This is How I Fight My Battles
I can’t remember how many times I have felt like God was a million miles away and then, in an instant, I recognized that He was closer than the air I breathe. I’ve had several “prodigal son” moments at different times in my life when I got distracted and caught up in the busyness of daily life for a time and noticed my thoughts and attitudes being swayed by the world around me. But when I took time in praise and worship, I could feel the warmth of the Holy Spirit welling up inside me, gently calling me back to Him. It’s so wonderful to feel the presence of God while we are worshipping but it is about so much more than that.
I have recognized that we are in a battle and there truly is an enemy that is out to destroy us. When we worship God, real breakthroughs happen in the spirit. Worshipping God is how we allow God to fight our battles for us.
Worship changes our focus.
Many of us don’t think of worship as a weapon. Instead, we think of it as the music that sets the mood in our homes or for a church service. But the fact is that we’re wielding a very dangerous weapon when we worship God. My mind tells me that physical and mental illness will consume and kill me. Worship tells me that God heals and promises to use all things for His glory. My mind focuses on what I can’t do. But worship reminds me of what God can do.
Worship is the weapon that cuts through the darkest of circumstances to speak to your spirit, and to remind you of God’s truth and power over the appearance of your circumstances.
Worship changes your perspective.
The second reason to use worship as a weapon is that it trades your earthly perspective for a heavenly one. While similar to shifting your focus, shifting your perspective calls into question why we’re even here in the first place. Worship helps you to zoom out from your circumstances to see the world and eternity as God does, and as it truly is. So I sing loudly and defiantly at my circumstances. Because really, what could those circumstances hold over me in light of how my story would end? Suddenly, the pain I feel about my difficulties feel temporary and powerless.
Worship changes your circumstances.
The third reason to use worship as a weapon is that it transforms our circumstances. We’re singing and speaking and shouting God’s Word and truth over the lies of the enemy.
Isaiah 40:8 and Matthew 24:35 tell us that the things of this world will wither and fall, that the earth itself will pass away, but that God’s Word endures forever.
“For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does” (Psalm 33:4, NIV). It will save us (James 1:21).
God Himself promises His Word, “will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent” (Isaiah 55:11). He promises, “whatever I say will be fulfilled” (Ezekiel 12:28).
Friends, those are some powerful promises! And those promises will overcome both the lies of this world and the lies of our circumstances.
Worship changes your enemy’s position.
The fourth reason to use worship as a weapon is that it drives Satan away. Psalm 22:3 tells us that God inhabits the praises of His people. That means that when you worship God, you invite His presence into the room and into your circumstances. And when God is present, Satan has no choice but to flee. Heaven is a kingdom of continuous praise and worship. So when you worship God, you’re extending His heavenly kingdom to your place on Earth. Satan obviously doesn’t want any part of that either.
Worship changes those around you.
The final reason to use worship as a weapon is that it changes those around you. You can find a very powerful example of this truth in Acts 16, where Paul and Silas were wrongfully imprisoned for preaching God’s word. Verses 25-26 note, “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 everyone’s chains came loose.”
The jailer woke up and was about to kill himself, believing the prisoners had all escaped, when Paul cried out to stop him. And what was the jailer’s response? He asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
Paul and Silas worshiped in the most dire of circumstances, when worship didn’t seem to make much sense. I mean, why worship a God who would allow you to be thrown into prison? The other prisoners were probably shaking their heads. But the power and results of their worship brought the jailer and his entire family, and likely many of the prisoners in that same jail, to know and serve God.
Don’t believe for a second that others aren’t watching you as you navigate life’s greatest challenges, waiting to see what you’ll do, how you’ll respond. Imagine the witness you’ll provide if you stand in worship and trust God to work all things for your good.
Worship used in battle.
You may be familiar with the story of Jehoshaphat. Second Chronicles 20:22 says, “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” (NIV). What a strange battle plan–but the result was that the Lord won the battle for them! The act of worship enables us to encounter the power of God like nothing else. It is not effective to simply tell someone to stop worrying; stop being proud; stop being self-consumed, distracted, insecure, bound and materialistic. But it is effective to tell them to start worshipping. When they make that decision to fix their eyes on Jesus, they quickly realize that God has already begun to release the grip these tendencies have on their life. They are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Worship causes breakthroughs.
When we worship, the invisible God is at work doing invisible and powerful things by His Spirit. We get realigned, refreshed and refueled; we find unspeakable joy and indescribable peace. We discover the breakthrough strength of God, which enables us to walk in the truth, live in His presence and see Him fight our battles for us. Things like fear, anxiety and depression lose their grip on us when we worship and focus our attention on the One who can set us free from the things that keep us bound up.
Jack Hayford, in his book The Reward of Worship says “God welcomes us appropriately bringing glory to Him because it is right. But it is also good for our own sake that we worship Him, not because He needs our worship, but because through it, we will be progressively liberated from ourselves (which is life’s worst bondage). God’s focus is His will, His interests, His power, His commandments, plans and objectives but are never about Him. They are about us. They are all targeted for our blessing, our fulfillment, our fruitfulness and our realizing His purpose in creating us. And the reason He has given His ways of worship to us is this: so that by those means we might ‘come up” from where we are, and enter into all He has for us.”
I challenge you in your next point of need to make the choice to be a worshiper and let the breakthrough God fight your battles for you. Even more, as believers we are to be continually in a state of praise and worship as we go about our days, always having a channel open to hear what God is saying to us by His Spirit and allowing Him to lead and direct our lives. This is how we can stay in a place of victory over the darkness that is at work in the world around us and be a light to those who need to hear the good news of the gospel.
This is how we fight our battles.