When your praise seems unwarranted and maybe almost foolish. Praise that ignores its surroundings and just focusses on God, oblivious to what is happening elsewhere.
When things seem hopeless your praise must be oblivious. Oblivious praise allows you to see that God is more powerful than your problems. When you are in a situation that there is nothing you can do, oblivious praise is needed to get you through. Allow me to provide instructions on when to utilize oblivious praise.
An animal that is backed into a corner is often considered the most dangerous, well so is a follower of God. It is at times when you feel back into a corner that your only option is to call onto God.
Sometimes I pick up my phone and scroll past my mom's number and remember that she will not pick up the phone. It's been 8 years since I have lost my Dad's number, although he would not pick up either. My parents, my spiritual advisors, and my help have both passed away. When I feel like I have no one to call, I pray.
I am forced into prayer because I have no other options. When I am backed into a corner I am forced to call on the most powerful resource known to mankind. But if I'm honest with myself that prayer doesn't always make me feel better. Sometimes it feels like prayer doesn't help my situations.
I know the Israelites, forced into bondage in Egypt felt the same way. They had been slaves for centuries. But despite their slavery the Israelites clutched a belief in God. While wallowing in mud making bricks in harsh labor they cried out to God. It must have seemed like their prayers weren't working.
The Egyptians must have ridiculed their worship. What kind of God would allow suffering and struggle, clearly the Israelite God was not real. I'm sure even the Israelites were beginning to have doubts. "Where is God when I'm calling out to him?" I'm sure they wondered? "Does God Know what we are going through?"
When your problems seem overwhelming, and it seems that there is nothing you can do about it, you're wrong. There is something you can do.
You are being stifled by your problems. When you are surrounded by your problems it is easy to lose sight of God. When we focus on our problems, they seem a lot bigger than they are. We need to adjust our focus back to God and this is when oblivious praise is needed.
Oblivious praise is when your praise to God completely ignores what is happening around you. Focus is returned to God. When that focus returns to God perspective is regained. It is evident that God is greater than whatever problem we are facing. When prayer does not make you feel better the problem is that a perspective adjustment may be necessary.
Oblivious praise will adjust your perspective and remind you that God is, and always has been in control of your situation. Without loss, we would not fully appreciate our wins. Without tears we would not truly appreciate triumph. Our struggle enhances our story of triumph so we need to learn to mix our cry for help with our praise.
But it is not sufficient to keep our sufferings and celebrations to ourselves. The Bible instructs us to teach these things to our children. We must share what God has done and is doing with others. We are social beings. Even Introverts have parents, every person is a result of an interpersonal activity. (For those still confused maybe I'll do a later post about the birds and the bees)
While they were still slaves, the Israelites were instructed to take a lamb and prepare a meal. Mark the doorpost with the blood of the lamb, but get your family together, and if your family is too small invite the neighbors. Cook it and eat it together and Praise God, doing this demonstrated their belief.
But they were instructed to eat quick, with your shoes on, and your things packed to go. Because after this praise session, God is going to work. The Israelites were slave and the Pharoah had refused to let them go, but ignoring this the Israelites obliviously praised anyway, read about it in the Bible, Exodus 12.
I have to go. My wife suggested it last week, and we found a house to buy and we are ready to move in. But, there is one thing stopping us from closing on the mortgage. There is nothing I can physically do about it. There is no one I can call, my parents won't answer, I only have one person to talk to.
To be honest, prayer didn't make me feel better, the problem still looms, which tells me one thing. God is not the problem. The problem is my perspective. In my house, I feel like I have to demonstrate confidence, and honestly, I'm running low. However, there is one solution.
The Bible tells us to instruct our children, tell them what God has done for you. When my parents got a house we were just told we were moving. We were not involved in the struggle, so now it seems strange to us. "Am I supposed to feel this uneasy?" is a phrase that is always falling from my wife's lips.
So today as a family, we are going to praise obliviously. We will remind ourselves that our God is bigger. Our problems don't have NOTHING on God. We are going to share our struggles with our children and pray that by the time you read this, we will be in our new home!
And until then, I'll be packing and praying, and praising obliviously.