Yes, I realize that your mind is on all things Christmas right now, but the enemy of our souls takes advantage of our preoccupation to do his best work –deceiving, ensnaring, triggering and discouraging, stealing and destroying our “peace on earth good will toward men.
We're in a war whether we realize it or not and there is no peace treaty just because we're busy celebrating Christmas, a birthday or anniversary.
Ephesians 6:12 informs us that "we wrestle not against flesh and blood but with principalities and powers and rulers of darkness in spiritual places." 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 informs us that "the weapons we use are not what the world would use but are mighty even to pulling down strongholds". One of those weapons is worship. Warfare happens in the heavenlies when we worship.
We normally think of worship as what we do on Sunday morning with the whole congregation when we meet together. But worship is far more than just Sunday morning; it’s an anytime, anywhere response to the circumstances in our lives based upon the divine power of our God. Worship is taking our eyes off our circumstances and intentionally putting them on God to declare Who He is and what He has done in the past while ascribing glory to His name. Worship is a choice we make to fight and not give in! Worship is saying, "Hallelujah Anyhow" and meaning it.
The Lord impressed upon me to not wait until after I see the victory or healing or deliverance to worship Him, but to worship Him in the middle of the struggle; before I see the victory. I know in Acts 16, Paul and Silas had been stripped, severely flogged and thrown into jail with their feet fastened in stocks. Paul and Silas were worshipping God, not complaining or posting their woes on social media. As they sang and praised God, an earthquake broke open their chains and prison doors to set them free. They didn’t wait to be released from their chains to praise Him but worshipped God in the midst of their imprisonment.
King Jehoshaphat, in 2 Chronicles 20, was facing a fierce army and he told the Lord, “we have no power to face this great army, but our eyes are on you.” Notice, they put their eyes on God; not on their own feeble resources, but on God who alone had the power to defeat this enemy. In verse 18 , Jehoshaphat and all the people bowed down with their face toward the ground and worshipped Jehovah. They humbled themselves in prayer, then they stood up and praised the Lord with a loud voice. The next morning they sent worshippers in front of the army against the enormous enemy. As they began to sing, “For the Lord is good and His mercies endure forever” God sent ambushes against the enemy and they were confused and defeated. Worship starts a war that God always wins.
Well, I’ve been obeying what God prompted me to do by praising and rejoicing in God in the middle of my trials and I’ve seen amazing results. When fear or doubt has arisen, I’ve stopped in my tracks wherever I am and praised God, rejoiced in what God would do, prayed and given him thanks. I’ve seen the fear and doubt disappear immediately and faith arise.
When I’ve had to discuss bad news or circumstances as others have brought them to me, I’ve made sure we stopped to worship God in the midst of the circumstances. I had a meeting with someone in my ministry and we needed a miracle of people, resources and money. If God didn’t come through the results would be very catastrophic. Well, we stopped reporting the bad news and starting rejoicing, praising, praying and thanking. Afterward, the weight was lifted, and faith was ignited. In the process of worship ,God had miraculously enabled us to roll over onto Him all our cares. It was God’s responsibility now because we had already done what only we could do – praise, worship and pray; the rest was up to Him. That night the answer came! Hallelujah!!!
When I received news that one of our $1000 donors for our production wouldn’t be able to support us for our playbill, I didn’t worry, fret and wring my hands – I rejoiced and thanked God for the years that donor had been faithful and then rejoiced that this was an opportunity for God to use someone else and praised Him for supplying. Two days later a new $1000 sponsor came in. Hallelujah!!!
When two recording sessions for our church production had been cancelled because of ice and snow I was very concerned. But what did I do? Instead of complaining and fretting, I worshipped and prayed for wisdom in how to proceed and God gave me a plan. We called for a new recording time that Sunday after church and served pizza and then started recording. Most of the choir was there with a great attitude!! Praise God!!
When my set designer/construction supervisor called to let me know we might not be able to move the mountain set piece from our workshop at the CCC to the Sanctuary for practice on the Saturday because of the ice and snow my heart sank. We needed that mountain to make progress in blocking and movement for our scenes. I made up an alternative agenda for Saturday in case, but then I rejoiced that this was not a surprise for God, and He would help us make progress anyway. I praised Him for His faithfulness through this process and prayed that He would move this mountain and make a way.
The next morning, Saturday, I came in to see the mountain on the stage ready for practice! God really can move mountains! He’s the God of the impossible, the inconceivable and the improbable! By faith I had praised him before I saw the result and you better believe I praised Him all day long after seeing that mountain moved.
When we worship God something is shifted in the heavenlies – His angels go to war for us and He shakes things up. When we worship God our focus is changed from our impossible circumstances to an all-powerful God. When we worship God, faith is ignited and fear and doubt extinguished. When we worship God works on our behalf.
I don’t know what you’re facing – anxiety, fear, doubt, pain, disease, divorce, depression, discouragement, loneliness, loss of job, recurring sickness or loss . Whatever it is, God is the God of the impossible and He deserves our praise NOW! Before you ever see an answer! Worship Him in the midst of your loneliness or disappointment this Christmas. .Worship Him in the midst of your pain. Worship Him in the beauty of holiness. Worship Him for Who He is – Lord of Lords and King of Kings, Savior, Friend, Counselor, Comforter, Healer, Redeemer, Restorer, Deliverer!
This Christmas and all year long be ready to use the weapon of worship. Don’t give in to self-pity or discouragement; stand up and fight and see what the Lord will do! Worship is a powerful weapon!