Worship can be often underestimated. We could look at it as something we do on Sunday morning in church or something that we enjoy on the radio, singing along with our kids; but in the Christian, faith worship can be a very powerful weapon.
In the Old Testament often the strategy of war was to send the worshipers out BEFORE the warriors! In 2 Chronicles 20:21,
“After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the LORD and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang: “Give thanks to the LORD; his faithful love endures forever!”
This must have been so confusing for the enemy! In Joshua 6:20, Jericho walls fell because of a shout of praise! The power of worship is monumental.
We should define worship in this context as confidence in the character and nature of God. It is easy to lose sight of what God is doing and doubt in Hebrews 10:35-36, but as we worship Jesus shows us His ways and it begins to make more sense. As we trust – we are worshiping, as we rely on the Lord – we are worshiping, as we obey by faith- we are worshiping him. In confidence in WHO He is we begin to see his mighty hand everywhere in Hebrews 11:6.
In John 4:23-4, John talks about being a true worshiper. This is one who esteems and worships in spirit and truth. It is not just lip service or done only when things are good, but it is an attitude of the heart of honor and reverence for God’s Word and His statutes. The psalmist knew the power in declaring the name of Jesus; it was His mighty fortress and refuge in Psalms 9:9-10 and Psalms 46:1-3. Every knee will bow to this beautiful name!
In Heaven worship and praise are the normal atmosphere and environment. It is done daily, moment by moment. When it is practiced on earth what does it do in our own lives?
- Ministers to God. He Inhabits praises of his people in Psalms 22:3.
- Clears the atmosphere and removes distractions in my life.
- Creates in me a receptive heart.
- Realigns our focus back on Jesus.
- Develops thankfulness in my heart.
Some may say, I don’t feel like worshiping. Some feel hypocritical when worshiping because there is no experience. We are not seeking an experience or feeling but as we are magnifying Jesus’ name, this will ignite our heart ushering in His presence.
Mountain verses Valley
We all want to have mountaintop experiences. We want to stay on the “highs” of life, but God has ordained the valleys for a place of growth and to build the Inner Man. The Valley can symbolize low times in our lives where we have experienced great difficulty. In the valley, there is a great opportunity for God to do great work in us through worship.
What the valley has that the mountaintop top doesn’t:
- Fertile soil for sowing
- The passage between the peaks – personal advancement.
- Water collects from storms and nourishes plant and animal life.
- Temperatures and the breeze from the valley feed the air on the mountain top.
- The river runs through the valley and feeds plant and animal life.
What does the Mountaintop have that the valley doesn’t:
- A great view
- Rocky terrain
- Able to see the whole surrounding area – the big picture
- The satisfaction of completion of the hike
The psalmist in Psalms 23:4 said ” Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; God has called us to worship our way through the valley as we walk and wait on Him there. As we worship our focus, attitude, and actions change; we develop confidence that God is moving. No matter where you are today God will get you where He needs you to be. As the prophet Isaiah said in 40:4-5 “….every valley will be exalted….” Be patient on the journey.
Our lives can get cluttered. The important things can get buried because of busyness. Before we know it we don’t know what we have spent our days on because we are moving so fast. Worship slows us down and teaches us to concentrate on the Lord. In doing so two key things are developed in us, deflection and detachment.
Deflection is to have something stronger than us block and push down what comes against us. In basketball, we can see that deflection is key for both offense and defense. It protects the ball and also reduces our opponent’s advancement. In Isaiah 21:5 the soldiers would anoint their shields to deflect and quench and fiery arrows that would land on them. This proved very effective in battle. The apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:5 to “deflect” and cast down any “argument” that comes against who God is… When we speak a word of truth it will deflect the lie. This is a defense that will save us!
Detachment is to help sustain us. We are separating ourselves unto God first, then we commit ourselves to what God has called us to do. This is done by de-tangling us as well as protecting us from getting entangled. The apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 2:4 …” a good soldier does not entangle himself with the affairs of this life.” This is often easier said than done. We can think with our emotions and get tangled in people’s preferences and expectations and we can be yanked around. As we learn to think with God and worship Him first, we start to experience healthy detachment. Worship causes us to be sensitive to God and His leading and not be a prisoner to people.
You will make it through
So many are just trying to survive, worship helps us to thrive! Worship opens up a true reality and the anointing of God which breaks every chain in Isaiah 10:27. Put your confidence in Jesus, no matter what you’re going through and you will see a change in you first before your situation changes. Worship causes us to delight in the Lord so much that our situation doesn’t have to change because now we have found God in it. Now, is a moment made for worshiping!
Enjoy God where you are today and be confident in Him He has HIS best prepared for you. Here is a great promise in Isaiah 55:12,
“You will indeed go out with joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thorn bush, a cypress will grow, and instead of the brier, a myrtle will spring up; they will make a name for the LORD as an everlasting sign, never to be destroyed.”
Read more: Learning to Love Daily Repentance
Jason is a graduate from Maryland Bible College and Seminary, and presently he leads the Pastoral Care Team of Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. Since age 16, Jason has been involved with mission work among the former Soviet-Bloc countries in Eastern Europe, as well as in Asia, and in the United States. While living in Ukraine, he helped church plant three new churches that continue to thrive today under trained nationals. He has also written five books and has his own podcast (tinyurl.com/IRpodcast)