As 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. The 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. 2 Chronicles 20:22-23
So far we have identified TWO items in our spiritual survival kit, namely, the Personalised WORD and the Living WATER. The first refers to biblical truths that you appropriate in your life by faith, while the second refers to the Holy Spirit, who helps you to pray according to the will of God.
The third essential resource every believer should utilise to stay on top of the situation is Praise & WORSHIP. The Bible reveals in several places the enormous power of magnifying the Lord in good times and even more so in bad times. That means we must never lose our sense of gratitude regardless of the hardships we face. The remarkable story in today’s Scripture is a case in point.
Admittedly, such spiritual wisdom is counterintuitive. It is contrary to common sense and natural expectations. For a “normal” reaction dictates that we should complain about the situation. We are all accustomed to responding by worrying and whining rather than by worshipping. To the carnal mind, it doesn’t make sense to be positive in negative circumstances. It doesn’t seem right to be upbeat when you’re under attack. It takes revelation and faith to choose to praise and worship the Lord when all hell breaks loose, when the chips are down and when you are under siege. Indeed, God’s ways are not our ways! The divine strategy to win in times of crisis is far superior to carnal thinking.
Interestingly, the Bible also admonishes us to give thanks in ALL circumstances as this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning us (1 Thessalonians 5:18). It also says we must bless the Lord at ALL times and His praise should continually be on our lips (Psalm 34:1). Apparently, Paul and Silas understood this principle very well. For when they were unjustly imprisoned in the city of Philippi, they dared to praise and worship the Lord in their midnight hour (Acts 16:25-30). The outcome was nothing short of spectacular-their chains fell off, the whole prison shook and all doors flung open! Such is the uncommon power of praise and worship.
As we see in today’s Scripture passage, the results of the worship strategy were no less dramatic for the citizens of Judah in Jerusalem during the reign of King Jehoshaphat. Imagine witnessing the total wipeout of a massive confederation of enemies without firing a single shot! How marvellous it is when God fights our battles! Such is the power of praise.
Beloveds, in these days of pandemic siege, economic lockdown and social isolation, let us turn our fear to faith. Let us move from panic to praise, from worry to worship and from grumbling to glorifying the Lord. Let us unleash the miraculous power of the sacrifices of praise. Let us magnify the Lord and minimise our problems. Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered. Through our God we shall do valiantly, for it is He that shall tread down our enemies (Psalm 60:12). Bless His holy name!
Pastor Josh