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The Weapon of Praise and Worship.

In the last few days, we have talked about Paul's letter to the Ephesian church, specifically chapter 6, about God's people 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 considering it when looking at the believer's weapons. 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 above passage of Scripture, the church leaders in Antioch used worship to draw near to God to listen and hear the Holy Spirit's direction. We see something similar in the life of Elisha when the king asks him 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, few churches today 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, or village. The Lord is all you need; He can give you tools and insight and wants to lead you by His Spirit. Join together, 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 large 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 in Jerusalem. 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 Lord directed the worship team to lead them against the enemy. They were not to fight this battle—God would 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, Emphasis mine).

At God’s direction, Spirit-inspired worship took place, resulting in the demonically inspired attack being broken down by God moving on behalf of His people, not requiring them to fight physically. They were not to fight 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. Is this a word for you today to do likewise in whatever battle you are going through? As the people of God, we must 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.


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