariah 12:7 (NIV)

 “The Lord will save the dwellings of Judah first, so that the honor of the house of David and of Jerusalem’s inhabitants may not be greater than that of Judah.

Judah means praise. When Leah gave birth to her last son, she called him “Judah” (this time I will praise the Lord). She was in a loveless marriage clearly not favored by her husband without affection, love or affirmation. With the birth of each child, she longed for her partner to fall in love with her but he did not. Finally, she decided to praise the Lord regardless of her earthly situation. Judah – the favored one of God as clear by his consideration of Judah.

Who goes first in battle? Judah to herald the Lord’s Ability and Victory. In every situation or circumstance in life that faith is applied to, the impossible is suddenly possible. Not because of anything we are doing but because it is an invitation for God to take control of the situation. God what should I do in this moment? His Answer will always be “Judah shall go first!” Confidence in God’s Power and Authority is exemplified by faith. To declare victory before the fight is to sing hallelujah before the battle is over. It all comes down to our heart. What do I believe? Is God powerful enough? Does He love me enough to fight my battles and win my wars? To sing hallelujah walking into battle ensures us victory after victory in this life. The walls of Jericho fell after seven days of continuous praise. (Hebrews 11:30) The people didn’t do a thing but praise God. That’s it. No battle. No axes. No sweat and labor. Just faithful praise of a God who can flatten every wall and barrier in our life. It means stepping out of our weakness into God’s Power.

The Lord favors Judah. It gets His Attention because there is faith to work with in the words of those who sing hallelujah through life. Psalm 84:11 says that the Lord God is our sun (shows us the way) and shield (protects us as we go) and that the Lord bestows favor and honor. It goes on to say that He will withhold no good thing from those who walk blameless. Before you go marking yourself off the list, let me encourage you. Sin is going to happen and His Grace is enough to cover it. Those who decide to live blamelessness are those who choose to live in the Light of His Love rather than returning to darkness. It is a life of simple but radical obedience to the Word, Will and Way of God. It is a learning process because His Thoughts are not like ours and neither are His Ways. But if we are confident in the hope that we have and its security, praise will be our precedent. The Lord favors the ones who praise.

Psalm 150:1-2 (NIV)

Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.

There is ordinary praise and then there is “hallelujah” praise. It is important to discover the difference. In the Old Testament, “hallelujah” praise is found in the Psalms. Not all of them, but some specifically. It is the highest form of praise exalting God in His Supremacy which has nothing to do with us but is focused completely on who He is. It defines Him as Good. (Psalm 106) It acknowledges Him through exaltation – lifting Him above all things and putting Him before everything and anything in our life no matter what. (Psalm 111) It calls Him all-knowing. (Psalm 112) It celebrates His Constancy and Consistency. (Psalm 113) It speaks of His Greatness. (Psalm 135). It declares Him worthy of all praise. (Psalm 146) It tells of the vastness of God’s Love and His Permeation of our entire life. (Psalm 148) Hallelujah creates renewal and restoration as we move all of our confidence and hope into Who He is. (Psalm 149) But then as quickly as it came it went and hallelujah became silent until the end. After this…

Revelation 19:6-9 (NIV)

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

 

After this…in Revelation 19 marks the end of tribulation and beginning of Armageddon – the fight to the finish. In the moments preceding it in the silence of Heaven that hallelujah breaks out. We know how it ends, it only matters what side you are on. Those who choose to live a life of praise and honor Jesus Christ will be victorious. Does this make you uncomfortable today? Who wants to think about the end of the world anyway?

The world is in the throes of the end times. I am convinced that a revival is coming because the Lord said there would be one. Love is cold. Sin is rampant. Rumors and rumors of war whispered even shouted all around us. Senseless murders and the forsaking of the value of human life from the unborn to the elderly. Just the other day a young man was discovered in the parking lot of our daughter’s high school with a ski mask around his neck and a loaded 22 caliber rifle on the floor of his car. Nobody knows his intentions but praise God for the protection of our children by the Lord. Yesterday, two reporters gunned down live mid report by a disgruntled former coworker. Don’t tell me that Jesus isn’t coming.

What will our declaration be as we see the Bible and the Book of Revelation unfold? It must be “hallelujah”! We must put every bit of our being into the Authority and Power of Jesus Christ to endure to the end. We must stop praising Him for what we need, want or think we should have but celebrate in each moment with every breath that we are invited to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb! It is time to step up our praise to a hallelujah course that carries us from now into Eternity. It is all about Him. Today I must move my praise from “after this” into all things signing hallelujah for Who He is! He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords – today I must make my words reflect that!

Revelation 19:11-16 (NIV)

 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords.

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