“Hallowing” Our Father – Part 3

Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise…” (Mat. 21:16)

One time the president of our country was coming to our town for some national celebrations. At that time our church probably had the best keyboard in town. The keyboard was a gift from a friend in the U.S. (Americans, I think, are the most generous people on earth. I thank them, and may God bless them exceedingly).

The leader of our town’s police band happened to be a friend of mine, and he knew about our keyboard. So, one day, sometime before the celebrations were to take place, he came knocking and asked us to lend their band our keyboard for they would be playing the national anthem during the celebrations. And, he told us, he would be playing it himself. I was happy to hear him say that because he was the finest piano player I had ever met.

When the day finally came, the president arrived right on schedule and the biggest stadium in town was filled to capacity. Finally, it was time to play the national anthem. I stood as close to my friend as possible because I wanted to see him play our big keyboard.

The minute he started playing… Wow! Nothing I can say here can express both the power of that keyboard and the expertise with which the police officer played it. Speakers as big as trucks were placed all over the stadium and our big keyboard got the ultimate reward for what it was worth. It gave the sweetest music all over town!

The man was a professional piano player and he did not play the anthem in the traditional way. Instead, he played the song in an incredibly original style. I could feel all the hairs standing on end as I listened to the music. The performance was so incredibly powerful that it was all quiet all over the big stadium. No one moved and no one spoke. When he finished playing, the applause was he received a standing ovation accompanied by a long, thunderous applause.

He played many more songs over the course of the celebrations, to the enjoyment of everyone.

The policeman told me later that the president later called and personally congratulated him for his performance.

I too was awed by the talent that I saw in that man. Later on, whenever I would go to visit him, I would take a long, hard look at him and think, “This man could be playing for kings and royalty all over the world.” But in this imperfect world, things do not the man and his talents were left buried in the police barracks he lived in.

I intended to speak about the president in this illustration, but I ended up talking about my police friend! But I meant to show that if the president of your country were visiting your town you would not call up any old band to play for him. No, sir! Contrariwise, you would bring in the best band, even if it meant calling up one from a different town!

Now, when it comes to good things if you think you know good things, I can assure you that God knows them infinitely better than you do. There are many ways of praising God; but there is the best way to do it. We therefore have no reason to worship God in any old way. As a matter of fact, with God only the best way will do. So what is this “best” way?

Scripture gives us the answer:

Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise…” (Mat. 21:16)

Did you see the words “perfected praise” there? What does that tell you? It tells you that God knows the best and He wants the best. When it comes to “hallowing” Him, the Bible tells us that God has perfected praise!

How did God “perfect” praise? It is by putting it in the mouths of “babes and sucklings”.

Now this is serious stuff. This is not talking of our gurgling babies. On the contrary, it is talking about the believer. It is talking of brokenness in a believer’s spirit. It is talking of humility.

Most people think God is interested in the good music they make. He is, of course, but again He is not. God is interested in our good music only if we have a humble and broken spirit. If we do not have a humble and broken spirit, God is not interested in ANYTHING we do for Him. We cannot reduce that bar in any way to please men. Jesus spent all His life here on earth doing the will of God, not of men.

This is the central meaning of the cross in our lives. The cross comes to deal with our flesh. God is more interested in a humble lifestyle than our beautiful music and songs. No song that you sing for God can move Him an inch if it is not accompanied by a humble lifestyle.

The gospel is the life of Christ that we live in our mortal bodies. That is why we must allow the cross to have its way in our lives, to humble us, that we might do the will of God.

One of the most amazing attributes that God has, as we already noted, is God’s capacity to humble Himself. This is something that the fleshly, carnal self simply cannot do. It is impossible for the flesh to humble itself. It can create many scenarios that appear to be of humility, but it can never attain to the real thing. That is why, on judgment day, many pious-looking people will be thrown into hell, because they were not.

Humility is the capacity to obey God. To obey God is to go against the flesh. To obey God, we must be in the Spirit. And to be in the Spirit we must die to self, or the flesh. And to die to the flesh requires that one crucify their flesh.

Ultimately, “hallowing” God has more to do with taking up our cross and following Christ, than singing.

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