By Patti Miller
One definition of an atmosphere is a surrounding environment or influence. Have you ever wondered what the atmosphere of heaven is like?
“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.” – Revelation 4:1-2 (KJV)
Jesus wanted to walk John through this door and give him a glimpse of kingdom reality.
“And immediately I was in the spirit: and behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.” – Revelation 4:2 KJV
What do you think of when you hear the word ‘throne’? Authority, rule, power! Heaven is the authority of the whole universe!
Bow at the Throne
Suddenly, John finds himself in the middle of a mighty praise service! He likens the appearance of God to the radiance of precious stones and sees 24 elders seated on lesser thrones.
They are dressed in white, with crowns of gold are on their heads. From the throne come flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder.
He also sees four living creatures in the center and around the throne, one like a lion, the others like an ox, a man, and a flying eagle. They each have six wings and are covered with eyes all around.
They are speaking a continuing message, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”
As these strange living creatures praise the God of all creation, the elders fall down and lay their crowns before the throne, saying, “Thou art worthy, O Lord to receive glory, and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:8).
God reigns! This is the foundation of praise!
A Chorus of Praise
Again, in Revelation 5, these same creatures and elders fall down before the throne and sing a new song, focused on the worthiness of the Lamb.
Later in the chapter, many angels, numbering “ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,” circle around the throne and say with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, ‘Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.’”
More about God’s reign can be found in Job. After listening to the incomplete information spoken by Job and his friends, at last God was compelled to speak.
“Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man: for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where was thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? Or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the cornerstone thereof: When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”- Job 38:2-7 KJV
Praise filled the world from the beginning. Everything united in a chorus of praise! The stars sang together and the angels shouted over what God was doing.
Our Kingdom Reality
So we want to focus on kingdom reality. God reigns! Jesus is Lord!
This is the foundation of praise. It focuses on the eternal verities of our faith. God is always good, gracious, merciful, kind. His truth endures to all generations.
What we focus on, we empower! We can see this in Romans 4, where it describes Abraham and the promise that he had been made the father of many nations.
“Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, so shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb.” – Romans 4:18-19 KJV
Abraham knew what the situation looked like according to the flesh. Yet verse 20 in The Amplified Bible Classic Edition says, “No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith, as he gave praise and glory to God!”
We can use our words, not to describe our situation, but by praise to change our situation!
Praise is not problem-centered or human-centered. It is God-centered and seeks His glory!
Praise is the atmosphere of heaven that we can step up into everyday!
Agnus Dei by Michael Smith (Third Day Cover)