Praise Before Victory
FAKE NEWS ALERT! How would you react if our President actually sent in the US Marine Corps Band to lead the charge in fending off an enemy attack? That’s exactly what King Jehoshaphat does in 2 Chronicles 20, securing their victory when the choir began to sing. There is power in praise and thanksgiving.
Praise and thanksgiving grounds us in what’s real, not what we feel. King Jehoshaphat was overcome by fear at the news of the approaching armies, but He called God’s people to seek the Lord through prayer and fasting. He began by praising God for his power and past faithfulness. Through one of the worship leaders, God responded saying, “You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord...Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them..., and the Lord will be with you.” Likewise, our enemy uses fear and confusion to disrupt God’s work in and through you. But praise redirects our attention from the circumstance to God's might. In His presence we’re reminded of the reality of who He is and who we are; that in coming against you a child of God, the enemy is coming against God Himself.
Praise and thanks invokes God’s presence and releases God’s Power. The People of God respond in worship to God’s promised victory. Jehoshaphat appointed the choir to lead the calvary towards the enemy army. When they began to sing, “Give thanks to the Lord, His love endures forever”, God confused their enemies, turning the armies against one another. God’s people were victorious without even drawing their swords. Our enemy trembles when true praise is lifted up. Like a magnifying glass, praise and thanksgiving magnify God’s glory to us and focus the power of His presence upon us and in our situation. There have been multiple times when I’ve faced some kind of spiritual opposition. When I stepped back to seek the Lord and respond with praise, as I reengaged, I found the obstacles being removed and the challenges being resolved.
Praise and thanks is the bridge from Promised Victory to Actualized Victory. When we praise and thank God in advance for the victory, we're wielding the power of God’s Word to stand firm, resisting the enemy and replacing His lies with truth over ourselves and into the situation we’re facing.
Our military reservists are ready to respond to any threat, but they don’t wait for the threat or to be ready. They train regularly. Urgent needs and spiritual attacks will arise that require intensified response and spiritual warfare, but we must prepare now. I encourage you to regularly engage God’s Word through study and reflection. Don’t confine worship to Sunday. Find worship music that captures your heart and worship along in the car, at home etc. Soon you’ll find you don’t even need the music. Songs will just rise up in your heart and you’ll be ready with scripture dwelling in your heart and a song on your lips.