Did you know that worship is warfare?
As we continue to look at Jehoshaphat’s story, we will see that he sent the praise team out at the head of the army!
Let’s pick up his story where we left off at 2 Chronicles 20:18-21 (NIV):
Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord. Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with very loud voice.
Early in the morning they left for the desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, ‘Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.’ After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:
‘Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.’
Remember that Jehoshaphat and all of Judah were up against a vast army that they had no power to face. They followed the first 3 keys to breakthrough: fasting, prayer, and the Word of the Lord. God’s Word to them was that they were to “march down against” the enemy but to “stand firm and see the deliverance” of the Lord.
But have you ever seen a leader send singers out ahead of the army? Look closely at what Jehoshaphat told the men to do: “…sing to the Lord and praise him for the splendor of his holiness…” (2 Chronicles 20:21, NIV).
You see, Jehoshaphat didn’t just make this up. He prepared himself to be led by the Spirit of God through fasting, prayer, and hearing the Word of the Lord. Now he was moving forward, fully prepared for battle. And the first priority in battle was praise.
You may be thinking, “How can I praise God for the situation I am going through right now?”
Because God is still good and His love endures forever! That’s what these men went out at the head of the army declaring. They were in a tough spot. It was a vast army. Their very lives were at stake. The future of a nation was at stake. The situation was dire, but the God they served was still good. He was still on their side. And they gave Him the thanks and praise that He deserves.
I’m reminded of another serious situation in which worship was warfare.
Paul and Silas were on a missionary journey when they were severely beaten and thrown in prison for casting a demonic spirit out of a girl.
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose” (Acts 16:25-26, NIV).
These men had been “severely flogged” and thrown in prison, and yet they were praying and singing hymns to their God! And look what happened! “…everybody’s chains came loose” (emphasis mine). That’s what our worship does! It sets the captive free. It breaks the chains that Satan has used to keep us bound. Worship is warfare!
Do you know why? Because worship takes our eyes off ourselves and our situation and puts them solely on the One who is able to do something about our situation. This doesn’t mean that God doesn’t care about our situation. He just wants us to look to Him for help. You may have to praise Him through your tears. You may be only able to whisper His name. God sees your tears. He hears your whisper. As you begin to praise Him, the chains will be loosed in Jesus’ name.
We were created to worship. God made us with a longing to have our hearts filled with love and desire for Him. But we do live in a fallen world of pain and trouble:
Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, NIV).
Since Jesus has overcome the world, He deserves all of my praise, even when my life seems to be falling apart.
If you are in need of a breakthrough right now, I encourage you to worship your way through to the other side.
There is power in your praise, so let it out!