Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Don't Wait Until the Battle is Over!

I love gospel music, especially when it helps you to recall God’s Word and promises (I know it all should, but that’s a different topic). Today, I’ve been humming this old song with the words, “Don’t wait until the battle is over; shout now. You know in the end, you’re gonna win.” I love this song because it reminds me of a very powerful story about steps we can take to get victory during a battle.

The actions of Jehoshaphat, a ruler of Judah, gives us important steps to take when we are under attack from the enemy. When Jehoshaphat learns that the children of Moab and Ammon were going to attack, he immediately proclaims a fast in all of Judah. He doesn’t want the people to have any distractions from seeking the Lord in prayer. He reminds God of His promises to the people and says, “neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee” (2 Chronicles 20:12). In times of intense pressure, we need to really separate ourselves from anything that hinders us from the Lord and keep our eyes focused on Him.

When all the people of Judah are gathered together in prayer, Jahaziel, a Levite, prophesies saying, “Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (II Chron. 20:15). He goes on to tell them, “Ye shall not need to fight in this battle; set yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you. O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them; for the Lord will be with you” (II Chron. 20:17). Sometimes all we need to do is recognize that the battle is not ours to fight; it’s the Lord’s.

After hearing the word from the Lord, Jehoshaphat and all the people of Judah fell on their faces and worshipped God. Jehoshaphat implores the people to believe God’s word and appoints singers to the Lord “that they should praise and the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth forever” (II Chron. 20: 21).

When the singers begin to sing and praise God, the two enemies turn against each other in utter confusion, killing each other until not one of them was alive. What a testimony of faith and trust in God! Worship and praise can be a weapon that we use to cause the enemy to scatter. When you are backed in a corner and don’t know what to do, praise Him. You’re not necessarily thanking God for the situation, but praising Him because He’s already promised in His Word that we are victorious! Hallelujah!

Sometimes, we can be so heavy burdened with pressure, heartache, and fear that we don’t want to praise Him with our lips. Fight against your feelings and emotions! We need to use our instruments of praise, especially in the midst of the battle if we want to win. We need to praise Him, whether it’s clapping our hands, using our voices, or playing instruments. There’s actually a scripture that tells us to shout with a loud voice. We are instructed to praise Him, knowing and trusting that in the end we will win.
After the Lord gave Jehoshaphat and his people the victory, they found so many riches (jewels, clothes, weapons, and food), that it took them three days to gather it, and the riches were in the midst of the dead bodies. When you praise your way through, you will get your reward and the enemy will be your footstool!

I feel so excited by this message that I could shout—seriously! The bottom line is that any attack on Judah was an attack against God. As believers, an attack against us is an attack against God and He has already won the battle. Whatever that thing is that has got you fearful, bound, depressed, or in dismay, don’t focus on how big and bad situation or problem is. Focus of how big and great God is! Praise Him in advance. I know personally there is deliverance and blessings in your praise.

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Praising Through With You,

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