My neighbor and his dad attended the Syracuse University-University of Virginia (UVA) men’s basketball game recently. It was a contest between two highly ranked and successful basketball teams in Charlottesville, Virginia. I watched the game on television and the announcers said time and again how loud it was in John Paul Jones arena. When UVA started to pull away in the second half, the crowd erupted in louder chants, cries, screams, and banner waving. Cheerleaders bounced up and down, thousands of fans waved orange and blue pom-poms, and the electronic scoreboard called for responses with large neon words, “LOUDER!” UVA! UVA!
There is something energetic about a loud room or space or stadium. People are excited about what is going on, and once people on either side of you start yelling, you are more likely to join in. When time expired and UVA won the game, fans rushed the floor and you could not hear the announcers for a few minutes. My neighbor said it was so loud inside the arena that he could not hear his dad talking to him in the next seat.
Contrast that scene with the following: Imagine you are at a concert and your favorite band finishes one of their number 1 hits. But for some reason, no one makes a sound. Would you be willing to jump to your feet and start screaming all alone? Even if you knew the song was great but everyone around you (including the friends who came with you) were clueless not to join you in going crazy? Is that possible?
Read Psalm 96 (out loud, with emotion).
The writer of this Psalm believed God was someone to get loud about. Psalm 96 starts with the idea of singing. Talking. Just open your mouth and talk about God. Let it flow and let it go. Those who have received the salvation God provides and experienced His wonderful provision must be eager to tell others that He can deliver and save them, too. Just do it. Loudly. Sing. Tell. Declare. Ascribe. Worship. Say. Something.
Some might push the idea away. Some might shy away from being too verbal, or spiritualize their intentions to excess. But consider how fake, phony or counterfeit it appears to banish praise for God from your everyday conversation. Every day you can see the handiwork of God’s creative abilities, revel in His excellent provisions, and see His marvelous deeds, both general and specific. Every day you can trust and rest in His steadfast character.
I am not suggesting you stand up in chemistry class and start shouting praise to God. But you should not keep quiet either. Consider a few applications from Psalm 96:
Be consistent in praising God for who He is and what he has done in Scripture and history. Be quick to give God credit for His work in your life. When someone says, “How are you doing?” say, “Walking in God’s grace,” instead of merely, “Ok.” When friends note how you handled a challenge, let them know how God guided and strengthened you. When someone talks about what God has done for them, affirm them for voicing what they have experienced.
Think theologically. If you can get loud at a concert, or an athletic event, or a wedding, or in getting that summer internship, how can you be “loud” about your faith? You don’t always have to be loud purely on decibels, but at least be audible! Live out loud for God’s sake.
Love is a verb,
©2014 by Mike Olejarz