“I will praise you with all my heart;” Psalm 9:1a. When I think of praise (Heb. Yadah), I think of verbal expression of one’s greatness. This verse corrects my definition. Praise is not just verbal. It’s a heart matter. Hmmm. In Pr. 4:23 Solomon told us, “above all things guard your heart, for from it are the issues of life.” What does all that mean? First I’m to guard it, now I’m to praise God with all of it. Hmmm.
In my upcoming book, Napping in Delilah’s Lap, I came up with an acronym to describe the heart according to its Hebrew attributes: PAPDATE. Imagine that you’re a gynecologist. A patient comes in for a PAPDATE. That doctor visit is going to consist of 7 checkpoints: purposes, affections, passions, drive, appetites, thoughts, and endeavors. These are the “issues” we are to guard. These are the things we are to praise him with all of.
It’s easy to say, “Man we had great praise and worship at church today.” Did you know that can be pretty meaningless in God’s eyes? We can sing ‘our hearts out’ yet have hearts far from him. While he loves our verbal praise, it can be a beautiful but empty vessel. In Mt. 15:8 Jesus said, “These people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me.”
Listen to Jesus again, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” We can sing and sound amazing, but it’s all external show unless our purposes, affections, passions, drive, appetites, thoughts, and endeavors are lined up with his purposes, affections, passions, drive, appetites, thoughts, and endeavors. Performance. That’s. Merely. External. Drives. God. Nuts!
So let’s try that again, with trembling lips. “I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart.”
Image retrieved 1/14/2021 from: Cardiovascular System (Circulatory System): Parts and Functions (lecturio.com)