Worship is Warfare
There’s a story in 2 Chronicles 20 that is one of my favorite chapters in all of scripture and it has dramatically altered how I handle crises in my life. I’ll give you the reader’s digest version, but there are so many beautiful treasures hidden in this passage that I really want you to make sure you go read this short chapter this week and let the Word of the Lord minister to you, encourage you, embolden you, and empower you to listen and obey Him.
Here’s the cliff notes:
Judah (the southern kingdom) was about to be under attack by three enemy nations coming together to destroy them. King Jehoshaphat called for the entire nation to fast and pray together. God’s Spirit fell on a man named Jahaziel (whose name means “God gives visions” or “God sees”) and he prophesied that God would fight this battle for them, the location where their enemies would be hiding the next morning, and instructed that they needed to meet them at the battle lines and only hold firm while God rescued them. They obeyed and Jehoshaphat sends people to the front lines, not men with swords or shields, not warriors or champions, but singers instructed to trust God for victory and to sing praises to God. When they begin to sing praises, the enemy armies begin attacking each other until every single enemy fighter is dead. The Kingdom of Judah ends up taking three entire days to gather the spoils of war (money, precious jewels, etc.) because there were so many riches to be gathered.
In the New Testament, we see another similar story. In Acts 16, Paul and Silas are thrown into prison, the inner dungeon with their feet in stocks so that they wouldn’t escape, after they were stripped and beaten severely. That evening they were praying and singing praises. Suddenly there was a massive earthquake that shook the entire prison. Their chains fell off and prison doors flung wide open along with all of the other prisoners’ chains and cell doors! They helped a prison guard receive salvation through Jesus and then his entire family and they were freed.
There are so many amazing things about both of these stories and so many treasures tucked into each passage of scripture for you to seek out, so please do that, but today we’re just going to talk about a few of them. Before anything else, I want to make sure we notice the response to the battle or trial that each of these three men took. First - prayer. They were met with the unexpected, the scary, the unovercomable, the impossible, the “end”, and they responded with prayer. The sought out God for direction as their first response, not last resort.
Ask yourself this right now: Have I been on my face before the Father seeking him out?
Jehoshaphat fasted. He even had his entire nation fast before the Lord. Have you considered fasting? Fasting is a denial of self to highlight our own brokenness and reliance on the Father. Fasting is intended to quicken our spirit to His voice and our heart to obedience.
The second response these men had to their trial: Praise. Notice it’s not the word for worship. It’s both the greek and the Hebrew word for praise - “humneō” which is a celebratory song (used in Acts) and “hâlal” which means to shine, to boast, and to act like a madman (that’s my favorite description - used in 2 Chronicles). They weren’t singing songs that were begging God to rescue them, to see them in the middle of their mess, to comfort them - at least that’s not what is recorded. What is recorded is that they were singing songs of celebration, boasting about God’s beauty and holiness, and acting like madmen while doing it! There was some joy to be found in those songs of praise! Not sorrow or fear or worry.
These were songs of declaration - not desperation!
Ask yourself this right now: Have I been weeping or rejoicing in my trial? Have I been declaring or despairing in my trial?
It was the praise that made way for the breakthrough! It was the praise that invited God to come and do what only He can do! And sis, you need a miracle right now, don’t you?
If that’s you today, I want you to boast about our God and make him shine right where you are, right this moment, whether you are alone in the car reading this, sitting in your living room with a horde of children, or wherever you find yourself right now. If you are ready for God to come and do what only He can do with the battle you face, girl you better start praising like a madwoman! You better start praising like you believe He is fighting on your behalf. You better start praising like you know He wins every war he wages! It's time to celebrate! There is a reward for that kind of faith! Jehoshaphat was rewarded with riches and treasures, Paul and Silas were rewarded with freedom and salvations. What reward is hidden in your victory?
Ask yourself this right now: Do I believe that God has a spoil of riches for me to receive through the battle I am facing now once I let Him fight for me?
When you focus on the praise, God wins the fight and rewards our trust in Him. What kind of great spiritual treasures are hidden in the battle you are facing? What precious truths and gems of wisdom are in the victory spoils of the fight you face? I can’t even begin to imagine what beauty God will bring from our enemy’s defeat, but I know it’ll take you more than three days to carry back all the spoils from the victory!
I want to leave you with some really solid truth so that when you are tempted to despair, you can arm yourself with scripture that will empower you to praise! Here are some of my favorite passages…
“But I promise you, no weapon meant to hurt you will succeed, and you will refute every accusing word spoken against you. This promise is the inheritance of Yahweh’s servants, and their vindication is from me,” says Yahweh.”
“A thief has only one thing in mind - he wants to steal, slaughter, and destroy. But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect - life in its fullness until. You overflow!”
"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
“Who could ever separate us from the endless love of God’s Anointed One? Absolutely no one! For nothing in the universe has the power to diminish his love toward us. Troubles, pressures, and problems are unable to come between us and heaven’s love. What about persecutions, deprivations, dangers, and death threats? No, for they are all impotent to hinder omnipotent love, even though it is written:
You can’t sustain what you don’t feed so start feeding yourself God’s truth! Pray and seek His face. Give him the kind of praise that makes him shine, boasts about Him, and makes you act like a madwoman. Start speaking God’s truth over your life and believe Him for the victory. If you are overwhelmed, tired, scared, or anxious as you look at the battle in front of you, then it's probably time to start celebrating the goodness, the holiness, of God!
This is something I have declared over my own life that I want to share with you. I hope it is just another tool in your tool belt to help you stand firm in Truth, sing praise, and watch God win your fight! Declare this over yourself today… I am declaring this over your life too.
I am made for supernatural life. In your presence, I have total joy and you reveal the path of life. Your Spirit compels me to greater levels of love and power. I am aware that you are with me and I release your presence in every situation and to every person I encounter. What you say is true forever. Miracles, signs, wonders, power, and love follow me as I move through trials into triumph. You win every war you wage and you are winning my battle today. I receive the spiritual riches you have won for me that will empower me to pursue you wholeheartedly. Thank you for the victory!
WRITTEN BY: LYNDSAY TERRY
Read more from Lyndsay @ www.lyndsayterry.com.
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