Phil Ozersky happened to be at the right place at the right time on September 27, 1998. The ball was hit hard, a line shot that rocketed out of the park, crashing into the wall, and falling into the lap of a baseball enthusiast. Carl Pavano, who threw the fated pitch, had worked his entire life to arrive at this pinnacle, pitching in the big game. Mark McGwire, no matter what happened later, had strived every day to reach this point in his life. However, Phil Ozersky did not display any particular prowess or athletic ability. The only thing that was working in his favor was his appetite for baseball and timing.
The word of God mentions praise at least 225 times. Why is praise so important to our Christian walk? David, before he was ever a champion on the battlefield, was a champion of praise.
“I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.” Psalm 9:1-2
We have all at one time or another suffered rejection. We passed a note and they checked off the wrong box. We asked the girl to the dance but she already had a date. We mustered up the courage to say, “I love you” and they looked at us sincerely and responded, “I like you too.” Unreciprocated affection leaves a person feeling empty and alone. It sours a relationship and ultimately leads to its mundane yet painful demise. I wonder if God ever sent us a note and we checked the wrong box or ignored His message altogether. I wonder if God has ever said, I love you and we responded with less than commitment.
So why is praise important to our Christian walk? The bible says in Psalms 100:4 “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise…” and according to Psalm 22:3, God dwells in the praises of His people. When we open our mouths and lift up our voices to God in praise, it gets us in step with God. Praise ushers us into His presence. There’s a Holy alignment that takes place and we forget about our troubles when we spend time worshipping God.
It isn’t that we won’t face some negative things in our lives. Moses was confronted with a brush fire and had to grab a snake by the tail. David faced a bear, then a lion, and then there was a bellowing giant not to mention his brothers. David fled from an angry king and was betrayed by his own son.
However, God never failed David, because David knew how to worship God. 1 Samuel 13:14 tells that David was a man after God’s own heart. Because David was in step with God, there was a bear skin rug, a coat made of a lion’s mane, a giant’s head wrapped up in a nap sack, a dethroned king, and rebellion that was squashed.
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.”
Calibrate your walk this week with praise. Take one step at a time trusting that God is in charge and has a plan for your life. Get in sync with God through worship and who knows what could happen.
Pavano said speaking of McGwire, “I was coming after him.” McGwire said of the rookie that batted before him, “if he’s going to be aggressive, I might as well too.” Phil Ozersky was clueless about the titans’ inner dialogue; all he knew is that the ball fell in his lap and on January 13, 1999, Phil Ozersky sold the baseball for a record 2.7 million dollars. It all happened because he was at the right place, at the right time.
What could God do in our lives if He got us to the right place, at the right time? I’m praying that you have an amazing week and that through praising God, great things will happen.