In Ephesians 6:10-18, Paul tells us that we are in a spiritual battle, and the weapons we have are not natural, but spiritual. He then describes the armor and weapons that we have as believers to stand up against the enemy. The armor and weapons mentioned by Paul are the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the footwear of the Gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, and praying in the Spirit.
There are basically two kinds of praise – celebratory praise and praise in the Spirit of warfare.
Today we are going to focus on praise as a weapon of warfare. We are going to see what it means to do warfare with praise as well as its purpose and results.
We will be basing this teaching on 2 Chronicles chapter 20. In 2 Chronicles chapter 20, we see a large army of three nations coming to attack Juda and Jerusalem. They were the Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites (Edomites).
2 Chronicles 20:3-4 says, “Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.”
The first thing we need to do when we are facing a problem or difficulty, is to seek the Lord’s help and guidance.
2 Chronicles 20:12 says, “Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
The second step to victory is recognizing our inability, and God’s ability to help us.
1 Peter 5:6 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”
While the people of Judah were praying and fasting, God sent a message by His Spirit through Jahaziel that the battle is not theirs, but God’s.
2 Chronicles 20:14-15 – “Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly. He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them…….”
The third step to victory is putting our faith in Him and step out in obedience to His Word.
2 Chronicles 20:20 says, “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.”
There are times when God will tell us to stop praying and striving. He will ask us to just stand in His presence and declare the victory.
2 Chronicles 20:21 – “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.”
There are times when we must do battle through praise. We do this by declaring with our mouth God’s faithfulness, power and stand on the promise he has given us through His Word or by the Spirit of God. There are two big differences between celebratory praise and warfare praise. The first difference is our reason and attitude in our declaration. Warfare praise is with the objective of sending the enemy to flight. We do it in the attitude of an already accomplished victory. Secondly, warfare praise is declaring the promises of God in faith. It is speaking the truths of God’s Word which the enemy can not stand up against. It is, in faith, thanking Him for accomplishing the very thing that we are believing for even though we don’t see it yet fulfilled. When we do this in faith and obedience, the victory is ours.
2 Chronicles 20:22-24 – “ 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. The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another. When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped.”
When we do battle through praise:
- We declare God’s glory & focus on Him only.
- We don’t dictate to God what we want Him to do.
- We praise Him for His wisdom and power.
- We accept that He has already resolved what we are facing, and that the victory is ours.
- We don’t fix our eyes on the battle, but on God alone.
We see another example in God’s Word where prayer and praise brought the victory to Paul and Silas.
Acts 16:24-26 – “When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. 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.”
What has bound you?
Sin, doubt, discouragement, depression, bad thoughts, debt, sickness, family problems
Praise, done in faith, and declaring God’s promises with a heart of thankfulness, will break:
- The bonds of doubt.
- The chains of discouragement.
- The things that hold your mind captive.
- The works of the devil.
Choose to praise and thank God when things are not going well and when you don’t see the solution to your problem or answer to your prayer. Remember what He has done for you and thank Him for these things. Testify (tell) others about the victories you have had and God’s goodness and faithfulness.
Do you feel that you are in a spiritual battle in your life? Do you see unanswered prayer?
Maybe God is asking you to stop striving in your strength, abilities and your wisdom, and to rely on Him and declare His praises. Maybe there are unanswered prayers, and God is asking you to stop praying and begin to declare the victory, to stand on His promises, and thank Him for His greatness and faithfulness.
Praise is a mighty weapon that can destroy the powers of darkness and liberate us from those things that bind us. Praise will usher the presence of God into our lives and the lives of those around us. We must, in the attitude and spirit of waging a battle in the spiritual realm, declare the promises of God, His greatness, His mercy and His faithfulness. Then stand firm and watch God fight on our behalf.