In the last few days, we have been talking about Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church, and chapter 6 specifically about the church fighting a war with unseen enemies. Paul shared the defensive capabilities of the Armor of God, before talking about the offensive weapons of the sword of the Spirit and secondly, prayer. Although Paul does not mention the weapon of praise and worship in his letter to the Ephesians, I think there is a case for bringing it into view when looking at the weapons of the believer. First, let’s talk about worship as a means of drawing close to the Lord for His direction:
1Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod, the tetrarch) and Saul. 2While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off (Acts 13:1-3).
In the passage of Scripture above, We see something similar in the life of Elisha when he was asked to pray and get God's direction on the battle Israel faced. Elisha called for a harpist, who played, and God spoke (2 Kings 3:15). Unfortunately, there are few churches today that take the time to get direction from the Spirit of God. Christian leaders should abandon Madison Avenue’s "big business model" marketing tactics to grow the church. God has a strategy for your city, town, village. He is all you need and can give you tools and insight, and wants to lead you by His Spirit. Join together, and humble yourselves and pray and listen for His direction. God can do more in two minutes than we can do with our fleshly strategies for church growth.
Worship was also used as a weapon against a demonically inspired attack on Israel by a considerable army formed by a union between the Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites in 2 Chronicles 20. Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah at the time, gathered all the people to Jerusalem, and they all began to cry out to the Lord in intense prayer, confessing their inability to defend their families against the attack. God spoke prophetically to them while they were fasting and praying for deliverance:
Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. 17You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you (2 Chronicles 20:15-17).
What was God's plan? The direction given was to have the worship team lead them against the enemy. They were not to fight this battle—God was going to fight for them. Under the direction of the Holy Spirit, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and praise Him as they went out at the head of the army:
22As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 23The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another. 24When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooked the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped (2 Chronicles 20:22-24).
At God’s direction, Spirit-inspired worship took place with the result that the demonically inspired attack was broken down by God moving on behalf of His people, not requiring them to fight at all physically. They were not to compete in their strength but to rely on God’s power. The Lord set an ambush for Israel’s enemies, and the enemy fought against one another and destroyed themselves. As the church, we need to utilize God’s methods and power to overcome dark spiritual forces. Keith Thomas
This meditation is a shortened version of the in-depth study: Offensive Weapons of the Believer